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jQuery in Action, Second Edition Paperback – Jul 8 2010

3.3 out of 5 stars 4 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 475 pages
  • Publisher: Manning Publications; 2 edition (July 8 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1935182323
  • ISBN-13: 978-1935182320
  • Product Dimensions: 18.7 x 2.6 x 23.5 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 798 g
  • Average Customer Review: 3.2 out of 5 stars 4 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #272,425 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product Description

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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Customer Reviews

3.3 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I read this book with some knowledge of Javascript and very little knowledge of jQuery.

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.

Tangeant concepts needed to understand how the jQuery API works (cross-browser specific behavior, various standards, some less obvious Javascript features, etc) are also covered along with best practices when coding with jQuery and html/Javascript in general.

Readers that don't know any Javascript at all might be hard pressed to follow (maybe read a couple of Javascript tutorials first at the very least), but for those who are familiar with Javascript and desirous to know more about jQuery will find that this book really is a complete package that covers everything you need to know to autonomously develop your own complex feature-rich jQuery based client-side code.

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.
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Format: Paperback
I read this book cover to cover - it's more than a reference, it takes the reader through the intricacies of the jQuery (and jQuery UI) libraries. The narration regarding the examples is excellent.. some of the other books I glanced at before choosing this title were full of examples that were not actually explained very well. I'm not sure this book is for beginners, or for those looking for 'cookie cutter' scripts to drop into their pages, but more for those who really want to understand what's happening, of course leading to innovative new functionality.

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.
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I am not entirely convinced the author is a competent programmer. The explanations of code seem clear when reading the book, but the downloaded tutorials do not seem to work. When trying to run the tutorials the page hangs up on jQuery methods, which is really shoddy for a book looking to teach that language.
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I'm learning JQuery because I don't want to learn how to program Javascript. This book hasn't shown me much so far I would use on my website nor does it explain things in a way where it is easy to apply the scripts to a website. I think it is probably a very good book for those people who already know Javascript, but it is definitely not a shortcut book. Not fun. Very dry. I'm through chapter 6 in this book already and I still haven't found anything I would ever use in a website. I think the JQuery Ninja book looks a lot better and I will probably end up trying it next. I just wish I had bought it first and not wasted my time with this one.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 3.9 out of 5 stars 45 reviews
137 of 167 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Frustratingly few examples Sept. 7 2010
By Max Rockbin - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
These comments (and the star rating) are very specifically from the point of view of someone who wants to add some interactivity and AJAX to web pages using the most straightforward efficient method, which is with JQuery.

THE GOOD: These guys absolutely know JQuery and JavaScript. They are fluent experts and authorities. They know the minute details and the inner guts. Also, they put a great deal of effort into this book. They built some good downloadable learning tools for the early sections and thought about the organization of the material.

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).

The examples that are included are often not simple or straightforward. To illustrate AJAX their example gratuitously includes a custom plugin. I'd much rather have more examples of variations of the AJAX calls in the AJAX section instead of one long clunky example that illustrates only limited cases of the various jQuery Ajax methods. In several cases, The most complex JQuery method with more than a dozen possible parameters is simply listed with the parameters barely explained with no examples at all. Maybe if I was a professional JavaScript programmer a lot of the left out stuff would be trivial or obvious. But it wasn't for me.

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! (!))

INTERNET EXPLORER: As far as these guys are concerned, Internet Explorer is a bastard stepchild marginal fringe case. They seem embarrassed and appalled that they have to mention it within their pristine pages. OK. They don't like it. But more than half the browsers out there are IE and IE 8 continues to have its own quirks and not follow standards. DEAL WITH IT. JQuery itself has very much code dedicated to sorting out IE issues. It would be nice if the authors would hit that issue head on. A simple list of the various things you can do with JQuery that fix previous browser difficulties that required different code (CSS properties or JavaScript DOM issues) would be nice. Dealing with Internet Explorer hassles (and cross browser hassles in general) is one of the great gifts 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.

FIREBUG: The authors wait till quite late in the book and then treat it as a sort of aside. Firebug is THE javascript debugger for Firefox. The authors (in their brief aside) acknowledge that no one should be writing anything in JavaScript (and so, in jQuery) without using a debugger. Firebug is a fantastic learning tool for jQuery and makes the downloadable "lab" pages the authors provide more or less unnecessary. Since the authors clearly use Firebug themselves and acknowledge how useful and important it is, why do they barely give it a mention? I bet they used it when they were learning jQuery.

I don't like giving a book like this which clearly shows the earmarks of expertise and hard work a negative review. It may be the best JQuery book out there (I haven't read any others yet), but this book seriously needs some editing. Either that or I am simply the wrong audience. I do believe a professional JavaScript programmer would get more out of this than I did.
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.
19 of 21 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars JQuery explained in simple terms Aug. 9 2010
By NerdsRUs - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
Here's why I gave this book a 5-star rating

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.
3. When you get to Events, they've done a fantastic job of explaining the inner workings of JavaScript in the appendix. This makes understanding JQuery events a lot easier.
4. The examples are great. Where possible, the authors talk about real world situations.

One thing I'd improve on

1. Some topics are discussed too much in detail. For a beginner wanting to get his/her hands dirty with code, there's way too much covered. This is good if someone wants to build a rich client interface application, but an overkill when a majority of us are looking to enhance our website and cut down on javascript code. But again, there's not one book that can satisfy everyone, and I'll take the extra details anytime, than a poorly written book.

My advice: If you are a novice with JQuery, but this book.
12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Not much action July 4 2011
By Benjamin M - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
With the title jQuery in Action, you'd think it'd be a hands on learning experience 'in action'. Not so, I'm on page 66 and I've seen disconnected snippets of code but no real tutorial or project. I've probably written less than 20 of these random snippets. A lot of theory but not much practice (read 'action'). I'm struggling to get through all the wordy explanations of what jQuery can do, methods, arguments and so on. A great example of a programming book that really is hands on and in action is Ruby on Rails 3 Tutorial for instance. The latter takes you through a number of projects from start to finish and it extracts the theory from the practice.

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.
8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent intro to jQuery, good reference July 10 2011
By Joel Tesler - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I've been using JavaScript for years, and have worked with other JavaScript libraries, but needed to learn jQuery. After reading this book, I found jQuery intuitive, and easy to work with. I can't advise how it would work for someone less comfortable with JavaScript.

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.
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Read it with a computer close by May 27 2011
By StewShack.com - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
Read a little, code a little. That was my experience. I caught myself saying, "Wow, I want to try that" on almost every page. If you don't feel like writing your own code, the book authors provide samples that you can download from manning.com/jQueryinActionSecondEdition. This was a great book to learn jQuery. Even though while I'm writing this review, jQuery has come out with a new version, the book's content is still relevant.