EXTJS In Action - Second Edition - Review

EXTJS in Action MEAP | Jesus Garcia & Jacob K Andresen | December 2011
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Back in March 2011 I reviewed EXTJS in Action first edition by Jay Garcia, that edition was based on EXTJS 3.x; an updated version i.e. second edition is now in Manning Early Access Program (MEAP). This means you can purchase an early copy, while the authors are still working on the final versions. I signed up for this MEAP version, as it is based on EXTJS 4.x. If you have been following the EXTJS framework, you will be aware EXTJS 4.x was released earlier this year and noted that the class system has substantially changed. I have decided not to upgrade to 4.x until version 4.1 is finally released (should be Q1 2012 from what I can tell). Current production release of EXTJS is 4.0.7; I have migrated some software to 4.0.7 and will post about this in due course.

Back to the book; I have decided to review the current MEAP version; an updated version of the book was released 22nd December 2011, this newer version includes a new chapter on the Data Store, which has changed around a bit for the better; mostly consolidating classes. For anyone looking to get up to speed with EXTJS, I highly recommend reading this book; it will certainly give you an excellent introduction to EXTJS. I have found the framework excellent, it is so vast I have had a need to read a lot. I have found Jay Garcia's writing style to be excellent, I am not as familiar with Jacob Andresen, and I do not know which chapters each author completed, all I can say is I have found the writing style similar; which is excellent, their is nothing worse than reading a co-authored book and knowing when one author is writing a chapter especially when one is superior to another. In this book I have not found which authors is completing each chapter. This MEAP version does not have all the chapters ready for review; hence it is the early access version, therefore I can only review what I have read to date. It is very similar to the first version anyone who has read the first version will find reading the second edition extremely easy to get through. Any of the EXTJS concepts are well explained and you are not left feeling how or what. Each concept is well documented, explained and a nice easy example to follow. All code is provided even for the early access program.

EXTJS 4.x introduced the Model View Controller (MVC) concept, I understand a few chapters will be added to this MEAP version discussing how MVC relates to EXTJS, this is very welcomed and I look forward to reading those chapters. In addition to the first edition a chapter on Extensions and Plugins is planned based on the table of contents. I am personally really looking forward to this chapter as I have not found really good documentation on this topic. EXTJS has seriously gone down the class based, scalability, extensible route with 4.x making it easier to extend and a more natural approach to Object Oriented Programming (OOP).

This book is for anyone interested in learning EXTJS, it covers all major elements from basic elements of a form & fields to more complex MVC concepts. Overall I am giving this book 10 out of 10, if more technology authors would take the time, effort, attention to detail and reader awareness from Garcia and Andresen we would all be better developers, programmers and designers.