Jj's web stream

Learning jQuery 1.3

Cover of Learning jQuery 1.3Right after finishing my review on the Django template development book I got contacted again by the Packt folks to do the same for the Learning jQuery 1.3 book. I was most pleased with the request.

Now, this book has 444 pages compared to the 272 pages from Django book. There is much more to teach about jQuery than about the django template language :) .

The book has 11 chapters and 4 great appendixes. It starts off teaching you how to set up a page to use jQuery, teaches you selector magic and from then on the example scripts get more and more complicated as the chapters pass by.

Once you've read the first half of the book (Free sample chapter), you're good to go. At this point you should know what is it that you can do with jQuery and start using it. But this is the moment where it just starts to get interesting.

Chapters, 7 on Table manipulation, 8 on Forms with function and chapter 9 about Shufflers and rotators show you how to do amazing stuff you (well, I) wouldn't have thought of. This is the most important part of the book as it shows you how to put all the jQuery functionality together and teaches you several awesome tricks and techniques to make transparency gradients, lightboxes, scrollers, sort, tables, invoices and tons more.

What's also great about the book is that it enforces graceful degradation and progressive enhancement through all the examples. So all your development is funcional even for people without Javascript. And he does that providing good arguments on why it is a good idea to keep it that way, since I know lots of people that are just not willing to care about people not using Javascript.

I was gladly surprised with Appendix on Closures, it has a good explanation of that concept that takes so long to grasp. the rest of the appendixes are great resource of information with reference to tools, plugins and related reading to increase your Javascript fu.

Overall

This is a great book, that could have easily be divided in two books, Basic jQuery and Mastering jQuery. Goes from the basic to some medium/advanced level. Every web developer (front end and backend) should read this in order to know how to provider great user experience :).