The Better jQuery Bookshelf

jQuery deserves its reputation for being a breakthrough JavaScript framework for 4 reasons. First, it is open source in every incarnation which has accelerated its use and adoption even by major software vendors like Adobe, WordPress and even Microsoft. Second,  it is the APL of JavaScript. jQuery’s selector function create a shorthand for finding all the  objecrts on  a Web page in simple condensed notation – $(” div .plusStyle”) finds all div  tags within a web page that have used the class plusStyle for CSS styling. This notation eliminates tedious JavaScript search code. Then users can add any of dozens of methods to operate on all of these objects with simple one line calls – again eliminating many lines of tedious looping code.

Third, jQuery has rigorously followed the W3C DOM and CSS code standards in its selector and operational methods. This has been one of the first complete demonstrations of the the utility of the W3C DOM  and CSS standards in  JavaScript. It also has had the added benefit of providing an emergency hack for getting around Microsoft’s non-compliance with W3C standards. It has relieved developers of some of the misery of dealing with the still existing  and deviant IE5 through  IE8 browsers [even IE9 leaves some large gaps in standards compliance].

Fourth, jQuery has provided some novel graphics methods which has spawned  its own UI group and a fast growing and innovative jQuery UI framework. This UI frameworkhas been the source of scores of free UI and mobile plugins and widgets enriching Web client computing greatly. For example, Adobe is using jQuery as the driving engine for its Edge animation program that uses no Flash and all HTML+CSS code[Edge still does not need routines  exclusive to HTML5 though Adobe implies that will be coming].

Thus if you do any Web development you owe it to yourself to become jQuery capable. This is a list of  books that can get you up to speed quickly. Here are our key Tomes for jQuery.

JavaScript: The Definitive Guide by David Flanagan
jQuery development tips and tutorials

Why a book on JavaScript? Because this is the first book that covers all the features in JavaScript comprehensively including some of the specialized function and array features of JavaScript used extensively by jQuery. It is truly the Definitive Guide. As well there is a section in the book devoted to jQuery. And if you need to come up to speed in JavaScript using this book along with the W3schools’ JavaScript tutorials is one of the fastest ways to come up to speed quickly. Then keep the Definitive Guide for its encyclopedic coverage  of JavaScript.


Head First jQuery
web development tips and tutorials

Head First series of books use all sorts of visual clues, quizzes and thought experiments to make material fun and memorable. I find that it works very well with jQuery because the topic requires focus and concentration. Again, this a is a great book to use in conjunction with W3schols jQuery set of tutorials. The books exercises can be easily done there and get users used to testing out their jQuery ideas right away in the W3schools test interface.


jQuery Pocket Reference
web development tips

This is the book that I constantly use as my cheat sheet for jQuery development. Its like the iPod of books for jQuery development with two quick explanatory chapters and then a comprehensive set of  referrence guide sections. the only thing that comes close is the JQAPI Adobe AIR version of jQuery documentation. But until a good dockable tablet becomes available, I carry Flanagan’s jQuery Pocket Reference everywhere.

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