Posted 3529 days ago
The title says simple, but there’s an awful lot in this book that is not simple, particularly if you’re a beginner.
The Contradiction of jQuery’s Audience of Users
However, the problem is that CSS-like selector syntax is an area that a lot of hard core programmers or back-end or server-side programmers actually don’t know or understand real well. As a side note, jQuery also supports XPath style syntax for selection of DOM objects, but you tend to see those used a lot less, since the design-centric CSS audience is most common in Web design and development.
To complete the observation, the thing is, jQuery is enormously efficient, powerful, and compact to include in pages, so where performance, extensibility, and strength of the API comes in and begins to matter, you can do incredible things with it and the library will not disappoint. But I think only a small portion of the audience of jQuery appreciates or understands this. I think that right there goes to the heart of Simon Willison’s article and commentary.
Back to the Learning jQuery Book
The book starts with selectors, the $() function, and moves on through events and into modern tricks of the trade in detail, with Ajax techniques and animations.
For my tastes, it could honestly spend a bit more time on documenting the vast amount of available selectors and DOM manipulation aspects of the library, as I feel like those two parts are key to doing anything constructive with it. The examples in the online documentation only get you so far, and I often find myself trying to use the available methods in much different ways than the examples online. Maybe this feeling is just because I learn best by example, I don’t know.
Now, anything with an ID is easily accessed and not an issue, but where jQuery opens doors is being able to pattern match in the DOM and know with certainty you can get to any object easily, with literally a one-line statement, and do anything to it. But unlocking that can be a challenge sometimes when you get ambitious. Additionally, the DOM manipulation methods are powerful but I find obscure from time to time. Animation and Ajax effects are fairly straight-forward most of the time.
Overall the book is well thought out and detailed, thorough with most all modern “Web 2.0” tricks and more. The book is not however a complete reference to the API’s or the definitive source necessarily for usage of the library.
Posted 3765 days ago
(filed under General)
Al Gore’s documentary on the global warming crisis. The review on the box jacket says “you owe it to yourself to see this movie”, and well, having watched it I tend to agree. He says it’s a moral and ethical issue, and watching this I tend to agree there too.
Gore credibly debunks myth from fact and spells things out in simple terms anyone can follow — things are looking scary and the time to act is now. If you can’t act, convince those in power to act.
Posted 3765 days ago
David Flannagan’s 5th Edition has been totally brought up to speed with modern theories on duplicating object oriented techniques in this prototype based language. He thoroughly investigates virtually every aspect of the language syntax.
Posted 3765 days ago
Posted 4004 days ago
(filed under CSS)
Excellent CSS resource with many basic and advanced concepts discussed. I first heard about this book from Alex who recommends it. Covers all the basics and advanced techniques as well, in particular touching on modern browser compatibility issues in the real world.
What gets me most is how up to date with the newest advanced techniques this one is, including using negative margins to center and more. I love all the diagrams they use—so if you’re a visual person this will really help. They show multiple ways of doing the same things, which rocks because options are good to have.
Posted 4012 days ago
(filed under TV)
Excellent behind the scenes book on the brilliant Sci-Fi series if you enjoy the show. Has the first season summarized and features in depth discussions of each episode and how both the mini-series and first season was developed. Also discusses the characters at length.
Great read if you enjoy the show and might be into the background behind it.
Posted 4024 days ago
(filed under Music)
Pearl Jam’s new record is high energy, creative, and is a good all around listen.
The first single, “World Wide Suicide”, isn’t totally indicative of the new album, but the production quality is. There’s more backup vocals, like their older stuff, there’s a real progression and building to the songs, you can just tell they put effort into it—oh, and they jam again like in the old days!
A full review is forthcoming. You know, when it’s officially out.
Posted 4034 days ago
Even if Alex did borrow my copy months ago and hasn't returned it yet.
Eric Meyer, who for years has served the community with his excellent knowledge of the CSS specifications drives it home in this his first of two books on creating sites with CSS. He takes a very easy to follow project and task based approach to breaking down the problems and solving them in a clear and easy to read manner, as always.
Full of techniques I use till this day!
I know great CSS authors who swear by this book as exactly what it says, their definitive guide to CSS.
Written by the guru of CSS Eric Meyer who knows the specs inside and out, this book has excellent examples showing the way CSS should work from floats to text styles. While targeted at CSS1, its essential for the theory and foundation without a doubt.
Like most all O'Reilly "definitive" books, it has fantastic rule by rule syntax reference.