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Learning jQuery 1.3 Paperback – February 13, 2009
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About the Author
Jonathan Chaffer is the Chief Technology Officer of Structure Interactive, an interactive agency located in Grand Rapids, Michigan. There he oversees web development projects using a wide range of technologies, and continues to collaborate on day-to-day programming tasks as well.
Jonathan lives in Grand Rapids with his wife, Jennifer.
Before his current love affair with web development, Karl worked as a copy editor, a high-school English teacher, and a coffee house owner. His fascination with technology began in the early 1990s when he worked at Microsoft in Redmond, Washington, and it has continued unabated ever since.
Karl's other obsessions include photography, karate, English grammar, and fatherhood. He lives in Grand Rapids with his wife, Sara, and his two children, Benjamin and Lucia.
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Top Customer Reviews
The book provides an excellent tour of jQuery's capabilities, although the jQuery UI package is not covered (the publisher offers this in a different book).
Each chapter covers a different aspect of jQuery programming, starting with simple examples and finishing with complex/completed functionality. Since this was my first dive into browser-side programming, I also found the book to be an excellent overview for creating the various behaviors I'd seen in practice (such as animating web content, validating forms, and refreshing data without refreshing the page).
New concepts are introduced along the way, and potential "gotchas" are exposed by presenting them as what you think you'd do next -- but are then followed by an explanation as to why it's the wrong thing to do. The book also contains an overview of many of the more popular jQuery plug-ins.
You're best off downloading the accompanying source code if you want to try the examples yourself, because non-relevant portions of the code and accompanying CSS don't always appear in the text. My only complaint lies with the example code: It isn't always well-commented. jQuery's syntax and extensive chaining can sometimes be non-intuitive, so good commenting is a must in a book like this.
One of the most notable improvements has been in the speed of CSS style selectors. Rather than doing a top-down pass at elements, the latest version of jQuery finds things via a bottom-up approach called Sizzle. This is similar to the way browsers apply stylesheets, and allows jQuery to be significantly faster.
Another key improvement, one that did not exist before, is the addition of "live" effects. Essentially, this allows you to add event listeners on any currently existing elements in a page, as well as all future elements that match the criteria.Read more ›
I personally learn best by doing something - seeing a working example and then taking it apart and observing what changing something does.
This book is not very good for that. The code in the text is presented in blocks and snippets of code. There is sample code you can download, but it is all completed code after being altered through the end of the relevant chapter. The code I've looked at in the sample downloads looks NOTHING like what you see in the book.
The writers go to great lengths explaining about each new concept, but again, the example to show how the concept works is presented in a snippet and the reader is left to figure out how to add that to the existing code that has been written thus far in the chapter.
It is because of this that I DO NOT recommend this book to the beginning developer. I am at an intermediate level of programming myself and have spent way too much time trying to figure out how to add the code presented in the book to what has already been written.
There are even inconsistencies in code from one block to the next when a new concept is added. Case in point: if you have the book, compare the code on page 57 to the code it is supposed to be based on, on page 55. Whether the difference is a typo, or failure to explain the difference in code, I can't tell. Hence I spent 15 minutes trying to figure out how to add the new concept into the existing code myself.
Much of my dislike for the book is based on person learning style, but I think the writers could do a better job in providing more useful, in-context, working code.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Informative, but definitely not a good choice for someone who is just learning jQuery. More suitable for someone who is already familiar with the language. Read morePublished 19 months ago by cori
This book is called "Learning jQuery" but it is really intended for people who already know it, at least to some extent, and just want a refresher course. Read morePublished on March 25, 2011 by Anna P.
This is the best jQuery book I've read, a lot better that the official web documentation.
Is full of interesting example, and I really liked the continuous reference to... Read more
The book itself gets five stars, but I think reviews on technical books should also reflect how long they stay on your bookshelf. Read morePublished on September 13, 2010 by Ambert Ho
The authors write in a way that helped my brain absorb the information in an almost effortless manner. Their constant attention to writing good clean code is nice. Read morePublished on August 3, 2010 by J. Horton
I read this book in one day and was coding the next. Easy to follow with good real life examples.Published on May 14, 2010 by Thomas Spizuoco
A good book, but as someone else mentioned, only some of the example code is available from the website. Read morePublished on April 12, 2010 by John Cardinal
This book (Learning jQuery 1.3) took me a little longer to get through, it wasn't for the lack of interest or anything like that, it was because I was compelled to go through the... Read morePublished on March 24, 2010 by Robert A. Balfe
The tutorial is effective.
My main complaint: an almost useless index. None of the jquery selectors or behaviors are listed in the index. Read more