A Review – Learning JQuery


Learning JQuery


I have been playing around with various JavaScript frameworks for a while now, one that has taken my interest of late is JQuery. Hence getting hold of Learning JQuery by Karl Swedberg and Jonathan Chaffer was to be expected. The book is available as a pdf e-book or in print format. I’m old school, I like the print version. Mainly so I can throw a book down in frustration 🙂 or fall asleep with it and not worry about a laptop crashing to the ground.

The book is a self contained guide to taking a designer with little JavaScript experience (from a designer view point) through a series of tutorials with code samples to understanding JQuery to a reasonable degree. But be warned I would recommend you supplement this book with a good beginner JavaScript book and learn how JavaScript really works and not rely on the framework and library all the time.

It takes you through a brief tour of the DOM, triggers, Manipulation of the DOM, Using Ajax for passing data. There is also a entire chapter on writing JQuery plugins, which does seem a little out of place. However a saving grace is the Appendices that deal with a number of newbie type mistakes that can and do occur with the use of a library of this nature.

Web Standards and the use of unobtrusive development techniques have not been forgotten with this book. It even takes a leaf from Jeremy Keith with some Hijak like methods. This is all good, and I can recall smiling away when I was reading this book over these very points.

However there are a few technical errors in relation to screen readers and their ability to read JavaScript. Also some of the techniques given in the tutorials could be assessed for an improvement in their presented accessibility standards, as in most cases they are not industry best practice.

The book is also a little dry in tone, not to the extent that it is unreadable. But I did find that it was best studied from in limited periods. Layout wise the book is reasonable, a minor point: more white space around the code examples would have helped the clarity of the examples.

Learning JQuery is reasonable book for a designer to learn JQuery from. If you know your usability and accessibility (and you should) then you will find some minor errors, but you can easily get around these.

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  1. Hi Gary,

    Thanks a lot for the review of our book! I appreciate your comments.

    I’m wondering if you would mind providing examples of some of the errors that you saw regarding accessibility and usability. If we ever print a second edition, we’d certainly want to avoid repeating our mistakes.

    Feel free to contact me either through email or in a reply comment. Thanks again.

  2. @Karl Thanks Karl for stopping by. I’ll be sure to document them. I suspect the book was the subject of an industry best practice shift. As you know this always happens.

  3. I too bought this book but I confess to not giving it the attention it deserves yet.

    So far I have found it a good read.

  4. @Steven, I’m glad you’re liking the book so far. If you, or anyone else for that matter, would like some help as you work through the book, please don’t hesitate to contact me (you can use the contact form at learningjquery.com).

    Gary, I hope you don’t mind my commenting here again; I certainly don’t wish to be a “troll.” Thanks again for the review.

  5. @Karl – No not at all, its all about open discussion. Will get that info to you, just a little under the pump at the moment.

Comments are now closed, move along, nothing to see here.