A few weeks back, Packt Publishing contacted me about reviewing one of their new titles, KnockoutJS Starter. Now, I'm in the middle of two contracts, plus my day job, and the holidays right now, so the idea of a "quick review" wasn't all that appealing. That said, I was interested in the material, and this is one of a new "Starter" line of books that Packt has started publishing. Basically small, quick primers that get you up and running with something new.

So, here's the "quick review". KnockoutJS Starter is by Eric M. Barnard. My e-book copy says it's 69 pages long, but the first 12 are the TOC, credits, and format info, so you take out the resources in the back of the book too and you're talking about 55 pages of meat. And there is meat.

The "Starter" books kind of come off as a printed blog series, sometimes, but Eric has done a pretty good job here, for the most part. The first half of the book takes you through installing the files, and setting up a quick sample app to take and edit inventory information. Now, it's all client side, with no data to start with, but line for line copy of the code will get you working. And, it was pretty slick how KnockoutJS ties data and interface together fairly seamlessly. And Eric explains how those connections are made very well.

While the base example, in the beginning of the book, is pretty straight forward, the second half could use some help. The second half goes beyond the basics, trying to describe Subscribables, Observables, and Bindings and Handlers. I was able to get through it, having some prior knowledge conceptually, but some of it is still confusing. The right idea was there, but the execution could use some polish and follow-up.

Ultimately, it was still a good introduction to KnockoutJS. If you aren't familiar with the library, I would take a good look at Eric and Packt's "Starter" book, and dive right in.