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Customer Review

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Recommended Book for Newbies, 23 Feb. 2013
This review is from: JavaScript & jQuery: The Missing Manual (Paperback)
I went through some JavaScript books around 7 years back. That time JavaScript and HTML were basically for hobby programmers. As my company had just bagged a project to replace SAP WDPs with BSPs for better user control, I had to breath life to my old JavaScript skills which I thought was redundant (being in SAP Field). Based on user ratings I opted for this book and I'am NOT disappointed.

Chapter 1 introduces us to the first JavaScript program. Author asks us to type version 1.6.3 of JQuery, but in his completed page he has typed 1.7.2. My script worked only after I typed the new version.

In chapter 2 author has given examples of variables. In the example for declaring multiple variables in one JavaScript statement, he could have used different types of variables instead of ONLY boolean. In this chapter I experimented a lot by putting double quotes and single quotes. The author could also have done this in exercises to drive home the point about the interchangeability of the quotes.

In the 3rd chapter, author has explained the multi dimensional Array with example in a simple easy to understand lingo. Also by trying out the Simple Quiz tutorial, I missed a lot of closing brackets and learnt how to debug in the browser (IE in my case).

I planned to complete 1 part every week, But my plans hit the road block once I reached part 2. i,e as soon as the JQuery introduction started. Author has taken all the pains to explain the concepts of JQuery. As usual he has asked us to refer to JQuery version 1.6.3 in exercises. After I completed the exercises nothing was working and then when I compared with the completed files (Which author has given), Author has referred to version 1.7.2. By correcting just the version the JS code started working.

Upto chapter 5 author has given exercises for us to work along with completed files. From chapter 6 onwards author has given a few completed files ONLY with code explanation. I started getting dizzy when I came to the topic Multiple call back functions, However the Author has explained this so well that I was able to complete the exercise of adding one more extra call back function.

Chapter 7 polishes our skills with a lot of interesting coding. By the time I reached this place, I was pretty confidant of coding and was able to go through the instructions quickly (except for the regular expression). I was able to complete the fancy box coding even before the actual step by step tutorial started at the last section of chapter 7. Author has given some extra files in the tutorial downloads. The expectation is you work on these files yourself.

In chapter 8, I became a bit adventurous and followed my own naming conventions for classes. As my scripts did NOT work for iframe, I realized that fancybox plugin has hardcoded the name iframe in their program so I HAD TO name my link class as iframe for the script to work

Author has discussed the JQuery plugins well. He could have done some remote loading examples also. The advanced validation part in Chapter 9 is quite code intensive. I missed a comma after rules (before starting the messages) and this made the page act funny. However this is entirely my own mistake. Author repeatedly warns us of missing commas and closing braces.

No example files have been given for topic DETERMINING THE SIZE AND POSTION OF PAGE ELEMENTS in chapter 10. Sample files explaining the CSS concepts would have been valuable as the topic itself is too theoretical with a lot of CSS elements being discussed.

Author has given details on how to retrieve values received as XML data in chapter 11. I just read through the AJAX getFunction() tutorial without working out, as we have our own SAP ABAP program for server side processing. There is a syntax error in the code given by the author for AJAX Login form. You can work this out with the debugger.
No examples have been given for JSON Data and objects

After finishing part 4, I started off designing my project JQuery only to hasten back to the book to finish off the final part 5. This final section was really useful and I read it with my project requirements in my mind. The sub topic Traversing the DOM was very useful in successfully demonstrating my newly acquired skills to the customer.

A must read, Debugging chapter should have been discussed earlier as this would have helped the readers to trouble shoot in the following topics. The author explains this well in a step by step tutorial. Most of my debugging was in IE9 without installing firebug. All I did was to select F12 in IE9 and followed the author's tutorial and it worked like charm. I was able to fix the error even before going to the step where the author reveals it.

The HTML in the tutorial files could have been more user friendly. In many instances I had to format the code in text files, else all the tags were occurring repeatedly one after the other.

Also the sample tutorial web pages have text in Latin (I found this by googling). Since the book is in English, the texts could also have been in English .

My requirement was to just learn the concepts of JavaScript and apply it minimally and use my expertise in serverside programming (ABAP in my case). This book serves the purpose by introducing JQuery which simplifies the JavaScript programming. If you want to take up JavaScript / JQuery as a profession, you have to continue reading other advanced topic books. For my own requirements, I might have to dive deeper into AJAX.

I will recommend this book to anyone who doesn't want to be going into the JQuery documentation. I made a futile attempt to go through the DHTML documentation, but this was too complicated especially for someone like me who just wanted to learn JavaScript / DHTML for hobby programming. This book has made the topic simpler with easy to test codes. Also this book has driven home the fact that using JQuery, we could combine JavaScript and DHTML and get lively web pages with a few lines of coding.

Be aware that you need to have some CSS background before your jump in.

CONCULSION - RECOMMENDED BOOK for Write less, Do More (JQuery Motto).
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