I started using jQuery a few weeks ago and immediately saw that it would become an indispensable part of my toolkit. Javascript development has always been a tedious and aggravating exercise for me, but with jQuery it has become a real joy. The api lets you accomplish big things in a concise way. The online documentation is very good, for both jQuery and jQuery UI, so you don’t have to waste a lot of time guessing how to accomplish your tasks. DOM traversal and manipulation is a breeze. There is a wide range of plugins available, and the ones I’ve tried have been well documented and work well.

The api is pretty large, which is why I bought this book. I was hoping to get a better overview than I could get by reading brief tutorials and the reference material. The book definitely delivers, and more.

The book starts with a lengthy tutorial on jQuery selectors. The selectors are based on css selectors, extended with navigational and filtering selectors - for example “#foo:next” will select the node following the node that has id ‘foo’. Using css selectors was a brilliant choice, because it more closely models the way we think about web pages.

The book then has chapters on DOM manipulation, AJAX, table handling, forms, UI effects, etc. Each chapter has complete examples (also downloadable from the publisher’s site), significant enough to be useful as models for one’s own work. The examples work up to a large bookstore example, developed over 3 chapters. The final version of the bookstore shows off most of the features and capabilities of jQuery.

Probably the biggest benefit of this book is that it shows how to use jQuery to cleanly separate content, style, and behavior. Of course, we all think that we do this already, but the examples in this book take that separation to a new level. The html is absolutely clean - no event hooks, relatively few class attributes, and id attribues mostly for identifying large structural elements. The css is minimal and minimally repetitive. The javascript is cleanly separated into style-based and behavior-based code.

I’ve begun adopting this approach in my own work, and it is already making a big difference. And of course this approach makes it possible for a web designer and a developer to collaborate most effectively.

You will benefit from this book even if you are already somewhat familiar with jQuery. Be sure to get the one reviewed here - there is an older version that covers jQuery 1.2, but there are significant differences betweeen version 1.2 and 1.3.



Book cover

Metadata Info

  • Title: Learning Jquery 1.3
  • Author: Karl Swedberg
  • Published: 2009
  • ISBN: 1847196705
  • Buy: Amazon search
  • Check out: Seattle library
  • Rating: 5.0 stars