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JavaScript & jQuery: The Missing Manual [Kindle Edition]

David Sawyer McFarland
4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (126 customer reviews)

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Book Description

JavaScript lets you supercharge your web pages with animation, interactivity, and visual effects, but learning the language isn’t easy. This fully updated and expanded guide takes you step-by-step through JavaScript basics, then shows you how to save time and effort with jQuery—the library of prewritten JavaScript code—and the newest innovations from the jQuery UI plug-in.

The important stuff you need to know:

  • Make your pages come alive. Use jQuery to create interactive elements that respond to visitor input.
  • Get acquainted with jQuery UI. Expand your interface with tabbed panels, dialog boxes, date pickers, and other widgets.
  • Display good forms. Get information from visitors, help shoppers buy goods, and let members post their thoughts.
  • Go beyond the browser with Ajax. Communicate with the web server to update your pages without reloading.
  • Put your new skills right to work. Create a simple application step-by-step, using jQuery and jQuery UI widgets.
  • Dive into advanced concepts. Use ThemeRoller to customize your widgets; avoid common errors that new programmers often make.


Editorial Reviews

About the Author

David Sawyer McFarland is president of Sawyer McFarland Media, Inc., a Web development and training company in Portland, Oregon. He's been building websites since 1995, when he designed an online magazine for communication professionals. He's served as webmaster at the University of California at Berkeley and the Berkeley Multimedia Research Center, and oversaw a complete CSS-driven redesign of Macworld.com. David is also a writer and trainer, and teaches in the Portland State University multimedia program. He wrote the bestselling Missing Manual titles on Adobe Dreamweaver, CSS, and JavaScript.


Product Details

  • File Size: 5967 KB
  • Print Length: 540 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 1449399029
  • Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
  • Publisher: O'Reilly Media; 2 edition (October 21, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B005Z29QQ2
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #231,643 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
88 of 91 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Thorough but Approachable November 26, 2011
By Alex
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This is a very well written book. I admit I was not completely new to jQuery when I read this, so I'm not sure about the learning curve, but I felt the book does a better job of fully explaining things than some other jQuery books do. It often provides line by line explanations of code rather than just summaries or generalizations. The book is a bit longer than some other jQuery books because of this added detail, and also because it really does cover a lot of material.

I enjoyed the writing style/tone of the book - it's not overly technical/serious, but also isn't over the top.

I also really appreciate the unqiue approach it takes of teaching you everything practical you need to know about "raw" javascript in order to enhance jQuery without getting into details many users may not need to know. If you're wondering, the content is roughly 3/4ths jquery and 1/4th pure javascript.

I do have a few complaints - the book does occasionally spend a bit too much time talking about specific plug-ins and how to use them. Usually it walks you through you how to do a simple task and then uses a plug-in for a more advanced version of it (such as galleries and form validation). I have mixed feelings about this (especially when some of these plug-ins have complete documentation on their websites) but since this is really just a personal opinion I didn't take a star off for it. There is also very little content related to making your own plug-ins, which is a cool feature of jQuery that a few other books do touch on. I found this odd given how often the book talks about plug-ins. There are a few typos here and there but I did not find any that affected the success of the examples - mostly just grammatical things.

Overall my favorite book on jQuery thus far, highly recommended!
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62 of 64 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Introduction to jQuery December 20, 2011
Format:Paperback
I really enjoyed this book and the writing style. The author takes a concept-tutorial ( cookbook ) approach where he first introduces you to the concepts of selectors, events, animation, etc. and then walks through 1 or more tutorials that show you how to leverage those concepts to add common features to your website. The tutorials are useful, like FAQ's, drop-down menus, Google Maps, Flickr Feeds, photo galleries, form validation, etc. If you follow along with the book and write the CSS and jQuery, you will indeed get a very good understanding of the functionality found in most websites today.

In addition to writing most of your own jQuery, the author also introduces you to a few jQuery Plugins that provide similar functionality. This way you understand the concepts, know how to develop the solution yourself, but also get the efficiency of using available, feature-rich plugins. I agree with another reviewer that these discussions of various plugins can't get a bit long, but often jQuery Plugins don't have the best documentation so this is nice to have for reference in case you do use the plugin for your projects.

My only complaint is the inclusion of "JavaScript" in the title of the book. I believe it is a bit misleading as it only has some basic coverage of JavaScript. It is just a simple intro to variables, looping, etc. Make no mistake that this is a jQuery book. Don't expect to truly learn JavaScript.

IMHO, the book is geared for beginners that want more than the documentation-type snippets you get from jQuery in Action and less visual noise that you get from Head First jQuery. It's a really good cookbook that teaches you the concepts and then how to apply those concepts in the real world in a very easy-to-follow approach. I highly recommended it if you are new to jQuery and enjoy the cookbook style approach to learning without the need of seeing every possible piece of the API and numerous pictures and visuals to understand it.
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87 of 93 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Almost there... May 17, 2012
By Michael
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Two problems:

1. Too much reliance upon the downloaded example files. I don't appreciate page after page of load this file, go to line x, add this, change that... Most of those examples should have the explanations in the comments within the example files, not in page after page of the book. The book does not stand alone well.

2. There is a lot of information here but the author fails to follow through on obvious paths. For example, dealing with interactive forms, probably one of the most popular things people want to do, it provides tiny disjointed examples of sending information back to the server and getting back a single result but the author does not reasonably explain dealing with multiple values. He seems to be in a hurry to move on and so does not finish a topic.

Useful, but frustrating. I'm constantly bouncing all over the place because the author makes references forward and back.
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45 of 46 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars For Designers, Not Developers November 20, 2012
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
The bottom line for me: I wish it made it clearer that this book is for web designers who have never coded before.

As as software developer/engineer who primarily works in Java, but knows enough JavaScript to do the basics, this book was very disappointing. If you're familiar with any programming language, I think you'll find this book to be too rudimentary. And I'm the type who generally likes taking a "back to the basics" approach to learning more about things; I don't mind relearning things I already knew because there's often something you'll pick up that you didn't before. That was not the case with this book. This book doesn't do more than scratch the surface on JavaScript or jQuery. The reason it's as long as it is is because, halfway through the book, it's still telling you not to type in the line numbers and when to press enter when you try out the examples. I knew not to expect a real, complete "manual" on either subject, but I expected to learn more than I could from a couple short webcasts.

That said, this book may be just the right hand-holding approach to introduce a web designer who's never seen a line of code before to jQuery. It gives you just enough JavaScript knowledge to understand where to put your code and enough jQuery to do some significant things like preloading images, parsing JSON, and others. This book only assumes you know some HTML and CSS.
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More About the Author

David McFarland is a Portland, Oregon based Web developer who's been designing and building Web sites since 1995. He is the author of CSS: The Missing Manual and Dreamweaver: The Missing Manual. He is also a Macromedia-certified trainer, and a member of the faculty of the multimedia program at Portland State University.

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