Javascript: Resources and Tools


There are many, many excellent JavScript resources on the web. I strongly recommend the MDN JavaScript Learning Pathway. For this assignment, you will want to read much of First steps and Building Blocks. I also have a very high opinion of Eloquent Javascript, but in past years students have often found it somewhat difficult. However, it rewards careful study, teaches excellent habits, and encourages creative thinking while coding. Both MDN and EJ have built-in JS Consoles forexperimenting with code (see below).

MDN also has a more advanced guide to JavaScript which starts with this “reintroduction”. This can be worth consulting if you want more information.

Consoles and Playgrounds

Sometimes you will want to try out your code and test out your ideas before putting them in a permanent file. There are various tools for this.

Browser consoles and scratchpads
Your browser has a built-in “console” where you can enter javascript commands and see their output. See the Setup doc for more info.
node console
Unfortunately, VSCode does not have a built-in javascript console. However, you can easily create one in a terminal window by running the command node. Exit by typing Control-d or Control-c Control-c or .exit.
VSCode Debugger
VSCode has an excellent debugger. However, debugging is a complicated subject. If you want to try to use these tools, read the docs.
VSCode extensions
There are many excellent VSCode extensions for JavaScript. You can experiment with quokka, for instance.
Online Playgrounds
These can be fantastic resources, but they make more sense for web-based programming. We may discuss these later in the course.