Learning jQuery

Learning jQuery


As a longtime jQuery user I was excited to take some time to read and review two new jQuery books. Packt Publishing provided me free copies of Learning jQuery and the jQuery Reference Guide. I spent most of October reading through them and making the most of my first book review experience. In short, these are both excellent books and getting them together will benefit a developer of any skill level. This review will focus on the books, but is equally a review of the jQuery javascript framework.

As a Visual Foxpro developer using the West Wind Web Connection server framework, I was in need of a client side framework to both reduce my work load and make my applications more browser agnostic. One of the most important aspects of this was that the client side framework has to be backend agnostic. I tried plain ole’ javascript (POJ), Mootools, prototype, and a few of the ajax only frameworks on Sourceforge at the time. None of them made any sense to me as a windows developer. I was in need of a tab control one day for a project and it was jQuery and its wealth of plugins to the rescue. As I started writing my own jQuery code, it just made sense. I couldn’t write in POJ anymore. Not that I’m stubborn, I just can’t remember how, jQuery just makes it so easy.

As time progressed and my love affair with jQuery grew, I was (and continue to be) in need of some more formal education. Both of these books accomplish this in different ways.

jQuery Reference Guide

Sharing a similar first chapter to the “Learning jQuery” about obtaining jQuery, the reference guide the jumps into a “what were going to tell you” mode that is concise and to the point. My military expereince taught me to appreciate their…

  • What we are going to tell you
  • What we came to tell you
  • What we told you

…format throughout the book. The next ten chapters cover the wide range of tasks in jQuery starting with selectors and covering HTML form manipulation. I keep a one page cheat sheet close to my development machine at all times, but this reference guide is going to be just as close to me from now on.

None of this guide would have made any sense were it not for its companion, Learning jQuery.

Learning jQuery

This ten chapter and three appendices book can nearly stand as a reference guide on its own. The authors stick with the same HTML through most of the book to illustrate the progessive enhancement that is so important to the jQuery methodology. Personally I appreciated this as you could watch a simple css/html page become an enchanced interface with real world implications. After the excellent examples a chapter is devoted to jQuerys biggest strength, plugins, some of which I’ve listed below. Appendices “A” and “B” cover the online resources available to a jQuery user and appendix “C” goes into some of the higher level things to do with jQuery and how to avoid memory leaks.

My point is that there is something in this book for every level of javascript developer, from beginner to expert. I highly recommend it!

Wrapping up

jQuery was a big hit at the recent Web Connection conference I attended. I took the books with me, but didn’t get to spend much time with them as they were being borrowed, discussed, and shared among the attendees. If you are looking to start with jQuery or expand your knowledge base, these two books will suit you well.


Publisher Resources / Purchase

Other Reviews

Personal (short) List of jQuery Resources


5 thoughts on “Learning jQuery

  1. Another book I really have to read, but I try to avoid this stuff until I come up against a brick wall and absolutely have to!

  2. Pingback: New jQuery plugins and resources [September 2009] | SKFox

  3. Pingback: The worst question you can ask me « SKFox.com

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