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jQuery Reference Guide
 
 

jQuery Reference Guide [Kindle Edition]

Jonathan Chaffer , Karl Swedberg
4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)

Print List Price: £24.99
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Product Description

Product Description

This book is a detailed reference guide, and an invaluable resource for answers to all your jQuery questions. It begins with a real-world jQuery example, which illustrates the structure of a jQuery script. A detailed reference chapter is then presented for each of the main components of jQuery. The book concludes with three reference chapters on jQuery plug-ins: the API for plug-in creation, the Dimensions plug-in, and the Form plug-in. This book is for web developers who want a broad, organized view of all the jQuery library has to offer or a quick reference on their desks to refer to for particular details. The reader needs the basics of HTML and CSS, and should be comfortable with the syntax of JavaScript, but no knowledge of jQuery is assumed. This is not an introductory title and if you are looking to get started with jQuery (or JavaScript libraries in general) then you are looking for Learning jQuery.

About the Author

Jonathan Chaffer is the Chief Technology Officer of Structure Interactive, an interactive agency located in Grand Rapids, Michigan. There he oversees web development projects using a wide range of technologies, and continues to collaborate on day-to-day programming tasks as well. In the open-source community, Jonathan has been very active in the Drupal CMS project, which has adopted jQuery as its JavaScript framework of choice. He is the creator of the Content Construction Kit, a popular module for managing structured content on Drupal sites. He is responsible for major overhauls of Drupal's menu system and developer API reference. Jonathan lives in Grand Rapids with his wife, Jennifer.

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 1447 KB
  • Print Length: 249 pages
  • Publisher: Packt Publishing (30 July 2007)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B0057X66FI
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #1,174,424 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
Format:Paperback
A good reference book needs a good structure and an even better index; the jQuery reference guide has just that.

The book is aimed developers with a basic knowledge of HTML and CSS, and an understanding of the syntax of JavaScript; no jQuery experience is needed or assumed, however I feel a little understanding of jQuery is useful to get you started, even though the introduction covers the basics. The book is particularly useful for forgetful developers like me, for quickly looking up functions.

Each section of the book is clearly labelled and well organized just like the jQuery online documentation, however, the book goes into much more detail than the online manual, and is much more useful if you have never used a particular function before since it explains and expands on usage scenarios.

The index is great; first, an alphabetical list of functions which is useful when you need to look up something fast, then a list of everything else in the book. This book makes it so much easier to find what you need than the website; the website has no obvious list of all functions, and the search often fails to find certain functions such as "each()".

Like "Learning jQuery", the language used in the book is clear and easy to understand, its quite well formatted also as an added bonus. The few screen shots there are, aren't too great, so its a good idea to check out the accomplying website for more examples on the tutorials in the book.

I love this book, the only thing that lets in down in my eyes is that a few functions are outdated with the new release of jQuery 1.2.1, this book was written for jQuery 1.1.2.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent JQuery book 15 Oct 2009
Format:Paperback
I was trying to learn JQuery on the fly by looking it up on the internet. Nothing compares to reading a good book though. This is a very good book, I read it in 2 weekends and now I'm rocking :)
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4.0 out of 5 stars Is what it promises 3 July 2009
Format:Paperback
I found the book good, and worth the purchase.

It gives a walkthrough of the features, and - most importantly - of the mindset behind the jQuery API. At places, it is repetitive but this is understandable for a reference manual. You are supposed to be able to "jump in" at any point and get all the valuables about that particular feature.

Good book, and jQuery is a good JavaScript library.
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Amazon.com: 3.9 out of 5 stars  10 reviews
14 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Comprehensive jQuery guide - a must have 21 Oct 2007
By Ben Nadel - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
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.
7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Dig deeper into the DOM and AJAX with jQuery 24 Oct 2007
By Donnie Darko - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
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.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Very Useful 22 Dec 2007
By Sean Catchpole - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
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.
6 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fast track to winning against DOM development. 8 Aug 2007
By John Farrar - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
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.
3.0 out of 5 stars Not for first comers 16 Mar 2011
By Luca - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
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.
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