Parsons School of Design
BFA Communication Design
Thesis 2019

Lightweight JavaScript
Jack Rieger

JavaScript, the web's programming language, can be difficult to learn. There are many layers to understand: how programming works, what the terms mean, how to write in the language, and how to apply this knowledge towards practical use. This information can become dense, further complicated by fine-detailed specifications for software engineers.

As a result, many resources on the subject are daunting to beginners. A high level of detail, while essential for specialists, is a barrier to the less experienced. Beginners are tempted to adopt haphazard programming methods, like copying and pasting code. Getting something to work is important, but how you get there is also important.

Lightweight JavaScript is a guide that explains the essential without getting into the esoteric. It is a resource for the beginner who wants to know the why.

The website breaks down information into different levels of organization. A main authorial voice explains concepts plainly with simple code examples. Attached to some of these examples are detail modules that offer a step-by-step explanation of what's happening. Glossary terms – necessary jargon – are scattered throughout, revealing their definitions upon interaction. As the guide progresses, advanced modules explain concepts that go further than the basics. These components are structured to be clearly accessible yet out of the way until desired; this allows the reader to learn at their own pace.

Lightweight JavaScript teaches a mindset of thoughtful programming through its carefully structured curriculum, starting with the roots instead of the leaves.

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