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jQuery Pocket Reference [Paperback]

David Flanagan
4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (29 customer reviews)

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Book Description

January 7, 2011 1449397220 978-1449397227 1

"As someone who uses jQuery on a regular basis, it was surprising to discover how much of the library I’m not using. This book is indispensable for anyone who is serious about using jQuery for non-trivial applications."-- Raffaele Cecco, longtime developer of video games, including Cybernoid, Exolon, and Stormlord

jQuery is the "write less, do more" JavaScript library. Its powerful features and ease of use have made it the most popular client-side JavaScript framework for the Web. Ideal for JavaScript developers at all skill levels, this book is jQuery's trusty companion: the definitive "read less, learn more" guide to the library.

jQuery Pocket Reference explains everything you need to know about jQuery, completely and comprehensively. You'll learn how to:

  • Select and manipulate document elements
  • Alter document structure
  • Handle and trigger events
  • Create visual effects and animations
  • Script HTTP with Ajax utilities
  • Use jQuery's selectors and selection methods, utilities, plugins and more

The 25-page quick reference summarizes the library, listing all jQuery methods and functions, with signatures and descriptions.

Frequently Bought Together

jQuery Pocket Reference + JavaScript Pocket Reference (Pocket Reference (O'Reilly)) + HTML5 Pocket Reference (Pocket Reference (O'Reilly))
Price for all three: $31.44

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Editorial Reviews

Book Description

Read Less, Learn More

About the Author

David Flanagan is a computer programmer who spends most of his time writing about JavaScript and Java. His books with O'Reilly include JavaScript: The Definitive Guide, JavaScript Pocket Reference, Java in a Nutshell, Java Examples in a Nutshell, and Java Foundation Classes in a Nutshell. David has a blog at

Product Details

  • Paperback: 160 pages
  • Publisher: O'Reilly Media; 1 edition (January 7, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1449397220
  • ISBN-13: 978-1449397227
  • Product Dimensions: 7 x 4.3 x 0.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (29 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #34,146 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

David Flanagan is a computer programmer who has spent much of the last 20 years writing books about programming languages. He now works at Mozilla. David lives with his wife and children in the Pacific Northwest, between the cities of Seattle and Vancouver.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
21 of 21 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars One of the best Pocket References I've read! February 7, 2011
I've enjoyed previous books by David Flanagan and decided to read jQuery Pocket Reference. I thought I would quickly skim through the chapters because I considered myself fairly proficient in jQuery. After the first chapter and Flanagan's explanations of jQuery's method, object, and function ('a' versus 'the'), I decided to read more in-depth. I'm glad, because this is one of the best books I've read in O'Reilly's Pocket Reference library. I was surprised to have found a one which has a perfect balance between API, examples, and explanation.

For developers who want to learn jQuery, you will be able to learn nearly all you need to get started from this book. When I first heard about jQuery, I purchased a much larger book, which ended up being about 80% reprinting the API on If you're like me, and you prefer insight, hints, and gotchas which encourage you to write some code, then this book is perfect for you.

For developers familiar with jQuery, you may learn a little from this book. Flanagan covers a lot of overloads to common jQuery functions. Some of them, I never knew existed. The recent release of jQuery 1.5 has actually added more functionality than what is covered in this book.

The only thing I found a little odd about this book is how the jQuery Selectors chapter was at the end of the book. Considering jQuery is a framework for querying the DOM, using selectors, I would expect that content to be the first covered. On the other hand, as a reference, you may expect the most used content at the end of the book. Luckily, Flanagan knows what he's doing and tells you to review the Selectors chapter if you're rusty or unfamiliar.
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15 of 15 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Kindle Edition June 13, 2011
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
This review pertains to the Kindle Edition.

First, had Amazon or the publisher indicated that this was included as a chapter in Flanagan's recently published JavaScript: The Definitive Guide: Activate Your Web Pages, I wouldn't have bought it--but I downloaded both at the same time and didn't find out until a couple days later. That's why I gave the book a 4-start rating rather than 5. If you are a DTB user then it makes sense to have both because you're unlikely to want to carry around an 1100 page volume as a quick reference, but for a Kindle user with full text search available buying this is a waste of money if you are going to buy the other. That, in fact is my recommendation: buy the larger book and park it on your development workstation.

That said, this is a fine piece of work. Like many developers, I started using a JavaScript library for a particular project and settled on jQuery because it provided the features I needed at the time. I came to understand its value and used in increasingly, but always with a familiarity constrained by the requirements of my initial use. My skills grew as I used it, but slowly.

So, I really welcomed and valued the first 2/3 (or so) of Flanagan's book (or chapter), which is a narrative description of the library's features, with examples and detailed explanations of what's going on behind the scenes.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I go for long periods without writing javascript/jquery (mostly working on database/backend development), so I get rusty. I find this little "pocket reference" really fits the bill to help me get my mind back into jQuery tactics and syntax.

I was quite pleasantly surprised to find so much information so well organized in such a small format (little space is wasted on unnecessary white space). The clarity lives up to the the high reputation that Flanagan has established in his comprehensive javascript volumes.

Thanks: It's great to have this jewel to pack with me when on the road (as well as on desktop).
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars reference for jQuery Core (but not jQuery UI) June 16, 2011
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
As the author points out in the preface, this guide is a chapter taken from "JavaScript: The Definitive Guide", and it documents jQuery version 1.4 (as of June 2011 the current version is 1.6.x).

Unfortunately while it covers jQuery's core function for document handling, AJAX and events, its coverage of jQuery UI is a brief introduction of just two and a half pages, that highlights how jQuery UI differs from jQuery. (There's more documentation on how to extend jQuery by writing a custom plugin than there is on using jQuery UI, which is not what I'd expect from a pocket reference). The book's reference section and index does not cover jQuery UI widgets or their events.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Not quite what I was expecting from a pocket guide. January 3, 2013
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This contains a wealth of information, but it reads more like a textbook than other O'Reilly pocket guides. I've found the online jquery documentation at to be far more effective. It's a shame because O'Reilly pocket guides are usually very handy to have around.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Thin Book, Thick Material August 26, 2013
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
First of all, DO NOT buy this book if you're buying "JavaScript: the Definitive Guide: Activate Your Web Pages..." as the jQuery Pocket Reference is merely one of the chapters (complete, unabridged) repackaged from the 'Definitive Guide' book, by the same author (although MUCH lighter, and therefore more portable). My mistake. Notwithstanding, Flanagan's approach to this technical material is...well...rather technical. Thorough? From my (beginner's) perspective, quite. Accessible? Well, yes, but be advised this is not a light & fluffy approach to scripting for web design, but is sufficiently comprehensive enough for me (as a beginner) to develop very complex web pages using the jQuery library. A thorough understanding of JavaScript is required to maximize what this pocket reference offers. But I'm guessing you'd know that if you know what jQuery is. The book layout is straightforward, meaning the methods Flanagan uses to explain otherwise complex concepts is attainable to the unintitiated, while the presentation facilitates speedy comprehension. Lots of samples/examples with copious line-by-line comment/documentation so one understands what, why and how each of those code lines contextually applies. BUY recommendation.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Discover more
Learn more in this book. Yes you can search online but only if you know what you want to search.
This book will reveal more even if you are not searching.
Published 7 days ago by G. Antonio
3.0 out of 5 stars Flanagan's big treatise on Javascript is very good.
Very terse, but handy as a desk ref, although I typically have to go online for clarification. OTOH, Flanagan's big treatise on Javascript is very good.
Published 9 days ago by NSAES
4.0 out of 5 stars Good pocket reference, but do you really need one when you can use...
Good and solid pocket reference with easy examples. Book starts by explaning what $ really means, so its good book for jQuery beginners also.
Published 9 months ago by Panu Oksala
4.0 out of 5 stars Was pretty good as my first introduction to jQuery
Before getting this book, I didn't even know what jQuery really was or what it was used for. This book surprisingly gave me a good start. Read more
Published 12 months ago by Curari
3.0 out of 5 stars JQuery book by O'reilly
I found this book to be oversimplified, and was disappointed considering I often enjoy O'Reilly books - I realize its the "pocket guide" but I have a couple other of these... Read more
Published 12 months ago by Bob Twain
5.0 out of 5 stars Should be required reading
If you have experience in other programming languages, and are trying to learn jQuery, this is the perfect reference. Read more
Published 13 months ago by Alan Bruce Mccornack
5.0 out of 5 stars Good compact guide
I keep a bunch of O'Reilly's pocket guides close to my computer at work, and this one is among the most useful. Succinct but amazingly thorough for such a tiny booklet.
Published 15 months ago by J. R. Conway
5.0 out of 5 stars An excellent reference and beginner's guide
As an experienced web developer learning about jQuery, this is exactly what I needed.

I bought this to complement "JavaScript and jQuery: The Missing Manual", expecting... Read more
Published 17 months ago by Andy G
5.0 out of 5 stars Still great, even though a bit dated
I picked this up not bothering to check the version of jQuery it covers. *facepalm*

The book covers 1.4.x and we are currently at 1.8.2. Read more
Published 21 months ago by stat30fbliss
5.0 out of 5 stars essential !
I've read quite a few books on jQuery, and I didn't really get the grip until I got this one. "Read Less, Learn More" ... right on !
Published on June 15, 2012 by sjalle
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