Learning JavaScript for absolute beginner in programming

I am an author. I write nonfiction. I wish to learn JavaScript to automate things I do in Drafts and with TextExpander. I use Mac, iPhone, and iPad. I love learning new things. And willing to use many hours to learn. I ask out of ignorance, because I wonder if there might be a different focus in a JavaScript course written with a web developer focus and a course closer to what you need in Drafts? If you Google learn JavaScript for beginners, you get a lot of suggestions. I am not looking for a lecture-based course, since I tend to fall asleep in that situation. Just a course that is hands on and where my simple math skills will not be an obstacle. I have looked at the first lessons on https://www.freecodecamp.org/learn The course Basic JavaScript. The way they teach I like. So my question is: do you know of a better place to learn JavaScript for practical use in Drafts?


I think this is pretty solid advice:

Particularly, I think the Eloquent Javascript book mentioned is a great start because it really handles the basics of programming in general, just using Javascript as the language.


I’d also recommend some of the Lynda.com videos in JavaScript. They are very well done and can often be accessed for free through your local library (or through a free trial if you haven’t signed up for Lynda before.)

The Learn x in y minutes pages are good for a solid overview of the language: https://learnxinyminutes.com/docs/javascript/

1 Like

I found this course by Andrew Mead to be a great introduction.

Seems cory and cpac did not read my text: “I am not looking for a lecture-based course, since I tend to fall asleep in that situation.” But probably someone else will like your advice. I have not started on anything yet, so I am still open for suggestions.

What would be a not lecture based course?
Maybe a personal trainer or teaming up?

Is there any local meetup in your city?

Do not get me wrong I just want to understand what could help you?

I wonder how much of this is about learning javascript and how much is building up from simple Drafts javascript-based actions to something more complex.

If it’s more the latter it sparks an idea in me: A wiki that is a series of ever more complicated examples, building on each other and focused on Drafts javascript. (Perhaps roping in other action steps, as necessary.)

We have a fine Drafts scripting reference. I just think a cookbook might work.

1 Like

Love that idea.

It should also link to great resources like TADpole that helps with building your own scripts and getting the feel of scripting in JavaScript.

Google says lecture is an educational talk to an audience. Somebody talking to me. There is nothing wrong with learning that way. I think it is me that is odd for falling asleep :slight_smile: My teachers often were surprised when I got good grades after having slept trough their lectures.
Reading a book is not lecture based in my way of thinking. The same goes for https://www.freecodecamp.org/learn which is hands on writing code yourself.

A cookbook is a great suggestion!

Do you have a link to TADpole?

It isn’t going to teach you JavaScript for Drafts, but if you are looking for how to work with a particular feature in Drafts, you might find a function that works with it in this library of classes and functions. Equally you might find such examples searching this forum too.

The documentation for the library is available here - https://tadpole.thoughtasylum.com

If you grab and setup the ThoughtAsylum Action Group it will put the library file in your Drafts scripting folder.

1 Like

I heard about https://codecombat.com/about
You really should give that a shot. There are ways to learn JS or Python, heck even C++ in a game world. Freemium!

I think the most important thing is to learn to split a problem in to manageable tasks.
Thats like trying to sole a multistep problem with one regular expression stead of doing it in two or three layers. (E.g. line wise processing in combination with a simpler regex, state based parseing or string splitting instead of a complex coding structure)

Is that what you are looking for?

1 Like

To place a little critique between many fan boyish remarks: I do not like TADpoles approach to call one function for every action. A 5-20 line snippet would be more helpful. At least on ios where JavaScript Editors are few.

So a tip to all:
Use a Mac to get into coding with drafts.
(I still refuse it but I am a software engineer with some decades of coding experiance - so using iOS mainly is a challenge I want to take)

1 Like

That is certainly not lecture based. Looking into it now. Your link is not working though. Use this https://codecombat.com/about

Thanks. I played with my kids (10, 8 years - native German speakers) today at it was great fun!