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I'm thinking about to switch in middle term to node.js for server-side and mostly jQuery and scriptaculous for client-side web development. For the scripting I'm planning to use coffeescript.

  • do you think it's okay to use coffeescript or should I learn "plain" Javascript?
  • What resources e.g. books, e-books, mailinglist, papers etc. would you recommend?
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Smooth CoffeeScript is a must if you want to skip learning javascript. –  Raynos Jul 16 '11 at 5:40
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4 Answers

up vote 2 down vote accepted

I just picked up Node.js about 2 weeks ago. For reference here is the "stack" I am using:
-Node.js
-Expressjs
-Jade Template Engine
-Mongoose as my wrapper for MongoDB (a "NoSQL" database)

I have been loving it so far and I came in with only a basic working knowledge of Javascript with a little jQuery experience.
I have to say right off the bat, don't use CoffeeScript. I tried it and a friend of mine who started Node.js at the same time tried it. While it is very interesting, it is still buggy and the code it produces isn't a great style (in my opinion). The biggest reason not to use it, is that Javascript is a "C" syntax styled language and if you can learn the general syntax of these kinds of languages, you will be doing yourself a HUGE favor and you will find your abilities better able to translate to C, C++, Objective-C, C#, PHP and others.

Good luck with learning! It's a great choice from my opinion.

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I think your reason for using javascript over coffeescript is rather poor. The code coffeescript outputs is generally good. Remember js is functional & prototypical OO. Using it as a clasical OO or a procudural language is limiting yourself. –  Raynos Jul 16 '11 at 5:42
    
@Raynos : I said that was simply my opinion of the code that Coffeescript produces. My "biggest reason" for not choosing it (as I said in my answer) is that you are not going to help your career or your general knowledge of c-style syntaxes by avoiding them. That is what Coffeescript is, a way to avoid writing c-style syntax. –  James P. Wright Jul 16 '11 at 15:51
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JavaScript: The Good Parts

Useful regardless which frameworks you are using. Everyone using JavaScript should give this a read.

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Congratulations and good luck on your switching to technology frameworks that is hot!

Use of coffeescript is a good choice. But learning our plain old JavaScript is a must and will come handy at the time of debugging.
Another reasoning could be that after all, coffeescript is only meant to generate JavaScript, at any point in time during development, for whatever reason, you can/may always chuck it out thinking of using generated Javascript files with the intention of continuing UI development with just Javascript and at such a point in time what will save you is your knowledge of Javascript.
Yet another reason for learning Javascript would be that it is the bottom-line or common denominator for both the frameworks - node.js and coffeescript. Learning it should help you appreciate the use of those frameworks and also in tweaking something or other

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The YUI theater has some great videos on the good parts of javascript and they have a lot of node js videos. I first started coding js and ExtJS(3.*) the framework helped me learn a lot about js. The Ext.extend method helps learn the good parts of prototypes and functions. Once you start using then understanding the source code the sky is the limit.

edit-

http://developer.yahoo.com/yui/theater/

http://dev.sencha.com/deploy/ext-3.3.1/docs/

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