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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic little book
This little book packs a lot in, and in fact gives you a better background than some longer introductory books. The beauty of it is once you have read it you can keep it as a reference. If you any kind of web developement background and some basic Javascript knowledge this is all you might need. Can't recommend it enough.
Published on 26 Mar 2011 by Amazon Customer

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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Disappointing
These are the promises on the back cover...

... "Read less, learn more" .... "You'll learn how to : ..."...

Alas, the book fails to deliver.

I'm a professional programmer with over a decade's commercial experience in programming, and I bought this jQuery reference after buying "Professional ASP.NET MVC3" and within a week of buying that...
Published on 31 Mar 2012 by Anonymous


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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Disappointing, 31 Mar 2012
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This review is from: jQuery Pocket Reference (Paperback)
These are the promises on the back cover...

... "Read less, learn more" .... "You'll learn how to : ..."...

Alas, the book fails to deliver.

I'm a professional programmer with over a decade's commercial experience in programming, and I bought this jQuery reference after buying "Professional ASP.NET MVC3" and within a week of buying that book felt like I'd been using MVC3 for years. I felt that I needed something to do the same for my jQuery skills and so I bought this jQuery reference book thinking it would be a quick way to get up to speed on jQuery.

How wrong could I be!

This jQuery reference has to rank as one of the poorest written books I've read in a long time. It serves as neither a reference nor a tutorial.

The main problem is the grammatical style that the author uses. Or rather the poor grammatical style.

The grammar at first glance appears fine. The sentences taken in isolation look like good english and the spelling is correct. It feels like it's been thoroughly proof read. In fact, put against the MVC3 book I mentioned earlier, this jQuery book has far fewer of what you might think of as grammatical 'errors' in the traditional sense.

Yet that MVC3 book is far easier to read - in fact I'd go as far as to say the MVC3 book is a pleasure to read, whereas reading this jQuery book is like torture. If you don't already know jQuery, your head will hurt. If you do already know, then why do you need this book?

Where this jQuery book falls down, is in the cohesion of the text (or rather lack of).

Now, before I go any further, I will acknowledge that this book claims to be a reference book. So why should I expect cohesion? Well, unfortunately, I don't feel that this really is a reference book. If it were, then...

-o- ... much of what it explains in words, would have instead been tabulated,

-o- ... the indexing and overall structure would be far better than it currently is. (Open it up on most pages and you don't get a feel for where you are in a 'reference' sense),

-o- ... the (short) index wouldn't send you head first into chapters with lengthy hard to follow explanations (which I'll get onto in a minute),

-o- ... and the final 25 pages (out of the 146 in total) would not be separately called a 'quick reference' in its own right!

So apart from those last 25 pages, the other ~80% of this book is, as far as I am concerned, not a reference. Now that in itself wouldn't necessarily bother me - I was as much after a quick tutorial as I was a reference book, so I'd be happy with either.

Now if we consider this book as a tutorial book instead of a reference (after all it does say on the back "You'll learn..."), the selection of the chapter topics would actually seem to be fairly good.

Unfortunately that's where the good structure comes to an end. Within those chapters, the paragraphs and sentences are a real headache to follow. There are a number of problems that cause this, here are just a few (I don't have time or space to cover them all),....

-o- The subject within a paragraph (and even within single long sentences) constantly keeps changing, typically in a seemingly ad-hoc manner. (In (English) technical terms, lexical chains are short and numerous meaning it's hard to keep track of what the author is referring to)

-o- Sentence to sentence cohesion is almost non-existent even within single paragraphs. The subject (actor) from one sentence to the next constantly changes, and rarely follows from the prior sentence.

-o- The author keeps switching between third person 'formal' language (as might be expected of a good reference), to informal 'personal' instructions for example suggesting how 'you' might do things (as might be expected of a good tutorial). But the author flits around from one to other quite literally from one sentence to the next, leaving you bemused and confused as to how you should be reading (or using) the book.

-o- Where cohesive devices are used, they leave you scratching your head. For example, where anaphoric references are used, the number of prior subjects/objects typically forces you to re-read the prior text to disambiguate the reference. (To be fair, upon re-reading you can normally resolve the uncertainty, but you really do have to concentrate hard and re-read whole blocks of text slowly and carefully to do so. Which is not great if you're trying to use this as a tutorial!).

-o- And at the other extreme, the author also fails to use such references (anaphoric references) when they would actually have been clear and appropriate, which then gives you the impression that a new subject has been introduced when in actual fact the author is still referring to the same subject as the previous sentence. Arrrggghh!

Overall, the language used (as described above) is the biggest let down of this book, and the main reason I have only given it two stars. JQuery is not that difficult at all, so there's no reason at all why the text in this book should be anywhere near as difficult to follow as it is.

To be honest, I was tempted to only give it one star, but having subsequently out of necessity used repeated google searches to learn the jQuery basics (independently of this book), upon re-reading this book I can see that it does at least cover the subject area reasonably comprehensively, and for that reason I've given it two stars rather than one.

But there is one final bugbear that I can't let go without mention... the chapter on the jQuery UI library. This chapter is quite simply a con.

Don't be fooled by the page numbers. Page 108 is blank. Page 112 is blank. Page 111 finishes before it even gets half way down the page, and the first page of the chapter, page 109, starts one around third of the way down.

The net result is that the chapter fills a smidgen of just over 2 sides of paper.

The first paragraph of this chapter states - "You can find the library and its documentation at [...]".

The rest of the chapter - little over 1 compact sheet of paper - contains little, if anything, of any substance; what is there in this chapter is vague and imprecise.

The rest of the book is, to be fair, comprehensive in coverage but let down (very badly) by the authors style.

This jQuery UI chapter is let down by the same (poor) style but just as significantly its complete lack of content. So much so with the latter (the content), that I really don't think it is even acceptable that this chapter is allowed to be listed in the table of contents.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic little book, 26 Mar 2011
This review is from: jQuery Pocket Reference (Paperback)
This little book packs a lot in, and in fact gives you a better background than some longer introductory books. The beauty of it is once you have read it you can keep it as a reference. If you any kind of web developement background and some basic Javascript knowledge this is all you might need. Can't recommend it enough.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars What an excellent little book, 2 Feb 2011
By 
A J Furniss (Farnborough, Hants United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
This review is from: jQuery Pocket Reference (Paperback)
This book is just out at first edition and I received my copy in the post just last week (late Jan 2011).

What a little gem!

I was expecting just a condensed summary of jQuery selector syntax and methods (and would have been happy to pay the asking price for just that) but this Pocket Reference goes way further with not inconsiderable, fact-rich explanatory text offering invaluable insight into the subject matter.

Indexing is right up to O'Reilly's usual standards - excellent.

After several thumb-throughs of the book and several specific look-ups, my only criticisms concern "method chaining" which is not brought out as a topic in its own right. It's mentioned in the introduction and again in the "Selectors & Selection Methods" and "Extending jQuery with Plugins" chapters but could be given better exposure.

On the same point, it's important when building a method chain to understand what each method returns. The final chapter "jQuery Quick Reference" does address returned values but not for all methods. ":jQuey" is stated in some cases but not all, so what is the default if no return is indicated? (Or am I missing something fundamental here?) If I'm right, then the chapter would be improved by being more consistent and the same applies throughout the book, though finding a consistent format for stating the returns in the other chapters, which are of a more narrative nature, might be a challenge for the author.

In summary, my misgivings are minor and I would thoroughly recommend this text to anybody seeking to build on a basic understanding of jQuery, and more experienced jQuery programmers who simply need a quick reference for those rarer methods and syntaxes.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars No cigar, 21 Jan 2012
This review is from: jQuery Pocket Reference (Paperback)
Flanagan's use of language is often ambiguous- he refers to both method chaining and supplying arguments as 'passing'.
His examples are repetative rather than specific- they repeat the obvious, rather than exemplifying the edge-case.
He often leaves out syntax details which, presumably, he expects you should known since this is a reference work.

If his examples were specific, his language unambiguous, and the syntax which glues it all together included then the book would be great, but it will leave the beginner to trial-and-error learning.

The reference function of the book is complicated and marred by the poor explinations.

If you "know but can't quite remember", then this book will be very handy and is cheap.
If you "almost know and want to know more", then this book may slow you down with confusion.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Avoid the Kindle version, 10 Aug 2011
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This review is from: jQuery Pocket Reference (Paperback)
You will see from the other reviews that this is a good book. I agree with them.

The problem is that the Kindle version suffers from various formatting issues which, I am sure, do not occur in the physical book. If you like to see code examples that are wrapped around the page, then you'll like it. If you prefer, as I do, to see the code laid out clearly, then the Kindle version is not for you.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Compact introduction to jquery, 9 Mar 2014
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This review is from: jQuery Pocket Reference (Paperback)
Naturally you aren't an expert after reading this, but it does contain a lot of information about various aspects of what jquery can be used to do and how.

It explores many aspects of jquery from basic functions that makes JavaScript more easy to use to DOM (Document Object Model) handling to Ajax and animations.
It gives a good introduction to these different uses of jquery, and is good for looking up things or getting a taste of what jquery can do for you.
So it's great for wetting your appetite and giving you an introduction to one of the most exciting aspects of JavaScript.
I still use it to quickly look something up if I'm in doubt.

So all in all, a great look into the world of jquery. But you need a more detailed/longer book to make yourself a jquery expert.
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4.0 out of 5 stars just enough info to get started and enough reference to remain useful, 22 July 2012
By 
A. J. Gauld (Scotland) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: jQuery Pocket Reference (Paperback)
This is quite different to most of the O'Reilly reference books I've bought (and I've got a few!). There is much more discussion/tutorial here and less reference - in fact I'd probably prefer a bit more reference, especially of the "standard" plugins like UI. But overall if you have already done the basic tutorial on the JQuery web sites and want a quick access book then this will fit the bill nicely.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Great pocket book, 2 April 2012
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This review is from: jQuery Pocket Reference (Paperback)
In the last decade and a bit I've purchased numerous pocket books - this jQuery one is perhaps the best to date. It's sufficiently well fleshed and organised that one can use it as a good spring board into the deeper aspects of jQuery. Gladly recommended.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Well written reference, 12 Mar 2012
This review is from: jQuery Pocket Reference (Paperback)
An excellent jQuery reference. It covers all the Jquery activities you could possibly want, and all in a truly pocket sized book. As a total newbie, I'd have liked a few more examples. I did have to use a search engine a few too many times to find out how to use the information in the book, but from here on it, it will be a great asset.
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5.0 out of 5 stars What they said, 19 April 2011
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This review is from: jQuery Pocket Reference (Paperback)
Top book. Gives more detail, and clearer explanations, than some other books in the series.

It might be the only jQuery book that I (or you) need - although the subject itself is interesting enough that I will probably buy another book :)
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jQuery Pocket Reference
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