I’m just now beginning to dive into JavaScript using the Head First JS book published in 2005 (I’m starting chapter 3 today). I also own the newly released HTML5 programming book, and noticed you guys cover JavaScript. Now, I’m wondering which of the two would be more helpful to me learning JavaScript? Seeing as how HFJS was published 7 years ago, I’m worried I’ll miss out on what has changed since then, but at the same time it looks like HFJS is more thorough and comprehensive, considering it’s an entire book dedicated to JavaScript. Let me know.

We wrote the JavaScript chapters in Head First HTML5 Programming for those who have some experience with scripting languages already, as a way to get you up to speed on JavaScript quickly. It’s just enough information so that you can make it through the rest of the book, and does not comprehensively teach JavaScript. However, what you learn is the fundamentals, and you then get an opportunity to practice those fundamentals as you use them with HTML5, so it’s a great way to get started. And we’ve received feedback from some newbie programmers who have found the JavaScript material useful and were able to learn from it, even without a background in programming.

If your aim is to not just get through the book and learn HTML5, but to master JavaScript to some level, then we recommend (as we do in the book) seeking out a few other resources to help with JavaScript. One gentle introduction that we’ve seen is Eloquent JavaScript. For a complete guide and reference, we recommend the JavaScript Definitive Guide.

We plan to create a set of JavaScript learning resources as our next big project. We don’t know what form that will come in yet (perhaps another Head First book, or a set of video tutorials). If you want to stay informed about our new work, sign up for our mailing list.

Thanks Phil for your great question!

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