Review of Ext JS 3.0 Cookbook

Ext JS 3.0 Cookbook Cover

For full disclosure, Packt Publishing sent me a review copy of this book. They did not ask for a positive review, just a review.

<update>The book’s official page is at Packt Pub’s Official Ext JS 3.0 Cookbook site</update>

This is the first book by Jorge Ramon that I’ve read. This book is exactly what the title says that it is, a Cookbook. It’s got 109 solutions to problems solved by Ext JS 3.0. I was expecting, like a lot of other books to get a fill of all of the philosophy behind what they are trying to promote but that wasn’t the case. This book just in with no nonsense and gets right to the code.

Every chapter is laid out exactly the same. It starts off with a list of problems solved in this chapter and a very short paragraph that gives an explanation to why these are related problems. The rest of the chapter is broken in to “recipes” all of which are laid out exactly the same as each other as well with sections “Introduction”, “How to do it”, “How it works”, an optional “There’s more” and a “See also” section. The intro is typically a short paragraph that describes when this recipe is going to be useful and optionally contains a screenshot or two of the solution. The How to do it section is almost all code with just enough text to explain where to put the code that you are looking at. The How it works section explains a little more about the events and the libraries that are at play and how they effect the code snippets that you just wrote. The There’s more section points out potential pitfalls or other benefits that this recipe brings to the table. The See also section points out related recipes that you should look at in addition to the recipe that you’re looking at.

So what’s my opinion on the book?

if you are trying to understand JavaScript and/or Ext JS 3.0, this book is not the book for you. There are plenty of other books out there that will step you in at a little more manageable pace.

However, if you are somewhat familiar with JavaScript and Ext JS 3.0, this is a great recipe book. The code is clean and readable. The problems are problems that I see on a semi-regular basis. I like it for what it is. It’s a handy reference and a set of problem/answers that solve discrete problems. It’s a good formula and I’m probably going to write a few blog posts in that format to feel it out.

The price, $49.00 or 30.99 Pounds is a little steep but if it cuts an hour or two out of your research and development time, it’s paid for itself. Also, you can download the code from Packt Publishing in a zip file and copy paste from that so it’s definitely going to save you time if you are using Ext JS 3.0. This was something that I missed at first to be honest and only caught when I went back to reread the preface and saw the link to where the source is zipped up.

Packt PublishingAnother interesting note about Packt Publishing is that on their “About Packt Publishing” page in the back of the book, they mention that when they publish a book based on an open source project that they pay royalties back to that project. I don’t know how much they pay in royalties to the project but that’s a really class thing to do. If one is making money on an open source project, they should contribute to it somehow either through code or financially or both.