Review: “If Hemingway Wrote JavaScript” by Angus Croll

Thumbs up for If Hemingway Wrote JavaScript by Angus Croll. Computers/Humor.

JavaScript exercises written as if great authors had solved them. This book is a work of wonders but you must be the right audience. Do know something about the literary styles of great authors? Do you know something about computer programming? Do you have an extremely nerdy sense of humor? If you answered yes to all three, this book is for you. (Note: I don’t know anything about JavaScript, yet the clever descriptions meant that I could I still find it funny with only a basic level of knowledge about programming. If you do know JS I bet it will be even funnier.)

At first glance, Austen’s code appears to be submissive, yielding to every overbearing commandment and pious proclamation set forth by the more pedantic leaders in our community. Yet a closer reading reveals that this is nothing less than a full-on parody of the social norms of JavaScript. There are several clues to Austen’s real intent: Checking if the argument is a number mocks edge-case mania; overembellished (and often free indirect) comments poke fun at those who insist that == is the devil’s work; and the satirical fawning over the nice Mr. Crockford is an ironic justification for the all-too-common hasOwnProperty method.


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