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Murach's JavaScript and jQuery
by Zak Ruvalcaba and Mike Murach
18 chapters, 603 pages, 250 illustrations
Published December 2012
ISBN 978-1-890774-70-7

Book price: $54.50; SAVE 30%, now just $38.15
eBook price: $44.50; SAVE 30%, now just $31.15
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jQuery is a free, open-source, JavaScript library that provides dozens of methods that make it easier to code JavaScript applications (like slide shows, carousels, and image swaps). What's more, the jQuery methods are coded and tested for cross-browser compatibility, so they will work in all browsers.

Those are just two of the reasons why jQuery is used in more and more of today's most popular web sites. In fact, it's becoming so widely used that every professional web developer needs to learn it.

And that's where this book comes in.

Section 1: The least you need to know about JavaScript to get the most from jQuery (6 chapters)

Remember, jQuery is actually JavaScript. So to get you off to the right start, section 1 presents a crash course in the JavaScript skills you need to use jQuery effectively. Here, you'll develop your first JavaScript routines...work with objects, functions, and events...test and debug JavaScript (and jQuery) applications...and get started with DOM scripting.

This section is especially designed for programming novices. But even if you already know JavaScript, you'll probably pick up a few new skills as you skim through, and our paired-pages format makes it easy to skim.

Section 2: The core jQuery skills that every web developer should have...and why they're so hard to learn in other books (5 chapters)

In this section, you'll learn how to use jQuery to create JavaScript applications like image swaps, collapsible panels, slide shows, carousels, user-friendly forms...and more...with far less coding than you'd have to do in native JavaScript.

To begin, chapter 7 presents the jQuery selectors, methods, and event methods that you'll use most often. Then, the next four chapters build on that base as they focus on effects and animations, DOM manipulation and traversal, forms and data validation, the many plugins that are available for jQuery, and how to create your own plugins. When you complete this section, you can go on to any of the 3 sections that follow.

How is this different from other jQuery books?

Most books just take individual applications and show you how to code them. Which is fine, if all you ever want to do are the exact same applications. But if you want to go beyond that, you'll quickly be frustrated. I know I was!

So our book doesn't just show you jQuery code. It also gives you easy-to-use summaries of the jQuery methods, event methods, and selectors you'll use, organizes them by function, and illustrates them with real-world examples.

The result? You get a wide view of what components are available to you. You gain perspective on how the pieces all fit together. You can easily look up the details you need to code new applications. And your confidence grows with every chapter.

Section 3: Enhance your web pages by using jQuery UI (2 chapters)

Besides the core jQuery library, jQuery provides the jQuery UI (User Interface) library. This library helps you build features that your site visitors may appreciate, all with just a few lines of code. So this section shows you how to use jQuery UI to create widgets like tabs, accordions, and datepickers...interactions like draggable, droppable, and sortable...and effects like color and class transitions.

Section 4: Speed up response times and add content feeds with Ajax and JSON (3 chapters)

Ajax and JSON are hot topics today. Together, they can be used to get data from a server and add it to a web page without reloading the entire page, which can significantly improve response times for users (if you've ever scrolled around a Google Map, you've seen this in action). But to be honest, the coding can be mind-bending. Fortunately, jQuery provides methods that make it far more manageable.

So in this section, you'll learn how to use jQuery with Ajax and JSON to deliver data to your web sites. First, you'll learn the basics. Then, you'll learn how to work with the APIs for web sites like Blogger, YouTube, Twitter, Flickr, and Google Maps to add popular content to your pages. This is a major use of Ajax and JSON...yet no other jQuery book shows you how to do it.

Section 5: Mobile web sites made easier with jQuery Mobile (2 chapters)

This section shows you how to use another JavaScript library, jQuery Mobile, to develop web pages for mobile devices with the look and feel of native applications. In fact, for jQuery users, there's no better way to develop mobile web sites right now. And you can add it to your skill set any time after you've finished Section 2.

Double your money's worth: You get a great training book...

Beyond the content and organization, there are several other reasons why this book works so well for self-training or in a class.

First, like all of our books, this one uses our “paired pages” format where each two-page spread presents a single topic or skill: the righthand page gives you syntax, coding examples, and “how-to” bulleted guidelines, and the lefthand page provides extra explanation and support when you need it.

The upshot is that you can learn skills in manageable steps... you can skim material you already know and focus on topics that are new to you...and you can learn faster by reading less.

Second, this book presents more than 40 complete applications...including the HTML, CSS, JavaScript, and jQuery code...so you can see how the features you're learning work in real-world web pages.

Third, each chapter ends with exercises that let you practice your newfound skills. That's a valuable training aid in itself, of course. But you can also download model solutions here at our web site. That way, you can check your own solutions against the models and get ideas on other coding options. And if you get stuck on an exercise, you can get immediate help. It's a great way to learn!

...and the best jQuery reference around

Our paired-pages format makes this book just as good for reference as it is for training. In fact, you'll find it's easy to pick up new skills or look up forgotten details whenever you need them.

Likewise, the coding examples and exercise solutions become time-saving models for you to use in your own applications. And you can download them from our website, so you can easily incorporate the code into your own pages.


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