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14 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Very good, a must have for the jQuery beginner, 27 Nov 2007
By 
M. Jolley "mikejolley" (England, UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Learning jQuery: Better Interaction Design and Web Development with Simple JavaScript Techniques (Paperback)
Getting started with jQuery does not have to be daunting, this book will definitely help you get started, and show you key techniques to make your code efficient and feature rich.

The book is aimed at jQuery beginners, all it takes is a basic knowledge of HTML and CSS, and an understanding of the syntax of JavaScript; no jQuery experience (or any other framework for that matter) is needed or assumed. The book builds up to more advanced topics, but is still mainly aimed at beginners. However, saying that, I consider myself "intermediate" and I learnt a lot of new techniques from this book, and found some of the examples particularly useful.

In general, chapters are well documented and are also backed up by real world examples so you can see the various functions in action. For example, the Chapter entitled "Events - How to pull the trigger" starts off with an overview of jQuery's event handing functionality, then shows a real world example in the form of a style switcher. Chapters are finalised with a useful summary so you can check what you have learnt within the sections.

The book can be read from start to finish, as it is interesting, keeps you engaged, and gives information in a logical order. It contains many useful tips and functions, a lot of which I never knew about until reading the book.

The language used in the book is clear, concise and easy to understand. Tips and important points are highlighted and contain useful tidbits of information. I would have preferred more of these little tips to give the reader a broader understanding of the discussed topics, but they are currently adequate.

Code samples are well formatted and broken down, with added chunks of code emboldened. Live examples are also provided on the accomplying website, which is useful to get a look of what the code samples do. The examples themselves are of a high quality and useful in many real-world situations. Most of the examples are also shown along with screenshots to show you what the code is doing.

The screenshots themselves are a good quality but, being black and white, some are a little hard to understand what is being shown, and a few are slightly blurry. However, the examples themselves are available online so this is not such as big deal.

My only gripes with the book itself are that the headings could be better spaced out to improve legibility, and more importantly the book could have done with a better, bigger, index at the back; it's hard to find certain functions using the current index.

In conclusion, "Learning jQuery: Better Interaction Design and Web Development with Simple JavaScript Techniques" is a must have for any developer/designer looking to delve into JavaScript frameworks, and is a welcome addition to my reference book shelf. It beats the official jQuery manual hands down in my opinion, simply because everything is explained in much more detail.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Purely indispensable, 8 July 2008
By 
Ken Guest (Nenagh, Ireland) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Learning jQuery: Better Interaction Design and Web Development with Simple JavaScript Techniques (Paperback)
Packt sent me a copy of "Learning jQuery" by Jonathan Chaffer and Karl Swedberg. jQuery is a javascript library that I have been using on and off and was delighted to be given a chance to review this book and have a chance to read through and learn about jQuery in a less urgent manner than I had initially.

With a tag-line of "Better Interaction Design and Web Development with Simple JavaScript Techniques" and some 376 pages long (split into 10 chapters, along with three appendices) the book excels at fulfilling that promise.

From the chapter on Getting Started through selectors (css, dom, xpath), Chaffer and Swedberg examine and show how to use jQuery for animations, ajax and manipulating tables to the all important client-side form validation with disarmingly concise eloquence and skill. They also detail how to use and develop jQuery Plug-ins.

Any of the required server-side code examples, for the AJAX chapter, are in PHP but that doesn't make the book any less relevant or more specialised towards PHP - it should be trivial to rework them for any language.

The authors use an example based approach and this works very well as they continue to progressively enhance each example with additional features and functionality - you can really see their shopping cart and image carousel examples really build up into very well formed examples of what can be done with jQuery.

If you haven't already been turned on to jQuery by it's excellent on-line documentation and fluent API (method chaining), this is the book that will do it.

There is one caveat though: "Learning jQuery" was written for jQuery v1.1 and published in June 2007; version 1.2 of jQuery was released four months later with some substantial changes to the API.
This doesn't matter all that much to be honest; obviously this book doesn't cover what's available in v1.2 but until there's a second edition of this book (and wouldn't that be great?) you won't find a better book on the subject.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Really good. A must have for jQuery beginners, 5 Sep 2008
By 
Mr. Marcos Placona (London, UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Learning jQuery: Better Interaction Design and Web Development with Simple JavaScript Techniques (Paperback)
"Learning jQuery" is a great complement to jQuery's official documentation, having a nice and clean structure all the times within the book

The book is divided in ten very illustrative chapters containing code samples, and excellent comments related to what is being presented. It also assumes that you have never had any contact with jQuery, but have some knowledge of JavaScript.

Of course most of this information can be found on the Official Documentation, but in my opinion, it's a big puzzle, and you need to find most of the pieces of it, and will always start from the edges, when you sometimes need the middle of it. Those who tried to use it before, will know what I'm talking about, and see that this book is a must if you want to use jQuery on your applications.

I have learned a lot with this book, and although I was working with jQuery for some time, it was very good to recycle everything I knew as well as understand some technical points about why I was doing it that way.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars What you need on jquery!, 14 Feb 2008
This review is from: Learning jQuery: Better Interaction Design and Web Development with Simple JavaScript Techniques (Paperback)
First I will have to state, that this is my first and only book on the subject. Compared to most books I have read recently, this is far the most well written book: I hate books where the author doesn't take the time to narrow down his message to the reader. In this case the authors did a really good job. It isn't perfect, but they still did a very good job. If they made a more detailed index I would give this book 5 star and send a free copy to Bill Gates :-) - I'am a .Net freek.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great book but..., 16 Jan 2008
By 
G. Eagles (Suffolk, England) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Learning jQuery: Better Interaction Design and Web Development with Simple JavaScript Techniques (Paperback)
This really is an excellent introduction to the subject. Very well written with loads of code examples. Nearly everything I've wanted to do has been covered somewhere in the book BUT the big problem is finding the information you need.
The index is truly VERY poor e.g several letters have only a single entry - L for example - many others have just a few entries. I could do with a soft copy of the book to search for things more easily. But don't let that put you off, the contents pages are good, and you can always scribble extra entries into the index as you find things!!
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5.0 out of 5 stars Crystal clear, 27 July 2009
By 
D. Goldstein (New York) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Learning jQuery: Better Interaction Design and Web Development with Simple JavaScript Techniques (Paperback)
I read a lot of books on programming and I have to say this one is in the top 5%. Not a sentence too many or too few. Everything makes sense. You can actually read it from cover to cover if you want.

The proofreading is excellent, I haven't found any errors (though I haven't tried running the example code).

I particularly appreciate how the authors will take an example, rewrite it, then rewrite it, then rewrite it, progressively making changes that make clear what is going on.

Would definitely read another book by the same author.
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