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jQuery: Novice to Ninja Paperback – Mar 10 2010

3.3 out of 5 stars 3 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 300 pages
  • Publisher: SitePoint; 1 edition (March 10 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0980576857
  • ISBN-13: 978-0980576856
  • Product Dimensions: 20.3 x 2.4 x 25.4 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 635 g
  • Average Customer Review: 3.3 out of 5 stars 3 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #401,175 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product Description

About the Author

Sporting a Masters in Information Technology and a lifetime of experience on the "web of hard knocks", Earle Castledine (Mr Speaker) holds an interest in everything to do with computers. A Senior Systems Analyst and JavaScript expert - he is equally happy in the muddy pits of .NET code as in the fluffy fields of client-side interaction development. Co-creator of the client-side opus TurnTubelis, Earle recognizes the Internet not as a lubricant for social change, but as a vehicle for unleashing frivolous ECMAScript gadgets and interesting time-wasting technologies.

Craig Sharkie's intricate knowledge of best-practice JavaScript is apparent in his writing. He began his jQuery journey as a Fine Arts graduate turned programmer, and has successfully worked with some of the Web's biggest names. Craig discovered JavaScript in 1995 and has been an evangelist for the "good parts" since then. This is your chance to benefit from Craig's extensive experience.

Customer Reviews

3.3 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
JQuery Novice to Ninja is probably one of the best written and designed books out there for novice jQuery users. I had purchased other software and programming books and quickly became confused and frustrated. However, this book is well worth the money; it covers enough information for anyone wanting to use jQuery in their websites; the resources as well as the examples used are up-to-date which is often not the case with other programming/software books. I purchased this book after reading the reviews from others who had purchased it from the site; they were right. Anyone who would like to use jQuery in their websites should have this book on their bookshelf.
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By DevGuy on Sept. 17 2011
Format: Paperback
Book starts off with simple ideas to get you going. What I don't like about the book is that it tends to gloss over some details leaving you to figure out what some of the syntax means. This doesn't happen often, but when it does it's annoying.

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 am a C++ developer with over 10 years experience, I've hacked with ruby on rails and have not worked much with CSS or javascript. If you do a lot of coding with CSS & Javascript, then I am sure you will pick up things really quickly with JQuery.
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Format: Paperback
My work is mostly on the server side and with the increasingly dynamic roll of pages I need to produce services but also show that they work. So I've been drawn into, what I've surprisingly found to be the fun world of JavaScript. I've read K&Rs ANSI C, Stroustrup's C++ book, Larry Wall's Perl, JavaScript the Good parts (An excellent book btw)... Now I was not expecting this book to be on par with those but nor was I prepared for what I found.

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.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) HASH(0x9d658a14) out of 5 stars 76 reviews
60 of 61 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x9d6846e4) out of 5 stars Best book to start with April 10 2010
By A. DiMauro - Published on
Format: Paperback
I have to agree with other reviews, this is an excellent book to start learning jQuery. Not that there aren't other excellent jQuery books, but the best ones out there are getting a little dated. If you are just starting, not only is this book easy to read and understand, with lots of great examples, but it's also up to date with jQuery version 1.4.

They start with an already functional html site, and then add jQuery to it to spice it up. For all new web developers out there, this is the way to do it! JavaScript/jQuery should be put in last only after you have a functional site, for those people without JavaScript support (especially screen readers for the blind). This book follows best-practices and I commend them for it. It's the book I wish I had when I first tried to learn jQuery. Get it. You won't be disappointed.

It's so easy to 'write' (i.e. copy/paste) bad JavaScript, as the web has been plagued with for so many years. But, as frameworks like jQuery start to gain tremendous popularity, that trend is changing. There really is no sense in 'reinventing the wheel'. Use jQuery, or another framework. What I like about jQuery is that it makes so many things easy, and leverages CSS syntax so you have less to learn.

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.
28 of 28 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x9d684738) out of 5 stars One of the best Pocket References I've read! Feb. 7 2011
By Jim Schubert - Published on
Format: Paperback
I've enjoyed previous books by David Flanagan and decided to read jQuery Pocket Reference. I thought I would quickly skim through the chapters because I considered myself fairly proficient in jQuery. After the first chapter and Flanagan's explanations of jQuery's method, object, and function ('a' versus 'the'), I decided to read more in-depth. I'm glad, because this is one of the best books I've read in O'Reilly's Pocket Reference library. I was surprised to have found a one which has a perfect balance between API, examples, and explanation.

For developers who want to learn jQuery, you will be able to learn nearly all you need to get started from this book. When I first heard about jQuery, I purchased a much larger book, which ended up being about 80% reprinting the API on If you're like me, and you prefer insight, hints, and gotchas which encourage you to write some code, then this book is perfect for you.

For developers familiar with jQuery, you may learn a little from this book. Flanagan covers a lot of overloads to common jQuery functions. Some of them, I never knew existed. The recent release of jQuery 1.5 has actually added more functionality than what is covered in this book.

The only thing I found a little odd about this book is how the jQuery Selectors chapter was at the end of the book. Considering jQuery is a framework for querying the DOM, using selectors, I would expect that content to be the first covered. On the other hand, as a reference, you may expect the most used content at the end of the book. Luckily, Flanagan knows what he's doing and tells you to review the Selectors chapter if you're rusty or unfamiliar.
27 of 28 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x9d684b70) out of 5 stars The superior jquery intro book April 6 2010
By timazon - Published on
Format: Paperback
I have several jQuery books, but this is the one that truly helped me understand how everything works.
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.
29 of 32 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x9d684f30) out of 5 stars Great for learning but not for reading at lunch Aug. 9 2010
By Garry L. Freemyer - Published on
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
If you are a total rank beginner to jQuery and do not understand CSS that well this book is like a ride that starts out smoothly gets but is missing a few safety straps, so you flop around in confusion, but if you can endure the confusion you will finally GET it, and the ride will be worth it. Persevere and you will end up being a ninja.

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.
15 of 15 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x9d684edc) out of 5 stars Kindle Edition June 13 2011
By Steven H. Clason - Published on
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This review pertains to the Kindle Edition.

First, had Amazon or the publisher indicated that this was included as a chapter in Flanagan's recently published JavaScript: The Definitive Guide: Activate Your Web Pages, I wouldn't have bought it--but I downloaded both at the same time and didn't find out until a couple days later. That's why I gave the book a 4-start rating rather than 5. If you are a DTB user then it makes sense to have both because you're unlikely to want to carry around an 1100 page volume as a quick reference, but for a Kindle user with full text search available buying this is a waste of money if you are going to buy the other. That, in fact is my recommendation: buy the larger book and park it on your development workstation.

That said, this is a fine piece of work. Like many developers, I started using a JavaScript library for a particular project and settled on jQuery because it provided the features I needed at the time. I came to understand its value and used in increasingly, but always with a familiarity constrained by the requirements of my initial use. My skills grew as I used it, but slowly.

So, I really welcomed and valued the first 2/3 (or so) of Flanagan's book (or chapter), which is a narrative description of the library's features, with examples and detailed explanations of what's going on behind the scenes. Writing that sort of narrative about a programming language is hard, and Flanagan's only peer for that, in my opinion, is Friedl of Mastering Regular Expressions (also an O'Reilly book), and he succeeded here well enough that a person can actually read the whole thing with considerable understanding, thereby gaining a better overview of the library than can be had by searching out features when we bump up against something we don't know how to do. The last 1/3 of the book is a reference section: concise, simple, and well-organized, just what you need when you forget a particular syntax.

The book was carefully adapted to electronic viewing. Code is displayed in a fixed space font to differentiate it from the surrounding text, but the font has the same height and color as the text and so is easy to read. Sidebars are presented with a slightly smaller, but still easily readable font, as a distinct block of text embedded with the main text. This, and the larger work from which it was extracted, are the best examples of technical books adapted to e-readers I have seen, so O'Reilly deserves considerable credit for their success in this format.

The book was written for jQuery version 1.4 and the current version is 1.6.1 (as of today), and quite a bit has been added to jQuery. I knew that before I bought the book and decided the reference retained enough value to be worthwhile even though the version had been superseded. You should bear that in mind, though.