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DenonStudio Envato team says

ArikB,

Here is my two cents worth. I think you should learn just enough JavaScript to know how it works. You want to know how to traverse the DOM tree and a little about JavaScript execution style. As a language it’s more or less like a any other scripting lanuage. But don’t spend too much time learning the best way to optimize a for loop. Instead dive into any framework that you like.

jQuery is pretty awesome and doesn’t really enforce a coding style. Its coding model is instructional which is easy to learn and follow. It also has method chaining that I really like.

Other frameworks like Mootools and Prototype try to be modern by encouraging Object Oriented Programming style. So you’ll learn how to divide your code into classes, define methods, properties, inherit behavior and etc. If you like to be a serious software guy, you may enjoy such frameworks because OOP is their bread and butter. Their libraries are usually comprehensive and tend to be very nicely structured. I’d recommend them for larger projects though if I had the choice to use jQuery.

My final reason for encouraging you to learn Frameworks sooner than later is that once you get into one you’ll notice that a lot of your work is already done for you. Smart developers try to write as little lines of code as they could and don’t try to reinvent the wheel (I’m not suggesting to write a whole program on one line and be anal about optimization). You also want to to have less moving parts in your code because then less things could go wrong in your own code. Frameworks are really good for that particular reason.

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jwmcpeak says

I couldn’t disagree more. JavaScript is not like other languages. The syntax is very familiar, but beyond that it’s a different beast. I’ve always called it a simple-complex language for a reason. It’s easy to get started and use, and it’s easy to get yourself in a pickle if you don’t understand how it works.

The sooner anyone drops their preconceptions of the language, the easier it is to learn and use it.

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DenonStudio Envato team says
I couldn’t disagree more. JavaScript is not like other languages. The syntax is very familiar, but beyond that it’s a different beast. I’ve always called it a simple-complex language for a reason. It’s easy to get started and use, and it’s easy to get yourself in a pickle if you don’t understand how it works.

You probably need to practice JavaScript more ;)

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jwmcpeak says

Yeah. I have no idea what I’m talking about ;)

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JeffreyWay says

Generally, I’d always vote for learning JavaScript before moving on to a framework.

But, I can understand one argument. JavaScript, for beginners, is extremely intimidating. If a library like jQuery allows them to dive in and get their feet wet, and then move on to learning the deeper intricacies…then I suppose I can appreciate that.

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