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jQuery in Action by Bear Bibeault and Yehuda Katz

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Joined: Feb 15, 2002
Posts: 932
<pre>Author : Bear Bibeault, Yehuda Katz
Publisher : Manning
Category : Web design, HTML and JavaScript
Review by : Katrina Owen
Rating : 9 horseshoes
</pre>

jQuery in Action is rock-solid documentation, well-written, and easily assimilated - even for a relative neophyte such as myself. The book is not a how-to write JavaScript book, but it does contain an appendix which helps readers who are less than proficient in JavaScript to get up to speed.

While the book starts out with the very basics of selecting elements and interacting with the DOM, the text rapidly progresses to much more complex uses, including animations, ajax, and how to extend jQuery with plugins and custom functions. It includes non-trivial examples (yeah!) and 'labs' where the reader can get their hands dirty and experiment in a controlled environment.

I'm certain that readers with a good background in JavaScript (object-oriented, unobtrusive, robust JavaScript - not the cowboy stuff) could whip through this book in a day or two and be well on their way to using jQuery library to build elaborate applications. After reading through the book once, I spent several months slowly digesting morcels of it, writing a lot of code, and reading (and re-reading) sections as the need arose.

I keep the book handy as a reference, as I am constantly 'almost' remembering how to do something or other.

My first real project using jQuery was transforming a relatively brittle (and very confusing) homegrown ajax application to use jQuery. One of my colleagues commented that the code now "reads like a story". Bear, Yehuda - you guys are making me look good. Thank you!
Book Review Team
Bartender

Joined: Feb 15, 2002
Posts: 932
Authors: Bear Bibeault, Yehuda Katz
Publisher: Manning
Reviewed by: Jeanne Boyarsky
Rating: 9 horseshoes

"jQuery in Action" grabbed my interest and kept it. This was a great contrast to the previous book I read - "Learning jQuery 1.3" which made me want to pull my hair out at the copious HTML code. By contrast, the longest "jQuery in Action" code example was 3.5 pages and there were only a few approaching this length. The vast majority were significantly shorter and all were easily digestible.

Note that this review is for jQuery in Action 1st edition which covers jQuery 1.3. If you go to the publisher's website, you can buy the second edition which covers jQuery 1.4. While only three chapters of the second edition are available, you can see them as they get written. Plus it includes the e-book for the current edition. If I were buying the book now, I'd choose this arrangement. It's a great idea on the part of the publisher as it solves the "I want to read a good book about jQuery now but don't want the latest edition ASAP."

The book comes with some "labs" that you can download to try out concepts. I really liked following along and trying out the selectors/effects interactively. There was an emphasis on good coding concepts such as Unobtrusive JavaScript and Progressive Disclosure throughout. I really liked the emphasis on idioms and good techniques. I also liked how there was a page on why browser detection is bad before showing how to do it.
 
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