JQuery in Action

*** Dec072009

I got both books several months ago, when I first realized “Hey, jQuery makes sense to me, and I might be able to do cool stuff with it!”. This volume, jQuery in Action seemed dense and difficult to understand at the time, and I didn’t get too far with it.

Having gained a little more experience with jQuery, I decided to pick it up again, and this time around I did get much more out of it. It is still a coder-oriented book, however, rather than designer-oriented. To me, the beauty of jQuery is that you really can do a lot with it without knowing the ins and outs of Javascript “closures”, for example (covered in the Appendix).

The good

The explanations of the various jQuery commands are very clear. Most are introduced in a special box explaining the syntax, parameters, and return values. Also, the examples emphasize how to make your jQuery code compact, efficient, and fast.

The bad

Many of the shorter examples in the book simply demonstrate the command being discussed, without being an actual useful snippet you might employ in a website. And, as stated above, the authors insist you need to know some nitty-gritty details of how Javascript works in order to write successful code. I still haven’t decided if that’s true or not. Either way, the Appendix the authors provide to cover these concepts does not do a good job of explaining them to a non-coder audience. Perhaps more importantly, they fail to explain why and in what situations these concepts really come into play.

In conclusion

For someone new to JQuery, or to Javascript, this may not be best book for learning how to get up and running quickly, putting it to good use on your websites. If you already have some solid coding experience, however, especially with Javascript, this book will definitely teach you what you need to know about the jQuery library.

In my opinion, a better book for getting started is, Learning jQuery 1.3.

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Author(s)Bear Bibeault, Yehuda Katz

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