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The nice folks at Syncfusion reached out to me last week to tell me a little bit about their Succinctly series of books.   As they describe the concept, their goal is take 500+ pages of content and distill it down to 100 pages of essentials.

I was intrigued but apprehensive with visions of “For Dummies” books running through my head.

So I looked through their offerings and decide to check out a topic that I am already somewhat familiar with.   I downloaded jQuery Succinctly to examine.

I was pleasantly surprised.  The author is none other than Cody Lindley who definitely has street cred for knowing his jQuery.    I also liked that you can download it for the Kinle

This is not another take on “For Dummies”   There are no annoying cartoons, there is no pandering, there is not trudging through elementary concepts that you should already know before considering a topic like jQuery.

While jQuery is a massive pervasive topic, the author distills it down nicely by following a couple of conventions that I greatly appreciate.

First, he doesn’t waste time reminding you what a function is, what a variable is, what html is, etc.     He assumes that you already know how to  build a web application and that you now want to know the basics of jQuery.   This is very refreshing.   In his own words:

This book is intended for three types of readers. The first is someone who has read introductory material on jQuery and is looking for the next logical step. The second type of reader is a JavaScript developer, already versed in another library, now trying to quickly learn jQuery. The third reader is I, the author. I crafted this book to be used as my own personal reference point for jQuery concepts. This is exactly the type of book I wish every JavaScript library had available.

Cody Lindley

Second, he takes the perspective; that the text is secondary to the sample code.   He expects you to examine the code samples closely; “It is my opinion that a code example is actually worth a thousand words.”

There are many times while reading this book that I would skip over the brief surrounding text and only read the code examples.

He adds comments in line that explain the expected output.   This really is worth a thousand words.    You can imagine how much text would be needed to explain this simple example.

<! DOCTYPE html >
<html lang=" en">
<body>
    <div id=" parent2">
        <div id=" parent1">
            <div id=" parent0">
                <div id=" start">
                </div>
            </div>
        </div>
    </div>
    <script src=" http://ajax.googleapis.com/ajax/libs/jquery/1.7.2/jquery.min.js">
    </script>
    <script>        (function ($) {
            // Alerts "parent0" x4 
            alert($('#start').parent().attr(' id'));
            alert($('#start').parents('# parent0').attr(' id'));
            alert($('#start').parents()[0].id);
            // Gets actual DOM element 
            alert($('#start').closest('# parent0').attr(' id'));
            // Alerts "parent1" x4 
            alert($('#start').parent().parent().attr(' id'));
            alert($('#start').parents('#parent1').attr(' id'));
            alert($('#start').parents()[1].id); // Gets actual DOM element
            alert($('#start').closest('# parent1').attr(' id'));
            // Alerts "parent2" x4
            alert($('#start').parent().parent().parent().attr(' id'));
            alert($('#start').parents('#parent2').attr(' id'));
            alert($('#start').parents()[2].id);
            //Gets actual DOM element 
            alert($('#start').closest('#parent2').attr(' id'));
        })(jQuery);
    </script>
</body>
</html>

 

He doesn’t waste time trying to explain why you might want to do something like add a class to every image on the page.   Instead he shows several different  ways to work such magic.

If you are already familiar with JavaScript, html, css, and now want to learn jQuery without having to hash through a bunch of stuff that you already know, this is the book for you.

If you are looking for an introduction to web programming, this is not going to give you what you need, and you will be disappointed.   Cut your teeth on a couple of other introductory books first and then come back.   If you want introductory books on a particular topic, hit the comments and I can give you my two cents worth.

As the author mentions in the introduction, he designed it to be used as his own personal reference for jQuery concepts.   So, unlike many other introductory texts, this one you will want to keep handy for quick reference after the initial read.

Next, I think that I will read about up Pdf.   http://www.syncfusion.com/resources/techportal/ebooks/pdf

Posted on Monday, February 25, 2013 12:53 PM Book Reviews , jQuery | Back to top


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