jQuery: Visual QuickStart Guide

Author: Steven Holzner
Publisher: Peachpit Press, 2009
Pages: 240
ISBN: 978-0321647498
Aimed at: Developers who already know JavaScript
Rating: 4
Pros: Well structured cookbook approach
Cons: Doesn't go beyond the well explored
Reviewed by: Ian Elliot

This is a cookbook approach to jQuery and as long as this is what you are expecting the book works well. What it doesn't really do is give you an overview of what jQuery is about and it doesn't really give you the tools to find out things for yourself. Each short section starts with statement of what is to be achieved, a short discussion and explanation and some code. Then you move on to the next example - starting a new page. This results in a lot of white space which leaves most of the pages half empty. You also need to know Javascript and HTML/CSS well enough not to have to keep on looking things up.

The organisation of the book is logical and appropriate:

1. Essential jQuery

2. Selecting Elements the jQuery Way

3. Working with Elements the jQuery Way

4. Working with Events

5. Visual Effects and Animation

6. The jQuery Utility Functions

7. Jumping into Ajax

8. Using the Full Power of Ajax

9. Using the jQuery Widgets

Some aspects of the jQuery UI extensions are covered in the Widgets and in the chapter on animation but it fails to make clear how important the style sheets are in the workings of the Widgets or how best to customise them. This is a difficult area to get right unless you follow the basic idea that the style sheet can be overridden using a set of regular class names.

As a cookbook it isn't bad and you should be able to use it to find out how to do the basic tasks that jQuery is often used for but don’t expect it to show you anything "off the beaten track".

Last Updated ( Thursday, 05 January 2012 )