Not too long ago I acquired a copy of “Learning jQuery 1.3“, a recently released ‘PACKT’ publication written by Karl Swedberg and Jonathan Chaffer. The only books I’ve previously owned relating to web development were not framework/library specific so reading this one was a totally new experience.
The book is mostly aimed at beginners but does cover some more advanced topics so may be of interest to the more savvy web designer or developer. Actually, anyone wanting a solid jQuery reference would benefit from this book!
The authors did a wonderful job and I don’t think anyone could ask for a better book about jQuery but I cannot help but raise the question of whether or not jQuery is the practical place to start.
Back to the book…
The book goes into considerable depth and manages to cover most, if not all, aspects of jQuery. In addition to feature descriptions and examples, Karl and Jonathan discuss best practices and continually advise the reader on the best course of action in various situations. jQuery’s UI framework and other various plugins are also discussed near the end.
The only issue with offering such a chapter would be that half the readers would probably find it either useless or not worth reading… yet another reason why books bug me, you’ve got to cater to such a large audience with such varying motives that you’re bound to disappoint at least a few of them!
I only have one other tiny problem with the book, and this is very specific issue and probably a little over-zealous of me to even mention it: In the first chapter the authors state that without jQuery’s bespoke
ready event you’d have to rely on the
onload event to run code when the DOM is loaded. Then they continue by saying how you’d have to bind a named function to the event by obtrusively placing it in the HTML (
The content of the book, as it is, is definitely up to scratch. The only issues I have are more theoretical and are largely unrelated to this particular publication.
If you are considering buying a book of this type or are possibly on the edge of a decision then I absolutely suggest this one! Everything you’d want to know about the jQuery library is neatly squeezed inside the covers of “Learning jQuery 1.3“. Don’t be put off by my negativity; like I said, those are just a couple of my opinions concerning the general approach of books like these, not the content of this particular one.
1 – By this, I mean “information” is rarely the prime concern when publishing a book. While creating an informative book may be the sole objective of the author it’s not going to be the publisher’s primary concern!