Automotive Holiday Deals Books Gift Guide Books Gift Guide Shop Men's Athletic Shoes Learn more nav_sap_SWP_6M_fly_beacon Train egg_2015 All-New Amazon Fire TV Beauty Gifts Gifts for Her Find the Best Purina Pro Plan for Your Pet Amazon Gift Card Offer cm15 cm15 cm15 $30 Off Amazon Echo $30 Off Fire HD 6 Kindle Cyber Monday Deals Shop Now HTL

Customer Reviews

3.9 out of 5 stars10
Your rating(Clear)Rate this item

There was a problem filtering reviews right now. Please try again later.

14 of 15 people found the following review helpful
on October 21, 2007
I just finished reading the jQuery Reference Guide: A Comprehensive Exploration of the Popular JavaScript Library, by PACKT publishing, co-authored by Jonathan Chaffer and Karl Swedberg. This book is fantastic! It's a bit strange to review a reference manual because it's really just listing out all the features of the API. But, it's the way in which this is done that makes this reference guide so effective. Almost every single method and selector is explained in depth with both clear, concise code snippets as well as rendered displays when necessary. Not only did I come away with a wonderful understanding of jQUery API, I also learned more about JavaScript in general (specifically event handling and the XML[...] object).

This book is a must have for anyone that is serious about effectively leveraging jQuery in their applications. While the API is very simple, it is also extremely robust and powerful. Even when you think you have a good grasp on how things work, reading a manual like this points out all the little facets that you didn't know existed; whether it be optional method arguments or miscellaneous selectors, you probably aren't writing code as effectively as you could be, and you can't do that until you have at least a general understanding of all the features that jQuery makes available.

One of the great things that this book does, which is rare for an API-style book, is to explain, when possible, what the jQuery API is using behind the scenes to access and traverse the document object model. For instance, it explains that the getElementsByTagName() is used to filter tag-based selectors and that getElementById() is used to filter id-based selectors. While this might not seem important to understand, and after all, the whole point of encapsulation is so that you don't NEED to understand, it can become very useful in terms of optimization. For example, $( "#pagetitle" ) is going to be faster than $( "h1#pagetitle" ) since it can use the direct ID access rather than tag-based filtering. Also, $( "h2.title" ) is going to be faster than $( ".title" ) since it can use the tag-based filtering and not have to iterate over every DOM element looking for a particular class.

In addition to covering the full jQuery API, this book also contains a cursory exploration of the architecture and authoring of custom plug-ins. While the book thoroughly covers basic plug-in authoring, I wish that they had covered some more complex stuff; but, at the same time I think that that probably would be more appropriate for a plug-in based book rather than a general reference manual such as this one.

After discussing plug-in architecture, this book also explores two popular jQuery plug-ins: Dimensions and Form. The dimensions plug-in enhances the built-in height() and width() object methods that already exist. It also introduces a host of other methods that allow developers to find the dimensions and position of elements with the conditional incorporation of various CSS box model properties. The Form plug-in contains many methods that make it super easy to submit a form using AJAX, including many utility methods that assist in the serialization and accessing of form data.

The book does a good job of explaining how the individual Dimensions methods work, especially the height and width related calculations. The position related methods, while explained in depth, left me confused; the demo HTML used in the chapter is explicitly incomplete and this makes it difficult to visualize where the calculated numbers are coming from. It wasn't until I went to the demo site ([...]) that the calculations became clear. Even then, however, you can see that as much as the jQuery plug-ins try to encapsulate the cross-browser issues, there are still problems to be found. For example, calling $('div.dim-outer').offset() returned a LEFT value of 580 in FireFox 2.0 and a LEFT value of 1116 in Internet Explorer 6.0.

The book does a good job of explaining how the individual Form plug-in methods work. And, while I am not one who does a lot of AJAX form submission, I can see how using this plug-in would make that a painless process. Regardless, this plug-in also contains some great utility functions that allow you to grab form data at any given time. This can be useful for partial form updates such as the common two-selected-related scenario. My one gripe with this section is the same issue I have throughout the reference manual: callback arguments are not explained very well. With the form submission process, there are two callbacks available - beforeSubmit and success. Both methods are explained in natural language terms, but only the beforeSubmit method gets a code sample explanation (seven pages after it was explained in english). I don't know about you, but seeing a snippet of code is 10 times more clear than the equivalent natural language description.

This is very nit-picky, but as much as I loved this book, there were a few things that were not perfect; while the majority of the selectors are thoroughly explained, the big exception is the Form selectors. I have gone over this section several times and I just can't quite figure out what it means. The big problem is that unlike the rest of the book, the form selectors have no code samples; it's just be a list of input types, but not listed in any meaningful way. This section feels like an afterthought in the book.

I also felt that some of the callback methods could have been better explained. Most of the jQuery callback methods have arguments passed to them, but unless they were used in the examples, they were not defined as part of the callback function definition. I would rather have seen every argument explicitly defined, whether it was used or not, so that we as developers could see what our options were.

The only other problem with this book is that the jQuery technology is evolving so fast that the most recent release of jQuery (v.1.2.1 at the time of this writing) already has things that are not covered in this book. Not only that, a few of the things that are covered in this book, namely the XPath style selectors, are no longer supported by the core jQuery API (but rather though small plug-ins).

Overall though, this book is excellent and I highly recommend it to all web developers, especially those not yet using jQuery so that they can see just how amazing this Javascript library really is. Not only will it teach you all about jQuery, it will probably instill a better understanding of Javascript in general. From me, it gets two thumbs us.
11 commentWas this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
on October 23, 2007
You might question whether or not a book is even necessary given the wealth of information already available on the jQuery library. I am an avid user of jQuery, semi-active in the community, I have developed a few plug-ins, and I certainly understand the need for this resource guide.

The online documentation is extremely terse, and in order to get an in-depth understanding of the library, a book is necessary. As a programmer I prefer jQuery Resource Guide over Learning jQuery. However, if you are an entry-level interface developer or designer, I might suggest the latter. Either way, you will not be disappointed.

My only complaint with the book, is that it only covers the API. There is no discussion of the jQuery source, and the tactics used to build the library. However, if you want to extend functionality, you will find the chapter on plug-ins very useful. The techniques differ a bit from some of the current jQuery plug-ins, but it is useful nonetheless.

I know there are numerous JavaScript libraries, but I can't say it enough -- this is the one you want to choose, and this is probably the book you want to have on hand when you do decide on jQuery. jQuery Reference Guide is great for helping you to master DOM manipulation, AJAX, and plug-ins, and you will not regret the purchase.
0CommentWas this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on December 21, 2007
I have always used online resources for API information since searching is a huge time saver, but online references only delve as deep as a simplistic example often leaving the general purpose and even usefulness of a function unexplained. The jQuery Reference Guide puts those questions to rest and explains how functions work and how supplying various options may change the effect of the function. I found most of the information valuable and an excellent way to quickly learn more about the jQuery library. I am also pleased to see many underused functions like $.grep recieve some attention. I've worked on the jQuery core and UI project. I can attest that both Jonathan and Karl know what they are talking about and do a great job of translating geek into English.
0CommentWas this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
6 of 8 people found the following review helpful
on August 8, 2007
Javascript is pretty simple. DOM mastery is a bear to conquer. jQuery is a best of breed solution that has been missing good docs that covered the subject in an A to Z fashion. I have used prototype and scriptaculous and loved them. Being set with something that was working for me this was not an easy sale. So casually I would look at it a little more now and then. I became a jQuery convert but was frustrated with having good enough documentation to do what I wanted without trying to decode the core library. That is exactly what this book is about! Core concepts, extremely good coverage... and a super JS library. Look out DOM, your match is here.
0CommentWas this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on February 27, 2008
The book is written in a well organized pattern. This book actually gives justice to those developers who have been involved in the program so much that they want to share their knowledge to the world. There are already books published that have completely and party discussed jQuery as a library and its valuable explanation however this book gives out a robust explanation on how can jQuery affect the general experience of the web users when the program is effectively implemented properly.

At first glance developers may think that the book could be used as an actual introduction of jQuery. That may seem to be the initial idea of the readers but closer evaluation will reveal some prior knowledge of simple languages and a little bit of jQuery. This presupposition stems from the fact that the book needs you to understand the program quickly and move on to other chapters. It gives out clear usage of the different aspects of the library but it expects the developer to understand the program fast.

Prior skills in JavaScript and HTML are required to use this book to its full extent. On a lighter fact, this book is a perfect addition for developers who might have too much to remember. This book is a perfect crash course in jQuery, revealing almost every aspect of jQuery in a precise and concise manner.
0CommentWas this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on March 16, 2011
This book is not good for first comers in the jQuery world. The reference is sometimes not really precise and too quick, but I really like one thing: a full analysis of the jQuery API performance.

So: read it if you already know jQuery and want to write better scripts.
0CommentWas this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on January 21, 2008
This relatively thin book is great if you know the basics of jQuery, and need a reference. It also provides a quick way to browse the API. It does get into the more advanced topics, such as writing plug-ins, but I haven't tried that yet.
0CommentWas this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on October 5, 2010
It is what it is, a reference guide. The format of the book feels cluttered and I think they should have used better examples. I skim through this book here and there, I'm glad I bought it but not super excited about it.
0CommentWas this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
5 of 8 people found the following review helpful
on January 1, 2008
Learning JQuery is a good book that I can recommend, I hoped the same for this one. While it is not a bad book it is much easier to find the information I need from the internet - I didn't find the book either useful or insightful. This is a book that I most likely will never use again.
0CommentWas this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on February 26, 2010
Unfortunately this one is a lemon, all of the info contained inside the book is available on the jQuery site. Should have researched more before purchase!
0CommentWas this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
Customers who viewed this also viewed
Learning jQuery  - Fourth Edition
Learning jQuery - Fourth Edition by Jonathan Chaffer (Paperback - June 25, 2013)

jQuery in Action
jQuery in Action by Bear Bibeault (Paperback - February 17, 2008)

Send us feedback

How can we make Amazon Customer Reviews better for you?
Let us know here.