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Head First JavaScript

Michael Morrison
Published by O'Reilly Media
ISBN: 978-0-596-52774-7
650 pages
£ 24.99
Published: 11th January 2008
reviewed by Lindsay Marshall
   in the March 2008 issue (pdf), (html)
bookcover  

I think I must have slipped over the edge into old-fogeydom (though see below).

This book “uses a visually rich format designed for the way your brain works”. Well, they must have different brains to me. I hate it. The “visually rich format” (or mess on a page) is noisy and full of irrelevance. It smacks of trendy vicars and guitars. I passed this book around in a tutorial session with my students and asked for their opinion — without exception they said it was awful. They hated the pictures, they hated the layout and they all said they would rather have a thinner (cheaper!) book that was text based.

If you scrape of the layers of cruft, there is nothing at all wrong with the the material being taught — all sensible and useful stuff — it's just the medium, not the message. I know something about learning theory and I appreciate what they are trying to do with Head First series, but it is just horrible, horrible, horrible. And the thing that I hated most of all was that sections labelled “Bullet points” had a picture of a bullet at the top. Lord. Privy. Seal.

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