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4.0 out of 5 stars A must have for the hardcore jQuery developer, 14 Aug. 2013
C. P. M. Kassenaar (Dieren- Netherlands) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Jquery Ui Cookbook (Paperback)
jQuery UI is an extensive widget library that provides a ton of visual components to the user interface designer to create attractive websites. Nowhere is the jQuery mantra 'write less, do more' as accurate as in jQuery UI. Having said that, the library is nor perfect, nor complete. Experienced developers will want to tweak the parts of jQuery UI to suit their needs, or the needs of the interface they are designing. Enter jQuery UI Cookbook.

The book provides 70 recipes to hack into, and adapt jQuery UI at the core level to accomplish goals that are otherwise impossible to achieve. You already know for instance, that jQuery UI provides a tab widget to create a tabbed interface from your HTML-code. But what if you want to extend the tab headers with clickable icons next to the text, without having to code the tag manually? Or you want to extend the accordion widget so it can be navigated by using the Tab key, or drag and drop content between accordions? This book explains it perfectly, along with dozens of other nice tweaks and features.

But beware. There's code in this book. Lots of code. You *will* have to get your hands dirty and dive deep into the core JavaScript functions that make up jQuery UI. You need to have a solid knowledge of JavaScript and jQuery to know what you are doing and to modify the code in the recipes to be useful in your own projects. This starts right from page 1, no such thing as an easy start and calm and quietly roll into the first example. It is more like 'Bam, here's how you do it: (function($, undefined) { $.widget ("ab.accordion", $.ui.accordion, { _create: function () { this._super( "create"); .... }) (jQuery);'.

So if you're new to jQuery UI or jQuery development in general, this book is not for you. It does not explain what jQuery UI is, where to get it and what the basics are. Instead it covers all the widgets provided with the framework in an alphabetical order. Chapter 1 is about Accordions, subsequent chapters are about Autocompletes, Buttons, Datepickers, Dialogs and so on. The book ends with a chapter on Widgets, and how to build your own custom widgets from scratch.

Are you happy with the default behaviour and layout of jQuery UI? Perfect, leave this book on the shelves. Otherwise it is highly recommended. If not for extending jQuery UI, read it to learn more about how to extend and develop plugins or widgets for the jQuery library in general.

I only wish the author would have dedicated an introducing chapter to the basics and usage of jQuery UI (if you're an experienced developer, but happen to be new on jQuery UI). It would also have been nice if he covered some components of jQuery UI outside the visual widgets like Effects, Interactions and/or utilities like the Position object in more detail. It then should have received a perfect five star rating. But even with this small shortcomings, the jQuery UI Cookbook is worth every penny.
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