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5 Minute jQuery Book Review

Last night when I got home there was a package on the front porch - my jQuery book! I'm on the jQuery mailing list and when they announced someone was working on a book I went ahead and pre-ordered even though I usually like to preview technical books before making any decisions.


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


jQuery is a powerful JavaScript library that can enhance your websites regardless of your background. In this book, creators of the popular jQuery learning resource,, share their knowledge, experience, and enthusiasm about jQuery to help you get the most from the library and to make your web applications shine.

5 Minute Review: The book is a nice size (I don't like huge books), about 350 pages. I have no idea what the image on the cover represents... :)

Glancing at the Table of Contents - I'm happy to note there are no basic introductory 'HTML/Javascript' chapters (no fluff!) you dive right into a simple jQuery script where you manipulate some CSS.

Initially you start at the basics - jQuery syntax, selectors, events and using effects. Then you move into manipulating the DOM and using AJAX. Then forms (styling and validation) and finally manipulating images. It appears you initially work through basic scripts and as the book progresses - you combine what you have learned in previous chapters to develop more complex applications. I enjoy that form of progression - I can take my time as I go and as I advance - I can go back and review the simpler things if I get confused (which often happens!)

I'm only on Chapter 2 but I'm already beginning to think of some cool places I could use these techniques in the application I'm currently working on (which is a mess of old spaghetti code)!

My only complaint so far - and it's a minor one - is the screenshots - it would be helpful if these were in color as many of the examples are dealing with changing colors of screen elements and it's difficult to tell what is going on with the b/w images - but I know if they were color the book would probably be twice the cost so I can live with it :)

A few notes:

  • The publisher Packt - has 'Open Source Project Royalties' - when you buy a book about an open source project - they pay a royalty to that project. Neat!
  • The authors of this book are going to be coming out with a companion reference book
  • There are a few other jQuery books in the works - hop on the mailing list to learn more

I'll post more as I work through the book. I need to setup an http server on my local box at home so I can work through the examples - maybe it's time to setup Railo?

What Did You Do This Weekend? XPather - Firefox Extension

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