Friday, August 10th, 2007

Review of Learning JQuery

Category: Book Reviews, jQuery

My colleague Brian Dillard has written a review of Learning JQuery:

Having spent most of the Ajax era at a large dot-com writing custom JavaScript backed by Prototype and some really solid internal libraries, I’m astounded by the staggering number of competing frameworks that have been quietly chugging along while I was busy elsewhere. It’s time to play catch-up. Helping me in that mission are Jonathan Chaffer and Karl Swedberg, authors of the new “Learning jQuery: Better Interaction Design and Web Development with Simple JavaScript Techniques.” The title’s a bit of a mouthful, but this beginner’s tutorial offers the same elegance and simplicity as the jQuery JavaScript framework itself. Assuming a solid grasp of basic UI technologies (XHTML, CSS and JavaScript) on the part of their audience, Chaffer and Swedberg dive right into the basics of using jQuery to speed development of RIAs.

There’s a lot to like about jQuery the library:

  • The CSS selector-based DOM traversal provides a single, unified method of manipulating your markup and data. It’s less flexible than Prototype’s grab bag of DOM methods, but it’s easier to master. All of the major frameworks are scrambling to optimize their DOM traversal methods for speed and scalability, so it will be interesting to see how jQuery evolves.
  • The crazy method-chaining allows simple, elegant DOM manipulation. Grab a node reference, change some visual properties and add behaviors – all on a single line.
  • The stripped-down base library and plug-in framework offer an attractive solution to feature bloat and gigantic code footprints. The base jQuery library provides the underpinnings, but the plug-ins provide the bells and whistles one at a time.
  • The organization of the jQuery object itself keeps the global namespace free and other libraries working properly. jQuery doesn’t rewire core JavaScript objects, either, so it plays well with legacy code written in POJ.


Posted by Dietrich Kappe at 6:25 am

3.7 rating from 24 votes


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jquery is my favorite ajax tooltip, its hability to collapse/reuse of code and the way that interacts with selectors is much better than the rest

Comment by scriptdog — August 10, 2007

Working with javascript used to intimidate me. I loved the effects that i found in scriptaculous and prototype but i couldn’t quite understand the code all that well. The best I could do was copy other peoples code and maybe modify it a bit to work with my apps. Then i found jQuery. The code is not just clean, it makes sense. I read this book and it made things even easier and taught me a few new things that i didnt know about jQuery before. I definitely recommend it to everyone who is interested in Javascript libraries. Additionally, the fact that these guys have published 2 books already based on jQuery means that they are serious about their product.

Comment by bryan — August 10, 2007

jQuery is great! I’ve also been using this book to learn, as well as online samples. I’m extremely impressed at how easy jQuery allows you to traverse the DOM. jQuery is now a part of my project foundation.

Comment by Denny Ferrassoli — August 10, 2007

I just ordered this book. Does anyone else feel like there has been a lag in publishing prototype/ beginner references? Most of the resources I’ve seen cover Ajax at a higher level.

Comment by Van — August 10, 2007

Oh, nice … jQuery advertising week :) . Why is a review of a book-about-a-framework about the advantages of a framework? Poor selected ajaxian entry about a poor written review.

Comment by mike — August 10, 2007

Its a pretty young framework, I’m kind of surprised that there’s a book at all. Anyways…if you need beginner references, check the tutorials, otherwise the API reference for your framework of choice should be your best friend.

Comment by Andy Kant — August 10, 2007

jQuery is not *that* young. It was released in Jan 06. It’s made remarkable advances since its initial release and the community of users has been growing exponentially. Users of jQuery quickly become passionate about this library as it has changed the way they write javascript and gives the less experienced greater abilities. The documentation is great and the community of users are extremely helpful to people of all levels of experience. So if you can’t find the answer you’re looking for, someone else will help.

Comment by Shelane — August 10, 2007

I don´t understand your point. Why do you regard everything written here as advertising? Furthermore you can question to articles writing – but at least there is an article about it – something you can´t say about each of the other frameworks that exist.
The continious efforts in documenting and commenting jQuery show clearly that it is one of the most popular libs out there. There are good reasons for that.

Comment by Frank Thuerigen — August 11, 2007

mike is right. This weeks slideshow and a book review aimed to get people into jQuery aren’t realy ‘news’. It’s indirect promo and that’s why news like this is starting to smell weird.

Comment by Rem — August 12, 2007

Its news to me.

Comment by Matthew Nuzum — August 12, 2007

next week it’s Prototype or MooTools instead … calm down

Comment by F.o.G. — August 13, 2007

I dont understand what the big deal is. This site is a blog dedicated to takling about ajax and javascript. That is exactly what jQuery is. You people who are complaining must be fans of other frameworks and jealous or something, I dont know. I already read the book so this isn’t news to me, but if I did not know about the book then Ajaxian did a good thing in letting me know such a book existed.

If you dont think a particular story is newsworthy then that is fine but there is no reason to start complaining about it. If you dont like the story – DONT READ IT

Comment by bryan — August 13, 2007

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