- Paperback: 407 pages
- Publisher: SitePoint; 1 edition (March 10, 2010)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0980576857
- ISBN-13: 978-0980576856
- Product Dimensions: 8 x 0.9 x 10 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 72 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,532,759 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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jQuery: Novice to Ninja 1st Edition
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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. Writing that sort of narrative about a programming language is hard, and Flanagan's only peer for that, in my opinion, is Friedl of Mastering Regular Expressions (also an O'Reilly book), and he succeeded here well enough that a person can actually read the whole thing with considerable understanding, thereby gaining a better overview of the library than can be had by searching out features when we bump up against something we don't know how to do. The last 1/3 of the book is a reference section: concise, simple, and well-organized, just what you need when you forget a particular syntax.
The book was carefully adapted to electronic viewing. Code is displayed in a fixed space font to differentiate it from the surrounding text, but the font has the same height and color as the text and so is easy to read. Sidebars are presented with a slightly smaller, but still easily readable font, as a distinct block of text embedded with the main text. This, and the larger work from which it was extracted, are the best examples of technical books adapted to e-readers I have seen, so O'Reilly deserves considerable credit for their success in this format.
The book was written for jQuery version 1.4 and the current version is 1.6.1 (as of today), and quite a bit has been added to jQuery. I knew that before I bought the book and decided the reference retained enough value to be worthwhile even though the version had been superseded. You should bear that in mind, though.
This book should really be divided into two books - beginners and advanced jQuery. The first book should explain how to at least (as a complex newbie topic) turn a check box row of data a different color (when the user checks the box). The second book could be used to explain to advanced users all this other stuff, light boxes, AJAX, data trees, that only those users need to know.
BTW, I already know how to write AJAX code from scratch to populate forms, which is really what AJAX is most useful for. So, book 2 could even skip that topic as jQuery will only obfuscate your learning of basic AJAX. You should dive into understanding the trees first, before you can learn the forest "framework."
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