Alex MacCaw has done a great job with just 60 pages of room to address the subject. I was initially turned off by CoffeeScript as a language due to a similarity to Ruby, a language that regular readers here may recall I find really hard to love. But MacCay’s brief style of explaining sometimes over-discussed subjects found me changing my mind of CoffeeScript. While I still find some aspects infuriating, like white space that ‘matters’, this book has ultimately won me over, in particular his explanation of CoffeeScript’s conversion of equality operators (‘==’ and ‘!=’) to strict equality operators (‘===’ and ‘!==’). Likewise, his writing is sprinkled with Monty Python-ish examples, something I’ve always enjoyed while reading much denser examples in huge Python tomes. In this way he reminds the reader that CoffeeScript owes quite a bit syntactically to Python as well as Ruby.
I can’t say that my opinion is without criticism though; while MacCaw’s writing is refreshingly succinct, I feel like he could discuss some things a little more fully, such as installing CoffeeScript and especially mixins, a subject that I’m still trying to wrap my brain around. This is a minor gripe though, since this is meant to be a brief book.
All in all, I’ll heartily recommend “The Little Book on CoffeeScript”. It’s a pleasant read that an intermediate user can breeze through in a sitting and use as a launchpad for further explorations, once you’ve learned how interesting CoffeeScript can be.