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on 17 March 2011
Without any doubt, the worst developers guide I have come across.

Lovely print quality, with heavy and glossy paper, so first impressions are excellent. However...

From the beginning I found erroneous examples, where text seems to have been copy and pasted wrongly. Parts of the explanations were therefore discussing the wrong code samples. Then some of screen shots were obviously incorrect. And all the while, the code examples are repetitive in the extreme. These, illustrated step by step, repeat all of the code in each step, so that a 9 line code segment may end up with an additional 30 repeated lines. This becomes tedious by the end of the first code sample, but is repeated all the way through the book. I did not bother counting the number of pages given over to the Latin text content for the HTML being manipulated. But one example had a whole page of Latin elements!

At a guess, this 320 page book could be reduced to less than 100, and in so doing it may even be improved. I could not, in good conscience, recommend this book to anyone.

Would Amazon accept this one back for the reasons stated above? I doubt it.
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TOP 1000 REVIEWERon 14 April 2011
Format: Paperback|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
A couple of months before getting this book I read the Sitepoint book "jQuery: Novice to Ninja". It's an excellent book and I highly recommend it jQuery: Novice to Ninja (or alternatively, jQuery in Action, Second Edition though not as easy for beginners as Novice to Ninja).

When the Smashing book came out, I thought I'd get it to compare - Smashing Magazine being quite a trendy setup and I had high hopes for it.

The initial impression was wow - lovely colour screenshots, great layout and even the code samples are colour highlighted as in an IDE.

Looking at the contents, a sense of deja-vu - it's almost the same, and in the same order, as the Sitepoint book. But no harm there. Jake Rutter emphasizes the importance of unobtrusive Javascript, graceful degradation, progressive enhancement - just like Sitepoint, clearly on the ball there with trendy (and true) thinking.

Then I started to notice the errors. So I looked at the other reviews on and and yes, lots of complaints about errors, sufficient for one person to return their copy! I jumped to the advanced chapter to see if there's any useful info there not in the Sitepoint book - how about Ajax? In the Sitepoint book it's relegated to Appendix A. Jake's book covers Ajax, but again, spoils it. The server side is a cop out, assumed to be beyond the scope of the book. A simple PHP form handler would have been much more useful! And again, statements that shock me with disbelief:

"POST requests are different from GET requests in that they post the data to the server-side process behind the scenes, which makes them safer, especially for transmitting sensitive data." On the next page he writes "The POST request is perfectly suited for submitting contact forms because they usually contain personal and confidential information that you need to keep secure." WOW! You mean like credit card details? Without SSL encryption? This guy is clearly on the designer side of life, without a clue what goes on "behind the scenes". Of course, the only way POST is more secure than GET is in the latter, the parameters are on the URL and can therefore be copied as bookmarks or emailed as a URL - not something you want to do with "sensitive" data. But anyone with wireshark or juggler can see the data is transmitted unencrypted, and therefore just as insecure.

Finally the writing style, or lack thereof. Maybe it's the over-use of writing in the first person present-tense: "I'm going to show you how to manipulate data that is in the tables. When I say manipulate I mean... I explain the following solutions... I use the following HTML table..." (page 161, but very typical, and that's over just a few sentences). It quickly gets tedious and reads as if self-centred.

Switch over to the Sitepoint book, and it's all about us and we... it just seems friendlier.

In short, the Sitepoint book was written by two highly experienced writers and was proof-read by a team of experts. It looks like Jake had no help, and he needed it.
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on 20 March 2011
What a shame!
Flashy to look at, but did anyone (proof) read it?
I found the type in the examples very difficult to read; does the author produce websites like this?
The difference between ( and { is difficult to spot. In some cases the {s and the }s do not match. Fundamental programming!
I've only worked through about a quarter of the code and so far the errors are dreadful.
Some code examples are simply wrong!!!!!!
If you are OK with javascript you may see some of the errors a mile off! BUT if you are new to scripting this would destroy your confidence.
I do hope the rest of the book is more carefully written as the more complicated stuff may be too far gone to resolve without expert help...which is er.... why I bought the book!

Again, if you are OK with javascript you may be able to sort it out, but isn't that what Mr Rutter was paid to do?

A lost opportunity. This is not what I would call a professional book!

P.s Now having worked on - it gets worse. Sudden changes in coding approaches are made with no warning only some vague explanation out of sequence.
Examples with no clear results, more errors. It's now in for a refund.
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VINE VOICEon 17 October 2012
Format: Paperback|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
The book looks really nice on the outside, glossy paper, colourful etc... As for the inside, it just feels like a really quick copy and paste stolen from their website. Without anyone proof reading it either.
There are plenty of mistakes and yes, it does feel cheap when you read. Like some books I read from Blogger earlier. They tend to put the same amount of work in a book than in a Blog Post, which is quite different in terms of research and copy proof.

For a book to learn a technical skills, this is a bit of a no/no. Pass your way you have plenty of other books to learn about Jquery out there.
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on 15 December 2011
I never review items on opinion websites or contribute to Amazon reviews, but this book is just so poor that I felt I had to.

I am an intermediate JQuery developer and wanted to brush up on my skills as I had just been made redundant. What a waste of time this book is, and I really cant afford purchases that are not what they say on the tin. Please avoid if you need anything other than a door stop. This book is riddled with typos (in the code!), grammatical errors and even spelling mistakes, did no one proof read it, or even re-read it once written?!!

I am so disappointed its been a complete waste of time and money, un-professional to the extreme!
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Format: Paperback|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
I like Smashing books, owning a whole bunch on related topics so it made sense to get the one about jQuery. jQuery is a fast and concise JavaScript Library that simplifies HTML document traversing, event handling, animating, and Ajax interactions for rapid web development and is designed to change the way that you write JavaScript. We use it on most of our websites and it's pretty accessible with so many people developing accessible example scripts.

Initially I enjoyed this book because it's fun to dive in, explore a subject and follow the instructions to add a feature or effect to your code. Some people have described the style as starting to tire after a while, but I guess this is more important if you read the book from beginning to end. Just diving in I doubt you'd notice.

The book is structured simply with an introduction, learning the fundamentals, applying jQuery to your site and exploring advanced jQuery.

People have talked about errors but aside from proof reading errors I haven't actually experienced any myself. Maybe it depends which examples you actually explore.

Would I recommend this book? Well it's not vital, as you could probably do everything it covers by using Google, but you'd sure get distracted if you went for that approach. The advantage of this book is that it keeps your attention on the subject matter.
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on 16 April 2013
The book initially impresses because of the full-colour layout, however it becomes quickly apparent that the numerous screenshots are there to distract attention from the poor quality of the main text and the startling number of basic errors and discrepancies. Either the author is wholly incompetent or the book was not proofread at any stage of its production.

For example, on page 74 the author messes up a simple loop - multiple times! - by using '<= array.length' instead of '< array.length' (JavaScript arrays are zero-based). This would result in a runtime error and confuse anyone relatively new to the language.

There are some more howlers, including a basic misunderstanding of POST versus GET, a series of final chapters which are pretty much a collection of web site screenshots to pad out the page count, and the author's insistence on using a truly annoying repetitive first-person style throughout.

I'd urge anyone reading this review to choose an alternative title (I thought Learning jQuery, Third Edition was far superior). There's nothing professional about the techniques on display here and I'll be avoiding this publisher in the future. I feel fortunate that I picked this up at the library and only wasted my time, not my hard-earned cash.
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Format: Paperback|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
This book is a colourful introduction to the popular jQuery library. Note it was published in 2011 so it is rather out of date now. It also suffers from an above average number of errors in the code examples, so take care when copying it, though you can find a list of errata on the author's web site. It is not comprehensive, especially today, but nevertheless contains useful introductory material which will get you started.

One thing to bear in mind: there is no coverage of jQuery mobile, which was only in preview when the book was written.

I suggest you get a more recent and more comprehensive book rather than this one, but if you are targetting desktop browsers and come across a copy, it is worth a read.
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on 28 October 2011
As every reviewer has already said: first impressions are good: great paper quality, lots of colors, everything is bright and good use of white space.
But the huge flaws only bubble up when you really start reading this book... Being an experienced programmer, most of the content made sense to me; but being new to jQuery, I relied on the examples to help me really understand the 'why' and 'how' of jQuery. And this is where everything goes wrong... My Top-3 of irritations:

1) A bunch of the code in the book is just wrong!
Code like '.bind(click, alertMe)' should be '.bind("click", alertMe)' ; small difference, but crucial for making things work.
Just for fun, here's another one: $('.book-one').css('background''','*ccc'''); what's up with all those quotes? :)
I could list a dozen examples (and I've only made it to page 100). Don't forget the amount of time you lose trying to figure out why the example in the book doesn't work!

2) Screenshots are not showing what they need to show.
Example: the screenshot should show a bunch of div's with a grey background; but instead it shows an empty page with all div's hidden... Doesn't make any sense...

3) Some important stuff isn't explained as it should be.
Event bubbling, the 'this' keyword, etc... is poorly explained. Since I only made it to page 100, it's possible that the author explains it further in the book; but by the time you reach page 100, you'll be throwing this book out the window...

A new jQuery book has been ordered; hopefully it will do a better and more correct job of teaching me jQuery...
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Format: Paperback|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
While I didn't hate it as much as a number of the reviewers here, it was pretty far from the best book on the subject I've encountered. I confess, before reading this book, I had never heard of Smashing Magazine, but my experience of technical topics in these kind of publications is not great. There is a reason, I think, that most people tend towards the more established publishers of these kind of books.

Nonetheless, the book is beautifully presented, and being an Ajax novice, I found the introductory chapters to be interesting and well presented. However, there is a lot of ground that gets retrodden as time goes by, and a number of the exercises simply didn't work as advertised. While the start of the book is relatively good for newcomers to the topic, there is a lack of context with regards to building genuine understanding. It's all too shallow to really be of a lot of use.

I don't think it's terrible, it's just - there are better books out there.
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