Author: Adriaan de Jonge & Phillip Dutson
Reviewer: Ian Elliot
The three libraries - jQuery, jQuery UI and jQuery Mobile - don't really share much in common apart from the name but they are popular and if you use one you'll have a natural tendency to use the others. Hence a book dealing with all three makes sense.
What is most important about this book is its subtitle: Recipes and Examples. This is a recipe book and it teaches you how things work by example. If you like this approach then you will like this book. Personally I would prefer something that did a bit more towards defining how things work than just presenting some code. For example, right at the start we have an example of using the each method to step through an array. The example is quite good and reasonably well explained, but a definition of the way the each method is used, and perhaps its parameters, would have been helpful.
Another problem is that the code is given in its entirety each time. These recipients are not code snippets but complete HTML pages, even though the HTML is mostly the same each time and contributes nothing to the example. For example, the comment:
//please externalize this code to an external .js file
Is included in most of the programs. Once is fine but think of the number of lines used in total in the book!
The book starts off with a look at jQuery. Chapter 1 is about general use, working with arrays, manipulating HTML etc. Chapter 2 is about selecting elements and is fairly basic. Chapter 3 deals with modifying the page. Chapter 4 is about events and the final chapter in the section is on Ajax. None of the recipes go beyond the standard but they are reasonable examples and if you are beginner you could learn something by reading them. However you would probably learn more by reading an explanation of how jQuery is organized.
The second section is on using the UI and this covers dragging and dropping, sorting, lists and resizing elements. It also covers the widgets buttons, accordion, progressbar, tabs and slider.
The third part is about Mobile and this attempt to give you the idea of how it is organized using just examples. It drops you in at the deep end without really any sort of preparation for how Mobile works. Again it would be much better to read something that told you how the library worked on a mobile device before you were subjected to examples.
The final part is about creating your own jQuery plugins and about working with third party plugins.
Overall this is a book that contains a lot of basic techniques in fairly easy to understand code examples. It succeeds in explaining what is going on in the examples reasonably well and I can well imagine a beginner using large chunks as boilerplate code to get standard jobs done. If you are looking for examples that take you off the beaten track then you might be disappointed.
As long as you like an approach that shows you code first and then explains it afterwards and, most importantly doesn't give you an introduction or summary of the features being used, then you might find this book valuable.