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Beginning JavaScript and CSS Development with jQuery [Paperback]

Richard York
3.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
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Book Description

May 5 2009 0470227796 978-0470227794

This book covers the jQuery JavaScript framework and the jQuery UI JavaScript framework to get more results more quickly out of JavaScript programming. I cover each method exposed by jQuery’s API, which contains methods to make common, redundant tasks go much more quickly in less code. I also cover how jQuery eliminates certain cross-browser, cross-platform development headaches like the event model; not only does it eliminate these headaches, but it also makes it easier to work with events by reducing the amount of code that you need to write to attach events. It even gives you the ability to simulate events.

You should have a basic understanding of JavaScript. I review some basic JavaScript programming concepts, such as the Event API, but I do not go into great detail about the JavaScript language itself. You’ll want to have at least a basic grasp of the Document Object Model, or DOM, and basic JavaScript programming syntax. Additionally, you’ll need to know your way around CSS and HTML, since knowledge of those technologies is also assumed.

You’ll see how you can leverage the jQuery UI library to make graphically driven UI widgets. jQuery gives you the ability to break content up among multiple tabs in the same page. You have the ability to customize the look and feel of the tabs, and even to create a polished look and feel by providing different effects that come in when you mouse over tabs and click on them. Some of the UI elements and techniques include:

  • make any element draggable with the mouse
  • drag-and-drop user interfaces
  • lists that are sortable via drag-and-drop
  • re-size elements on a page using the mouse
  • entering a date into a field using a nice, accessible JavaScript-driven calendar that pops up when you click on an input field
  • custom pop-up dialogues that are like virtual pop-up windows
  • a graphical slider bar, similar to your media player’s volume control

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Product Description

From the Back Cover

jQuery allows you to do more in the world of dynamic web applications, with less code and fewer errors. It reduces the amount of JavaScript programming to only a few lines of code while making your JavaScript more intuitive and attractive to work with. At the same time, jQuery makes it easier to manipulate CSS from JavaScript by allowing you to set style for one or many elements at once.

With this unique, project-oriented book, author Richard York teaches even the most novice of JavaScript users how to quickly get started utilizing the JavaScript jQuery Library to decrease the amount of code that needs to be written and tested. A four-color code syntax highlighting system provides a visual reinforcement and allows you to see the nuts and bolts that comprise each line and section of code. With this helpful guide and hands-on exercises, you'll be able to put jQuery to work for you and avoid having to write code from scratch.

What you will learn from this book

  • How to install and test jQuery
  • Techniques to manipulate content and attributes

  • Ways to filter and map a selection or an array

  • The difference between GET and POST

  • How to easily show, hide, slide, and fade elements with smooth animations and transitions

  • Good practice for jQuery plugin development

  • Methods for making elements draggable

  • Ways to customize sortable lists

  • How to implement and localize a datepicker

Who this book is for

This book is for web designers eager to do more with their web-based applications, but who do not necessarily have much JavaScript experience. Some basic knowledge of XHTML and CSS is necessary.

Wrox Beginning guides are crafted to make learning programming languages and technologies easier than you think, providing a structured, tutorial format that will guide you through all the techniques involved.

About the Author

Richard York (Indianapolis, IN) is a web application developer. He wrote his first book, Beginning CSS: Cascading Sheets for Web Design, with Wrox in 2004 following that success with the 2nd edition in 2007. Richard began his web development career taking courses at Indiana University–Purdue University Indianapolis. Since college, he has continued a self-imposed curriculum, mastering various technologies used in web development including HTML/XHTML, CSS, JavaScript, PHP, and MySQL. An avid supporter of open source software, he has written an open source webmail application for PHP PEAR and is currently working on an open source PHP library and framework called Hierophant. Richard maintains a personal website at where you can learn more about his professional and personal interests.

Inside This Book (Learn More)
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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index | Back Cover
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Customer Reviews

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Most helpful customer reviews
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Very easy to understand Nov. 10 2009
I was just looking for a comprehensive, easy to follow introduction to jQuery, and this book is just that. Just enough detail and lots of examples with downloadable code to work from. Highly recommended.
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2.0 out of 5 stars Not a Beginners Book April 27 2011
The title states: "Beginning Javascript ..... "

I have never met a beginner who wants to read pages and pages and pages of detailed narrative in order to get to where they want to be. Yet, that is what this book offers. I found myself skipping paragraph after paragraph of detail. I mean who really wants to know the history of the event model ? It is not that it is super difficult, but it is very detailed and very slow to get to the JQuery. Inside the book the author clearly states that in order to follow along you need an understanding of native Javascript in order to follow the JQuery. But hang on, as a *beginner* I want to learn JQuery in order to *avoid* Javascript. Perhaps this thoroughness could be very useful - but it's title states that this is a beginners book already ! What's more you will need to understand CSS and HTML before picking up this book.

When you do get to the JQuery the code is not explained and dissected. It is just presented. I guess, if you know Javascript first then it will make sense. But not to this beginner.

Perhaps this book is great if you want a reference book to check some detail. But as a step by step instruction for beginners this book will present some major hurdles.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 3.8 out of 5 stars  17 reviews
25 of 28 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Excellent tutorial for those new to JQuery May 28 2009
By Colin Brown - Published on
Every so often in computing a language extension or new technology comes along that is the buzz of the development community. JQuery is one of those. Lots of developers are talking about it and using it, even Microsoft are including native support for it in their upcoming Visual Studio 2010 release.

Beginning JavaScript and CSS Development with JQuery is a beautiful full color book from Wrox Press weighing in at just over 500 pages. Richard York assumes that you are already familiar with JavaScript and also CSS and therefore this is not a book for the complete beginner, only a beginner with JQuery.

The book is well laid out with chapters devoted to each of JQuery's main areas, selectors, AJAX, Manipulating the DOM, Event handling etc. etc. with numerous Appendixes that can be used as a quick reference. Each chapter has numerous examples explaining the particular JQuery concepts and constructs being discussed culminating in one big example program at the end of the chapter that brings together everything discussed in that particular chapter finally ending with a quick question exercise to make sure that the keywords and constructs discussed have truly sunk in. This is an excellent way for a beginners book to be constructed as it really hammers home what has been discussed during each chapter.

One major annoyance I have with Richards writing style however is that he comes across as a Mac snob and throughout the book takes snipes at Microsoft and especially Internet Explorer. Whilst some of this may be deserving it is off-putting and a detraction from what is ultimately a good book.

If you can gloss over the snobbishness I would actually recommend this book for beginners of JQuery. The full color screenshots highlight the various examples superbly and Richard does give you a lot of useful information without overwhelming you with every nuance of JQuery.
10 of 12 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Okay, but not what I expected Feb. 24 2010
By Robert Forney - Published on
I am a PHP programmer, but have always stayed away from Javascript after dealing with all the browser issues years ago when I first gave Javascript a try. I have read that Jquery has patched up many of these issues and is a great way to use Javascript without worrying about browser compatibility. I took this to mean that I could learn Jquery and not worry about re-learning JavaScript, but it appears I am wrong and need to still relearn the foundations of JavaScript, at least according to this book.

I purchased this book because the title states it beginning Javascript and css development with Jquery, and the back cover states "This book is for web designers eager to do more with their web-based applications, but who do not necessarily have much JavaScript experience. Some basic knowledge of XHTML and CSS is necessary." Yet in the introduction, on page XX, the author states "You should have a basic understanding of Javascript." This seems to be a contradiction with what is stated on the back of the book and the title.

I decided to give it a read anyway since I bought it and found the examples to be very long. Rather than breaking it down into a few small examples, the "try this" examples are usually very long and you have to also type out all of the HTML. You can download the code, but it would have been nice to have the "try this" example broken down into smaller examples and some skeleton examples where you could just fill in the Jquery in order to get familiar with the code. In addition, I like books which take you through the process of setting up an actual site and allows you to build on your previous code in order to see the progression and Jquery in action. This book is organized more into a concept -> example, without any relation to what you had previously done. At least this is how it seems from a newb to both Jquery and Javascript.

I purchased this book and Jquery cookbook in hopes I could learn with the beginning javascript and css development with Jquery, but it seems I am already looking for a new beginning guide to Jquery. I have also decided to buy a book on basic JavaScript so I can re-learn the basics while learning Jquery. If you are someone who likes to learn while creating a website or by building up on the previous code, this isn't the book for you. If you are an already established JavaScript coder, this book will probably be a breeze for you, and may even be too simplistic.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars No chapters in Kindle version Nov. 11 2011
By Sarah - Published on
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
This book is great for learning jQuery, but unfortunately the Kindle version only is split up between Part I, Part II and then a bunch of appendices. The publisher forgot to list the chapters so it is hard to find the beginning of each chapter or skip to the next one. I would still recommend it, I just hope the publisher fixes this so it is easier to also use the book as a reference.
4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Mediocre and Long Winded Dec 30 2009
By Jaymz Dilworth - Published on
This book does what it promises. It gives an introduction to jQuery, and is clearly targetted at beginners. But it does it in a very mediocre fashion.

Long winded examples, and overly obtuse code examples make it hard to follow. Instead of building on previous examples, the author often creates whole new examples on the next page. I get the feeling he was instructed to pad a 100 page book into a 500 page book. There isn't much insight on why some jQuery methods are better than their traditional JS equivalents, so I'm sometimes stuck thinking, 'why am I learning this'.

Oh, and since every page is printed in color on heavy stock paper, this book is very heavy. Not good if you are lugging it back and forth to learn on your morning commute.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Fairly new to JQuery, good introduction May 16 2011
By S. Barker - Published on
I was fairly new to JQuery when I bought this book, and have to say it has helped me quite a bit for nailing down the syntax of JQuery and specifics for accomplishing various tasks. As another mentioned it would be nice if it could have gone through more of the widgets and possible plugins that are available. But again, nailing down the syntax is really why I bought this book, along with the CSS develpment coverage, and this book came through brilliantly there.

The only other critisism I would have is it is pretty hard to read some of the source code because of the color. I know it is something different and "pretty" but my old tired eyes were straining quite a bit.

I definately recommend this for someone who knodoesn't know JQuery, and wants to learn it.
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