The Meat

This is the page where you get the good stuff — full length tutorials for your learning pleasure. If you’re a vegetarian, just click on that heading up there, and you can edit it to your choice of sustenance.

If this is your first visit here, you might be interested in what to expect before getting your feet wet:

What’s realLifeJS About?

Have you ever read a beginners’ tutorial on Javascript? I’m not necessarily talking about the basic “what’s a variable” stuff here, but about anything aimed at non-professionals wanting to get into the whole web development game. Yes? Then chances are you’ve seen something like this:

  document.write("Hello world!")

Without the advisory comment on top, of course.

Chances are also that you’ve not enjoyed reading it very much.

In my time as client side moderator on, I’ve been helping out lots of people who were working through some or other tutorial they’ve found online and had trouble understanding, or they were stumped on some exercise the tutorial provided — and something that ran like a golden thread through all of their … threads was that they posted really bad code.

I’m not talking about your run-of-the-mill “okay, a beginner wrote this, cut them some slack” kind of bad, but about a “whoever wrote this tutorial either did so 15 years ago, or they aren’t really getting the stuff themselves” level of ineptitude in the material those poor guys were learning from. Javascript has had a bumpy childhood, and it just shows in beginners’ tutorials all over the web.

So, what’s my agenda here? In my forum work, I got a bunch of people who were stumbling into Javascript on the wrong foot onto the right track — but those were only the ones actively seeking out help. realLifeJS is about providing actually helpful tutorials to all people eager to learn the ropes of modern Javascript.

What’s my idea of an “actually helpful tutorial”? There are several things: One that uses modern code that could actually be used in real life. One that doesn’t show bad practices in code examples, just to dumb it down enough. One that enables you to write code that won’t get you laughed at (by the occasional passer-by having a look through the source) or cursed at (by the developer hired to make some changes later on). One that gives you example code you can run or modify right then and there. One that shows you full example pages, to see how your scripts fit in with all the other client side stuff. One that doesn’t force you to hit a new page after every paragraph, just to be able show you more ads. One that teaches you concepts instead of dishing out copy-pasta. One that doesn’t put you to sleep.

realLifeJS is very much a work in progress and will be updated with new material regularly. If you have any questions or feedback, I will be happy to read them at

And before you jump right in, please be aware that there might be some strong language.