|This is an excellent work, a worthy successor to others in Manning's "in Action" series. It is highly readable and chock-full of working code. The Lab pages are a marvellous way to explore this library, which should become an important part of every web developer's arsenal. Five stars all 'round!|
Chapter 1 - Introducing jQuery
Chapter 2 -Creating the wrapped element set
Before you can work on elements of the DOM, you have to find the ones you want to work on. The jQuery library uses and significantly extends the standard CSS selectors to enable the user to trivially select whatever elements they wish, based upon a wide variety of attributes, relationships, and more. jQuery's concept of chaining method calls (returning the wrapped set at the end of each method so that the next method can be called directly on the return value from this one) is clarified with many examples.
Chapter 3 -Bringing pages to life with jQuery
Once you have your elements, what then to do with them? jQuery shines in its ability to change element properties and attributes, to alter element styling, to set element content, even to retrieve form element values! This last is perhaps better handled by the Form Plugin to be discussed in chapter 9, but some basic functionality is provided even in the main library.
Chapter 4 -Events are where it happens!
Chapter 5 - Sprucing up with animations and effects
We are a long way from the days of flashing fonts and long shadows, but there is still a lot to be gained by using simple animations that clarify what exactly is taking place on screen. jQuery provides an easy-to-use selection of such animations, including showing and hiding elements, fading elements, sliding elements up and down, and so forth. Custom animations are also quite simple to add.
Chapter 6 - jQuery utility functions
Chapter 7 - Extending jQuery with custom plugins
Reusable functionality can usefully be implemented as plugins to the jQuery library. This involves conforming to some basic naming practices; in addition, best practices for implementing jQuery plugins so that they can be used in an environment where jQuery and other libraries are used together are presented. The examples supplied in this chapter are particularly well-taken.
Chapter 8 - Talk to the server with Ajax
Of course, when we think jQuery, we inevitably think: Ajax! And jQuery's Ajaxian capabilities are impressive indeed. After a brief introduction to Ajax basics, retrieving and submitting data via GET and POST requests are covered, along with the ability to completely control all aspects of the Ajax request.
Chapter 9 - Prominent, powerful, and practical plugins
In chapter 7, we saw how to create custom plugins to the jQuery library. Here we learn about some of the "official" plugins developed and made available publicly for jQuery: the Form Plugin, the Dimensions Plugin, the Live Query Plugin, and the UI Plugin. These allow users to employ safe, well-tested code to perform functions not necessarily appropriate for the main jQuery library, but just as essential when they are needed!
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