Book Review: Learning jQuery

I’m a huge fan and avid user of jQuery and have been extremely impressed by the documentation provided on the jQuery website. The one thing that documentation lacks, however, is really contextual examples that drive home some bare essentials of JavaScripting with the jQuery library. Learning jQuery – a book by Jonathan Chaffer and Karl Swedberg – is an excellent introductory book for those that are thinking about using (or struggling with) jQuery.

jQuery, while a fairly high level JavaScript library is a beautiful thing but can be very daunting to a developer that is new to JavaScripting or is coming from a dissimilar library, being thrust full bore into a ‘new’ way of doing old tricks. (Which jQuery is great at by the way…it makes the new ways super sexy, sleek, and easy). The authors do a great job of explaining what jQuery is and why it is such a powerful tool.

Throughout the book are examples on traversing and manipulating the DOM, event handling, leveraging jQuery’s JS effect capabilities, AJAX, etc; many of which are built off of previously detailed examples, allowing the reader to easily grasp what is going on and why a chunk of code was used.

While I feel this book is primarily an excellent introductory source for diving into the world of JavaScript development with jQuery, the fairly seasoned jQuery user (like myself) may find a trick or two that they hadn’t quite thought of… As I read through, I found a few choice bits that allowed me to make my own code more efficient!

My only real complaint with the book is the index at the back. There are a number of jQuery functions that are discussed within the chapters yet weren’t referenced in the index. A small nitpick, I know, but I’m a sucker for a good index :)

So. Overall, I think the book is a good thing to keep on the bookshelf, whether a you are a jQuery n00b or not. There’s always a co-worker/friend/programming buddy that will want to learn jQuery and what better way to get them rolling on there own than a link to the jQuery docs and a sweet book?

You can get the book here.