jQuery: Novice to Ninja Paperback – Mar 10 2010
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Top Customer Reviews
I rate this book average, I would still recommend you get a copy to get you going with JQuery. If you're a hacker you can pick-up other things once the basics are mastered.
I did not expect the book to function well as a reference (it has no value as a reference, that I'm certain) but I wanted it as a tutorial but the shear bulk of nauseatingly useless text makes that a miserable experience. After only owning it for a few weeks I decided to give it to a web designer because the book does have a lot of pictures and does show a few interesting jQuery UI features. This awareness of the tools is important for aspiring designers... So as a picture book illustrating current web capabilities it had some redeeming value.
In conclusion if you are a professional programmer this is not the book for you. As a hobby programmer looking to increase your design awareness and give you a gentile introduction to the shallow end of the pool, maybe it's okay.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
It seems that this book is selling fast, as of this writing it says 1 to 4 months shipping time! Also, I'm not sure why Sitepoint books tend to have such a small discount on Amazon. Sitepoint likes to get people to buy books direct from them. Not sure why. It seems to be available faster on their web site. I have an eBook version. As of this writing, they are running a 5-for-1 eBook promotion on the Sitepoint web site. But, I got mine through my subscription to Safari Books Online, which I highly recommend.
If you are just starting, or even just want a reference for the jQuery basics, this book is the one to have.
Extremely readable, with excellent samples that are clearly explained.
There is no comparison between this and, for example, Learning jQuery 1.3 (after reading, I still didn't get it).
Note: to get the source code, go to sitepoint ([...]) and enter your email address as if you'd ordered from their site. They won't find a match so will ask you to type in the last word from one of the chapters, then they'll email you a link to download the source.
The book gets you excited over all the great things you can do with jQuery but the title contains a bit of truth that should serve as a warning.
The minimum skill level is you must be a novice NOT a rank beginner with jQuery. Some minimum skill, knowledge is expected. You should also know something about CSS. If you are and old CSS hand, that alone should get you by just fine.
If you understand CSS your journey through this book will be much easier.
Omissions and a few errors produced a lot of head scratching. These omissions would probably not be noticed by someone who is used to CSS. The book builds on previous concepts so if you do not understand something it is necessary to stop and do research until you do, or at least feel you sort of get it, or the confusion will only grow.
Snippets were the biggest problem. It was not clear were to put the snippets, new code was not well differentiated from code that was already there previously.
I myself, like to go out to lunch, nursing a cup and sit somewhere away from home distractions to read and learn but the learning curve became very steep due to omissions and some errors. I found it necessary to go home and look at the downloaded code or reported errata to find the missing info. Sometimes it was not clear where to put a code snippet, sometimes there were errors. In the chapter on animation queue - A difficult chapter for me - there was this comment that said a particular animation would NOT run but I could not see why it would not run and finally had to concede that this comment was in error, and sure enough the author confirmed it when I submitted it as a possible error.
Normally I read through a book at about 100-200 pages an hour, but this book had me re-reading to make sense of things so much that I would say my average reading rate was down to six pages an hour.
The good thing is that the book IS WORTH THE CONFUSION. Once I started actually USING the book for doing sites everything started falling into place in my mind. This also paved the way for me when I started out with applying CSS to my site. I found out how fun and cool CSS was because jQuery selectors uses CSS style selector syntax. Selectors is a fundamental part of both and by learning one will greatly help you in learning the other. %90 of it is identical.
This book remains on my shelf as a frequent reference, and I am in the process of reading it again, this time being able to understand it a lot more.
So, when reading this book as your first exposure to jQuery and are only a novice to CSS I recommend that you do your reading with a computer handy. Do NOT give up!
And by all means, practice these things.
This enjoyable read provides lots of code snippets that show you how to use jQuery to manipulate the browser DOM, inserting, adding or animating elements. Want to use Ajax? That's also in here. The book also covers: form and tree construction; images and slideshows; menus, tabbing and tooltips. In short everything you need to build a slick web 2.0 like website.
The code samples available on the web site for the book provide you an easy way to experiment with changing calls to see what the result look like, for example the section on animations and easing. The illustrations are excellent and help in understanding the examples and explanations.
This is the book for you if you want to transform a web site with dynamic responses and customizations. I recommend it highly.
You're required to submit a request for the code to be sent to you, but it never arrives. (I have a Gmail account and I checked my Spam)
Their support site has a FAQ section that states:
"I requested the code archive and didn't receive any email. What now?
The email should arrive within 10 minutes. If it has not arrived by then, check your spam filter to see if the email was filtered. You can try requesting the code archive again with a different email address, if you have one."
What a PITA... Can't they just post the code like WROX or Apress?
Had I known this before hand, I would have gotten a different book on jQuery, which is my advice.