Author: Bear Bibeault & Yehuda Katz
Publisher: Manning, 2010
Aimed at: web developers
Pros: A much improved second edition
Cons: Uses the same, offputting, cover illustration
Reviewed by: Ian Elliot
This second edition of jQuery in action covers jQuery 1.4 and jQuery UI 1.8. Refer to my review of the first edition for its background.
The book has been much extended and reorganised - nearly always for the better - and, as already mentioned is now divided into two parts, Core jQuery and jQuery UI.
The first part, is mostly an update of the first edition, starts off gently with basic principles, moves on to consider the key idea of the "wrapped set" and how to pick out particular DOM elements. It then describes how you can use jQuery to modify the DOM and hence create dynamic or customised web pages.
Next we move on to consider how jQuery makes event handling easy and relatively browser-independent. It then goes on to explain the animation facilities available in the jQuery core. The remaining chapters deal with extending jQuery and Ajax - using utility functions, writing plugins and communicating with the server using Ajax. The Ajax section is a good introduction with some realistic examples that give a reasonable idea what you might use Ajax for.
This is more or less where there first edition came to an end but in the second edition we have part 2. This consists of three new chapters focused on the UI. It starts off with an explanation of how to get the jQuery UI and its basic operating principles. The next chapter deals with user interaction and the final chapter goes through the standard widgets and explains their use. This is a little too packed with reference tables etc but there are some good examples and insights.
This is a much improved second edition, so much so that if you have enjoyed using the first edition you do need to buy a new copy. If you haven't bought the first edition then all you need to know is that this is a good introduction to jQuery that works its way up logically to more advanced aspects of using it and it covers the UI.
I still don't like the cover illustration but I do like the book.