Free Programming Books

7 Excellent Free Books to Learn ECMAScript

ECMAScript is an object‑oriented programming language for performing computations and manipulating computational objects within a host environment. The language was originally designed as a scripting language, but is now often used as a general purpose programming language.

ECMAScript is best known as the language embedded in web browsers but has also been widely adopted for server and embedded applications.

Here’s our recommended texts to learn this language. They are all free to read, and a few are open source licensed.


1. Understanding ECMAScript 6 by Nicholas C. Zakas

Understanding ECMAScript 6

Understanding ECMAScript 6 is a guide for the transition between ECMAScript 5 and 6. It is not specific to any JavaScript environment, so it is equally useful to web developers as it is Node.js developers.

This book is targeted at intermediate-to-advanced JavaScript developers programming for a browser or Node.js environment who want to learn about the latest developments in the language.

Each of this book’s thirteen chapters covers a different aspect of ECMAScript 6.

Readers learn about:

  • All of the changes to the language since ECMAScript 5.
  • How the new class syntax relates to more familiar JavaScript concepts.
  • Why iterators and generators are useful.
  • How arrow functions are differ from regular functions.
  • Additional options for storing data using sets, maps, and more.
  • The power of inheriting from native types.
  • Why people are so excited about promises for asynchronous programming.
  • How modules will change the way you organize code.

The book is published under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported (CC BY-NC-ND 3.0) license.

Read the book


2. You Don’t Know JS (book series) by Kyle Simpson

ES6 & BeyondThis book teaches you how to:

  • Learn new ES6 syntax that eases the pain points of common programming idioms.
  • Organize code with iterators, generators, modules, and classes.
  • Express async flow control with Promises combined with generators.
  • Use collections to work more efficiently with data in structured ways.
  • Leverage new API helpers, including Array, Object, Math, Number, and String.
  • Extend your program’s capabilities through meta programming.
  • Preview features likely coming to JS beyond ES6.

ES6 & Beyond is part of a series of books examining the core mechanisms of JavaScript.

All books in the series are published under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.

Read the book


3. Standard ECMA-262 ECMAScript 2016 Language Specification by Ecma International

ECMAScript Language SpecificationThis Standard defines the ECMAScript 2019 general-purpose programming language.

ECMAScript is based on several originating technologies, the most well-known being JavaScript (Netscape) and JScript (Microsoft). The language was invented by Brendan Eich at Netscape and first appeared in that company’s Navigator 2.0 browser. It has appeared in all subsequent browsers from Netscape and in all browsers from Microsoft starting with Internet Explorer 3.0.

The book is released under an open source license.

Read the book


Next page: Page 2 – Speaking JavaScript and more books

Pages in this article:
Page 1 – Understanding ECMAScript 6 and more books
Page 2 – Speaking JavaScript and more books


All books in this series:

Free Programming Books
JavaGeneral-purpose, concurrent, class-based, object-oriented, high-level language
CGeneral-purpose, procedural, portable, high-level language
PythonGeneral-purpose, structured, powerful language
C++General-purpose, portable, free-form, multi-paradigm language
C#Combines the power and flexibility of C++ with the simplicity of Visual Basic
JavaScriptInterpreted, prototype-based, scripting language
PHPPHP has been at the helm of the web for many years
HTMLHyperText Markup Language
SQLAccess and manipulate data held in a relational database management system
RubyGeneral purpose, scripting, structured, flexible, fully object-oriented language
AssemblyAs close to writing machine code without writing in pure hexadecimal
SwiftPowerful and intuitive general-purpose programming language
GroovyPowerful, optionally typed and dynamic language
GoCompiled, statically typed programming language
PascalImperative and procedural language designed in the late 1960s
PerlHigh-level, general-purpose, interpreted, scripting, dynamic language
RDe facto standard among statisticians and data analysts
COBOLCommon Business-Oriented Language
ScalaModern, object-functional, multi-paradigm, Java-based language
FortranThe first high-level language, using the first compiler
ScratchVisual programming language designed for 8-16 year-old children
LuaDesigned as an embeddable scripting language
LogoDialect of Lisp that features interactivity, modularity, extensibility
RustIdeal for systems, embedded, and other performance critical code
LispUnique features - excellent to study programming constructs
AdaALGOL-like programming language, extended from Pascal and other languages
HaskellStandardized, general-purpose, polymorphically, statically typed language
SchemeA general-purpose, functional language descended from Lisp and Algol
PrologA general purpose, declarative, logic programming language
ForthImperative stack-based programming language
ClojureDialect of the Lisp programming language
JuliaHigh-level, high-performance language for technical computing
AwkVersatile language designed for pattern scanning and processing language
CoffeeScriptTranscompiles into JavaScript inspired by Ruby, Python and Haskell
BASICBeginner’s All-purpose Symbolic Instruction Code
ErlangGeneral-purpose, concurrent, declarative, functional language
VimLPowerful scripting language of the Vim editor
OCamlThe main implementation of the Caml language
ECMAScriptBest known as the language embedded in web browsers
BashShell and command language; popular both as a shell and a scripting language
LaTeXProfessional document preparation system and document markup language
TeXMarkup and programming language - create professional quality typeset text
ArduinoInexpensive, flexible, open source microcontroller platform
TypeScriptStrict syntactical superset of JavaScript adding optional static typing
ElixirRelatively new functional language running on the Erlang virtual machine
F#Uses functional, imperative, and object-oriented programming methods
TclDynamic language based on concepts of Lisp, C, and Unix shells
FactorDynamic stack-based programming language
EiffelObject-oriented language designed by Bertrand Meyer
AgdaDependently typed functional language based on intuitionistic Type Theory
IconWide variety of features for processing and presenting symbolic data
XMLRules for defining semantic tags describing structure ad meaning
ValaObject-oriented language, syntactically similar to C#
Standard MLGeneral-purpose functional language characterized as "Lisp with types"
DGeneral-purpose systems programming language with a C-like syntax
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