Learning jQuery

4 comments | Posted: 5 August 07 in Books, by Nathan Smith

Learning jQuery I had been looking forward to this book ever since hearing it was in the writing process. Learning jQuery was co-written by Jonathan Chaffer and Karl Swedberg. Jonathan is a well known code contributor to the Drupal CMS project. Karl is best known for the blog which bears the same name as this book – learningjquery.com. Initially a 1-book project, it became so comprehensive that the publishers decided to do a second reference book.

Karl was an English teacher in a previous life, and keeps a semi-regular blog called English Rules. I mention that simply to say that his literary wit shines through in this book. For a code related book, it is quite entertaining. From the readability of his writing, to the quotations he uses in code examples, it all flows together very nicely. The code examples are top-notch, which is surely a reflection of the authors’ proficiency, Jonathan being a CTO at his day job.

The first half of the book is done in tutorial style, explaining how the $(document).ready() function works, adding event handlers to various elements, Ajax, JSON, XML, and creating animations. The second part contains several examples of versatile scripts: table data manipulation, enhancing functional forms, rotating image shufflers, using and creating plugins.

Appendix A lists many helpful blogs and sites on HTML, CSS and XPath resources. It also gives a tip of the hat to server-side frameworks which have adopted jQuery as their library of choice, including Drupal, Textpattern and WordPress. Incidentally, other popular sites like Digg also make use of it.

Appendix B lists helpful tools for Firefox, Internet Explorer and Safari. As a JavaScript developer, you should probably be developing in Firefox anyway, in which case be sure to get Firebug and the Web Developer extension. Appendix C explains some more advanced JS concepts such as variable scoping, nesting functions, closers, and memory leak precautions.

This book is a great resource for those who use jQuery. It has already got me thinking of how to build an accessible JSON powered photo gallery with jQuery and Textpattern, but that will an article unto itself (once I get around to it). I am already anticipating the next book, which promises to take more of an encyclopedia approach. Needless to say, if you’re looking to get into jQuery, then Learning jQuery is a great place to start!

Discuss This Topic

  1. 1 bryan

    i have been reading this book for the past week and it has really taught me alot. i have started retrofitting old sites with jQuery code as well as developing it in to my new sites as well. Things are looking great and i personally believe that jQuery is a thousand times better than the alternatives that I have tried.

  2. 2 ignite

    Thanks for bringing this to my attention nathan, I need to pick up copy asap!

  3. 3 Okná

    I just bought book from amazon. I hope so that is good book. I tried Drupal CMS but not very satisfied.

  4. 4 Tim Bedanr

    I just started with Jquery for the first time in building http://www.visitoasis.org. For anyone who knows how to use the DOM, you can do lot without much knowledge. I was able to do a lot with plugins (thank you Cody) and the other stuff I was able to Google.

    I am very much going to use Textpattern and Jquery as my development tools for web sites.


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