I have read Javascript: The Good Parts* cover to cover multiple times. ( Well OK lately, its been BOF to EOF on my iPad ) When someone is as resolute and pragmatic as Douglas Crockford is to a technology as widely misunderstood and reviled as Javascript, human beings take notice. I believe it is inherent in our evolution to take notice at those who are that tenacious without being bullheaded.

Since I was learning node.js during my two month work hiatus, I thought it would be a good time to brush up on good Javascript style and eventually I started poking around his book once more, and lo, I found out that Safari Books Online** had the entirety of his Javascript Master Class available for streaming. Starting out a 5+ hour tutorial at almost midnight would not count as one of the smartest things I have done in my life, but it was worth it. Unfortunately I had just gotten past my second wind when he hit Pseudoclassical Inheritance in Javascript. By far that is one of the most convoluted processes I have ever had the pleasure to try grokking at 2am. I have had nightmares for weeks because I called it quits for the night at that point.

In all honesty, the videos are phenomenal. If you are even considering being part of the future of web application development I suggest you look at the videos. Think of it like this, if someone can preface their highly detailed and technical talk about Javascript by starting with the technology of puchcards, then that person is an Alpha in his field and you should listen to him when he speaks. I was completely taken in from the first video. Reading his book on the subject matter and listening to him speak about it are two completely different things. Also I believe he goes into a little more detail in the videos.

Another Douglas, Douglas Engelbart

Another Douglas, Douglas Engelbart

Many parts of the videos I have returned to, and reviewed to make sure I absorbed all the details, but that one section about Pseudoclassical Inheritance I recoil in horror every time I think about trying to understand it. I still have a bunch of notes of things to look into, they are mostly little sparks that lit up in my head while I was learning things about Javascript I still need to try. (One of which, was “The mother of all demos” by Douglas Engelbart which I am embarrassed to admit I have not looked at yet)

Having knowledge of the history of technology I believe is a very healthy practice. Especially with the headlong rush we technologists have found ourselves in, there is always something stirring in me to step back and look at the big picture. I believe that by studying where we have tread to get where we are technologically gives you a better understanding and appreciation for the shortcoming and awesomeness of technology today. But I think critically it gives you an opportunity to cut through the stampede of developers and find new ways to direct technology in the future. That I believe is one of Mr. Crockford’s strengths.

*Disclaimer: The Amazon referral code (if there is one here) is Mr. Crockfords. I make nothing if you click on that link.
** I am still angry at Safari Books Online after their stupid iPad app fiasco, so no link for them. Half-assed software development is a cardinal sin in my eyes. I will rant about this later.