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Learning jQuery: Better Interaction Design and Web Development with Simple JavaScript Techniques 1st Edition

30 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-1847192509
ISBN-10: 1847192505
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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Jonathan Chaffer

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.

In the open-source community, Jonathan has been very active in the Drupal CMS project, which has adopted jQuery as its JavaScript framework of choice. He is the creator of the Content Construction Kit, a popular module for managing structured content on Drupal sites. He is responsible for major overhauls of Drupal's menu system and developer API reference.

Jonathan lives in Grand Rapids with his wife, Jennifer.

Karl Swedberg

Karl Swedberg is a web developer at Structure Interactive in Grand Rapids, Michigan, where he spends much of his time implementing design with a focus on "web standards"--semantic HTML, well-mannered CSS, and unobtrusive JavaScript.

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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Product Details

  • Paperback: 380 pages
  • Publisher: Packt Publishing; 1 edition (July 7, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1847192505
  • ISBN-13: 978-1847192509
  • Product Dimensions: 7.5 x 0.9 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.5 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (30 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,368,228 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

43 of 43 people found the following review helpful By Brett Merkey on August 2, 2007
Format: Paperback
One of the valid criticisms of the profusion of JavaScript frameworks is lack of documentation. This valuable book is the best possible boost to jQuery, one of the most popular frameworks in the pack. This documentation provides a gentle introduction to jQuery concepts and at the same time gives you the tools and examples to do some wickedly cool stuff.

Although jQuery is advanced JavaScript, you don't have to be an advanced scripter to use it or to follow the flow of this book. In fact, the book makes very clear that, aside from the particular advantages of this framework, jQuery will be especially welcomed by Web workers who are familiar with the value and syntax of Cascading Style Sheets (CSS). Someone who knows CSS well yet is weak on JavaScript will have no trouble at all slipping in advanced functionality to Web pages or applications with the help of this guide.

I have reviewed many books dealing with Web tech, CSS, and JavaScript. Even with the best of these books, I have often complained of lack of attention to scripting the display and behavior of data tables. This book totally eclipses every other book I have studied in this regard. As a designer of Web reporting tool interfaces, with a heavy use of data display, this book would get a 5-star rating for that alone.

The fine chapter on scripting data tables is not alone of course. The book handily deals with form manipulation and all sorts of approaches to dynamically modifying Web pages.

The book comes with not one, but two supporting Web pages where you can see the code in action and download it for play and profit.

I think getting this book is a no-brainer if you want to pick up on the latest practical trends in Web development -- as well as save yourself a lot of work and fuss.
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23 of 23 people found the following review helpful By Matthew on August 6, 2007
Format: Paperback
I'm a huge fan and avid user of jQuery and have been extremely impressed by the documentation provided on the jQuery website. The one thing that documentation lacks, however, is really contextual examples that drive home some bare essentials of JavaScripting with the jQuery library. Learning jQuery - a book by Jonathan Chaffer and Karl Swedberg - is an excellent introductory book for those that are thinking about using (or struggling with) jQuery.

jQuery, while a fairly high level JavaScript library is a beautiful thing but can be very daunting to a developer that is new to JavaScripting or is coming from a dissimilar library, being thrust full bore into a `new' way of doing old tricks. (Which jQuery is great at by the makes the new ways super sexy, sleek, and easy). The authors do a great job of explaining what jQuery is and why it is such a powerful tool.

Throughout the book are examples on traversing and manipulating the DOM, event handling, leveraging jQuery's JS effect capabilities, AJAX, etc; many of which are built off of previously detailed examples, allowing the reader to easily grasp what is going on and why a chunk of code was used.

While I feel this book is primarily an excellent introductory source for diving into the world of JavaScript development with jQuery, the fairly seasoned jQuery user (like myself) may find a trick or two that they hadn't quite thought of... As I read through, I found a few choice bits that allowed me to make my own code more efficient!

My only real complaint with the book is the index at the back. There are a number of jQuery functions that are discussed within the chapters yet weren't referenced in the index. A small nitpick, I know, but I'm a sucker for a good index :)

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20 of 21 people found the following review helpful By Mitch Waite Group on July 28, 2007
Format: Paperback
Having authored about 25 computer books on programming and published about 200 ([...]), I found Learning jQuery a real treasure. I am a real noobie in jQuery and the book assumes that yoiu are proficient in both css and javascript. I discovered jQuery almost by accident, while I was struggling to tame some of the new features in Dreamweaver (effects). I was blown away by all the power it offered and the enormous number of plugins that allow you to do some really great things on your web page.

The authors teach jQuery in a really wonderful graduate fashion which builds on your previous knowledge. They amplify examples to help you see the way it works, and they reveal the hard way to do something then show how jQuery can make it so much easier.

The authors show an immense understanding of the person coming to jQuery.

Mitch Waite, former publisher of Waite Group Press

PS I would have loved some more illustrations, but I highly recommend the book. I am hoping someone like O'Rielly comes out with a Head First beginners guide and Peachpit does one of there great Visual QuickStart Guides.
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Ben Nadel on October 28, 2007
Format: Paperback
While there are a lot of Javascript libraries out there, there's something special about jQuery. Right when you start to use it, it just feels right. Of course, trying to sell a manager or a co-worker on, "it just feels right", rarely works; it's important to be able to list out the reasons why something is good. This book does that for you - the very first chapter starts out by taking what you feel in your gut and wrapping up in 12 powerful bullet points. Not only does this set the expectations for the rest of the book (which are met with flying colors), it gives those of us who cannot easily codify our thoughts a pre-packaged strategy for introducing jQuery into the work place.

Having read the jQuery Reference Guide prior to this book, it is clear that Learning jQuery does not cover the entire breath of the jQuery library. It does cover a good deal of the selectors, DOM traversal and modification methods, AJAX functionality, event binding, and plug-in architecture, but to be sure, there are things that are either glossed over or left out. This should, however, not be viewed in a negative light. Instead of being incomplete, Learning jQuery takes the most important and powerful aspects of jQuery and covers them in-depth.

This book is all about the in-depth, iterative example! After every chapter, I found myself reflecting on how thorough and well done the examples were. Each one starts out with a simple piece of code (probably the way you or I would accomplish some task). Then, it adds something. Then, it factors something out. Then, it encapsulates something. Then, it adds some more functionality. At each step, I kept thinking, "Brilliant! I can't believe I never thought of doing it that way.
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