jQuery in Action, Second Edition Paperback – Jul 8 2010
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About the Author
Bear Bibeault has been working in the area of web applications since the mid-90s, getting started with beta versions of JSP and Servlets. He is a senior moderator at the popular JavaRanch site, and has contributed articles to that site's JavaRanch Journal. He also co-authored two other Manning books: Ajax in Practice and Prototype and Scriptaculous in Action. Bear works and resides in Austin, TX.
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Top Customer Reviews
By the time I was finished reading the book, I knew enough about jQuery to tackle any challenges related to client-side scripting that I needed to tackle for my project.
The book does a solid review of the core jQuery library covering anything I felt I needed to know about jQuery to be autonomous with the library and then some.
Everything is explained clearly and in enough details to get a firm grasp about the nuances of the covered APIs.
All the API functions are detailed using a full function specification with complete coverage of the function behavior, parameters and return values.
Note: The second part of the book (about jQuery UI) was of lesser interest to me so I only skimed through it, but it looked good too. This review pertain to the first part of the book covering the jQuery core library however.
I'll add that jQuery itself is more powerful than I had first thought - hats off to the creator of jQuery! Thank you for creating such a fantastic tool. And to the jQuery UI Team - fantastic work as well.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
THE BAD: Too few examples. Often complex commands are introduced without even an example to illustrate the syntax.
(FOR EXAMPLE, early on when selectors are discussed, they introduce a selector that requires quotes. That selector itself must be contained in quotes. They never show how the quotes within quotes syntax is handled).
In other places there is a surfeit of unnecessary technical material. The chapter on events, for example, starts off with long sections on the DOM event model and cross browser issues without a HINT that those issues aren't material to the JQuery user (that's the point! JQuery handles that stuff so I don't need to know).
Stylistically, these guys seem to be inspired either by ad copy (there is a ridiculous excess of exclamations!) or by programming blogs. They have the a fondness for jargon and dogma that seems to be the morass of the self-educated technophile. Many pages are wasted with examples of How HORRIBLE it was in the days before jQuery. In some sections (like the beginning of the AJAX section) they elaborate on the complexities of browser differences for AJAX calls. One of the most complicated sections in the book, only to show that you really don't need to know any of that stuff thanks to The Miracle of jQuery! (!))
Marginalizing that gift because of a distaste for the major browser (like it or not) just is not helpful. I'm not saying they deny the existence of IE. They just don't make it a focus at any point.
But in any event, the book should decide if it wants to be a reference, a tutorial, or both. I just think it's not a great introduction to a great subject. And I know it's a lousy reference, because I tried to go back to some chapters to look up syntax. Hard to find. Hard to read. And few examples.
1. I was new to JQuery, and they did a fantastic job of explaining it in very simple terms, without muddling it with unwanted details (like you try to pick up a new technology and wham! - you're hit with a dozen other related technologies that you don't care about right now)
2. Each chapter builds on the previous one.
4. The examples are great. Where possible, the authors talk about real world situations.
One thing I'd improve on
My advice: If you are a novice with JQuery, but this book.
The second thing to rate about a book is whether it sits on the shelf after you have read it, or whether it is still useful. While not organized as a reference, I find myself frequently going back to the book. I can usually find what I am looking for in seconds, and it is often more helpful than the jQuery website.
I just switched to jQuery Novice to Ninja because I couldn't take it anymore. It's way more concrete using a fictitious website as a foundation for jQuery and great code examples along the way.
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