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Learning jQuery: A Hands-on Guide to Building Rich Interactive Web Front Ends Book Review

If you are considering learning jQuery, this is a great place to start. The author starts the book with an introduction that puts jQuery in context and then helps you set up a development environment.

Although I think most people reading this book should already be at a level of experience in which they already have a development environment set up, you may want to use the author's suggestion because it is focused on HTML, JavaScript, and CSS. I am using Visual Studio 2012 Ultimate which works fine, but is a heavy install.

After the introduction the author jumps right into some examples to show you the jQuery syntax in several different scenarios. If you have not used jQuery at all this chapter gets you familiar with the syntax quickly.

Next the author introduces a bunch of basics. The topics include the Web, Web 2.0, XML, JSON, JavaScript's relationship to jQuery, AJAX, XMLHttpRequest, the DOM, CSS, and DHTML. The topics are not covered in detail, the author just makes sure to cover enough information about each to the level we can understand their place in relation to jQuery.

Chapter 4 begins the in-depth journey into jQuery that continues for the next six chapters. The book has three more chapters after the ones detailing jQuery on jQuery UI, Plug-Ins, and jQuery Mobile. I have listed all the chapters below.

1. Introduction
2. First Examples with jQuery
3. Basic Knowledge
4. How jQuery Works
5. Selectors and Filters
6. Accessing the Elements of a Web Page
7. Formatting with Style Sheets Under jQuery
8. Event Handling Under jQuery
9. Effects and Animations
10. AJAX
11. jQuery UI
12. Plug-Ins
13. jQuery Mobile

Each chapter goes in-depth, yet they also cover a lot of topics. For example the AJAX chapter covers AJAX and XMLHttpRequest (XHR) Basics, Special AJAX Support in jQuery, $.get() and $.post(), Getting and Parsing JSON Data: getJSON() and parseJSON(), Loading a Script Later via AJAX: jQuery.getScript(). The General Variation for Loading Data: load(), Serializing Data, Default Values for AJAX, and AJAX Events and Event Handlers.

The author's writing style makes this book a pleasure to read. He is clear and concise. The book does not contain filler content.

One thing I really like about the book is the author did a great job of logically ordering the chapters making it a nice cover to cover read, but it will also work well as a reference in the future.

It contains a great index which has had everything I have wanted to look up so far. Mentioning a great a index may seem weird, but I have had plenty of bad ones that have actually hurt the book's usability.

The code is really well organized. Each chapter gets a folder and each example gets an HTML page, JavaScript file, and CSS if needed. The page and file names include the sample number in the book which makes them really easy to locate.

All in all this is a great book for the web developer looking to learn jQuery. I highly recommend it!!!

Learning jQuery: A Hands-on Guide to Building Rich Interactive Web Front Ends

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Tad Anderson has been doing Software Architecture for 18 years and Enterprise Architecture for the past few.

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