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jQuery 1.4 Reference Guide Paperback – 27 Jan 2010

4.8 out of 5 stars 5 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 336 pages
  • Publisher: Packt Publishing (27 Jan. 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1849510040
  • ISBN-13: 978-1849510042
  • Product Dimensions: 19 x 1.9 x 23.5 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,166,920 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

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. Karl Swedberg is a web developer at Structure Interactive in Grand Rapids, Michigan, where he spends much of his time implementing design with a focus on "web standards"-semantic HTML, well-mannered CSS, and unobtrusive JavaScript. Before his current love affair with web development, Karl worked as a copy editor, a high-school English teacher, and a coffee house owner. His fascination with technology began in the early 1990s when he worked at Microsoft in Redmond, Washington, and it has continued unabated ever since. Karl's other obsessions include photography, karate, English grammar, and fatherhood. He lives in Grand Rapids with his wife, Sara, and his two children, Benjamin and Lucia.


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Format: Paperback
jQuery version 1.4 was released on January 14, 2009, and hot on the heels of that release is the accompanying `jQuery 1.4 Reference Guide` book from Packt. The book is nudging at 300 pages in length, and covers the API in a similar way to the excellent online documentation. This isn't the book for readers with no JavaScript experience, but should be easy to pick up with somebody with at least a limited knowledge.

The eleven chapters cover the following:

- Anatomy of a jQuery script
- Selector Expressions
- DOM Traversal Methods
- DOM Manipulation Methods
- Event Methods
- Effect Methods
- AJAX Methods
- Miscellaneous Methods
- jQuery Properties
- The Plug-in API
- Alphabetical Quick Reference

The first chapter gently introduces the reader to the jQuery framework, as it quickly but clearly dissects an example that dynamically extracts headings from an HTML document and assembles them into a table of contents. My only criticism on this chapter is that it doesn't mention the recommended practice of using Google's jQuery CDN, preferring to link to a local, downloaded copy.

Subsequent chapters get into the swing of jQuery methods and techniques, using examples to complement their description. Reference guides are rarely the most exciting books, but this is actually quite easy to read, and the examples are well written and help push the reader through the content.

Chapter 10 focuses on plug-in development, and although short, does cover the essentials in a well-written overview of a simple print plugin.

Despite the quality of the online documentation, this is a worthwhile book for any jQuery developer, owing to its clear and direct content. Although the framework is evolving, the book is likely to be relevant for a long time to come.
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Format: Paperback
The jQuery 1.4 Reference Guide came out hot on the heels of jQuery 1.4, a landmark release for the project.

jQuery 1.4 brought many new features and performance improvements, and this book does a great job of documenting them. As other reviewers have pointed out, there are 11 chapters into which all of the jQuery 1.4 methods are organised. The chapters include AJAX, animation, selectors, DOM traversal and manipulation among others. In addition, there is an excellent chapter on the jQuery plugin API - one of the highlights of the book for me. This chapter really demonstrated how easy it is to create plugins (of various types), encouraging code re-use and easier maintenance.

The other highlight for me was a chapter at the beginning of the book - regarding selectors. Selectors are perhaps one of the first things you learn when you first begin to work with jQuery, but it was great to revisit this topic - the selector engine is much more powerful and flexible than I had realised.

In addition, there are a couple of useful appendixes which provide a wealth of further information.

The writing style is on the terse side, but for a book of this sort, that's a positive for me. There is very little 'fluff' here - the emphasis is on providing the necessary information quickly, with a minimal code sample to demonstrate the method.

Consequently, this isn't a book for beginners, or for a reader looking for tutorials. For that, consider Learning JQuery 1.3 instead. However, if you're an intermediate to advanced jQuery developer looking to further your knowledge, this book is excellent.

To top it all off, the publishers donate a portion of the profits from this book to the jQuery project, so in buying this book, you are indirectly helping to fund the project. 5 stars from me!
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Format: Paperback
This book is aimed at developers who already know the basics of jQuery and need a quick reference guide.

The first chapter gives examples of jQuery code and serves as an introduction to jQuery as well as an introduction to the other chapters of the book and what they contain. Following chapters contain all the functions and features of jQuery and make up the reference portion of the book.

The alphabetical quick reference section is what you will probably be most likely to reach for when you need to look-up how to use a feature or function. Its divided into 3 parts (selectors, methods and properties) and is very handy -- I found myself using it a lot when I needed to look up function arguments quickly during development.

Like the last edition, each section of the book is clearly labelled and well organised. The language used in the book is concise and easy to understand, code is well formatted, diagrams are clear, examples and descriptions are given, and even certain `gotchas' (for example, browser bugs) are pointed out and explained.

Overall, if you are a developer using jQuery then this is a brilliant quick-reference guide to have on your desk.
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Format: Paperback
Disclaimer: I received a digital review copy of this book from the publisher, Packt Publishing.

I can't figure out anything negative to say about jQuery 1.4 Reference Guide. It probably serves best those already familiar with jQuery. Its explanations are clear and terse. Just the way I like it.

In addition to reference material there's some nice information about anatomy of a jQuery script (first chapter) and plugins (last chapter). Despite this I believe that beginners will probably be served better by some other book, such as "Learning jQuery 1.3" or "jQuery in Action".

If you need something quickly to refer to while developing using jQuery this is the book to pick. There's no way around that.
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