About Nicholas C. Zakas

Recent Posts

The art of throwing JavaScript errors

When I was younger, the most befuddling part of programming languages was the ability to create errors. My first reaction to the throw operator in Java was, “well that’s stupid, why would you ever want to cause an error?” Errors were the enemy to me, something I sought to avoid, so the ability to cause... […]

Book review: The Art of War

I’ve been making my way back to classical texts lately, and The Art of War has been on my list to read for a while now. My mom was kind enough to give me The Art of War: Complete Texts and Commentaries for Christmas last year, and I was happy to get some time to... […]

Mozilla JavaScript Extension: __count__

Mozilla JavaScript engines support additional, non-standard features resulting in extra properties and methods being exposed to developers. Last week, I talked about the __noSuchMethod__() method that can be used on object. This week, the topic is the __count__ property, which exists on all user-defined objects by default and indicates how many properties and methods are... […]

Book review: Learning Ext JS

This is the second book that Packt Publishing asked me to review for them. Once again, the content of the book is based on a JavaScript library. Learning Ext JS is designed as a gentle introduction into the world of Ext JS. Prior to this book, I had only really heard of Ext JS. I... […]

Mozilla JavaScript extension: __noSuchMethod__

Mozilla’s JavaScript engines have always been a bit different than those from other companies. SpiderMonkey and its Java port, Rhino, had long contained extra features designed to make JavaScript more robust. One such feature is the __noSuchMethod__() method that is available on native objects. In most JavaScript engines, calling a method that doesn’t exist simply... […]

Book review: Learning Dojo

I usually don’t do technical book reviews unless 1) I’m specifically asked or 2) I really like the book. I do this to avoid putting up too many bad book reviews because there are so many bad technical books out there.  When I was contacted about reviewing Learning Dojo, I warned them that I have... […]

JavaScript variable performance

One of the most common pieces of advice regarding JavaScript performance is to favor local variables over global variables whenever possible. This advice has been around for at least as long as I’ve been working web development (nine years) and is never questioned. The basis for this theory is the way that JavaScript handles scoping... […]

New site design

It’s been a long time coming, but I’ve finally updated my site’s design. My contest failed to deliver enough designs for there to be a real competition so I just decided to do a very simple evolution of the previous design. The primary goal for this redesign was to improve the readability of the blog... […]

Speed up your JavaScript, Part 4

Over the past few weeks, I’ve been exploring the various techniques for speeding up your JavaScript. Part 1 covered how to deal with loops that are doing too much. Part 2 focused on functions that do too much and taught techniques such as queuing and memoization to lighten the workload. Part 3 expanded the conversation... […]

Speed up your JavaScript, Part 3

Recursion is the enemy of fast-running scripts. Too much recursion can cause the browser to grind to a halt or quit unexpectedly, and so must be addressed a serious performance problem in JavaScript. In part 2 of this series, I wrote briefly about handling too much recursion in a function through memoization. Memoization is a... […]