Book review by Techcrony.info | Publisher: Packt. Author(s): Jonathan Chaffer and Karl Swedberg | Reviewed on: April 8th, 2008'
Chapter 1: Getting Started
Chapter 2: Selectors–How to Get Anything You Want
Chapter 3: Events–How to Pull the Trigger
Chapter 4: Effects–How to Add Flair to Your Actions
Chapter 5: DOM Manipulation–How to Change Your Page on Command
Chapter 6: AJAX–How to Make Your Site Buzzword-Compliant
Chapter 7: Table Manipulation
Chapter 8: Forms with Function
Chapter 9: Shufflers and Rotators
Chapter 10: Plug-ins
Appendix A: Online Resources
Appendix B: Development Tools
In Chapter 3, the reader is shown how to attach and remove events to elements using jQuery, and how jQuery expedites things in terms of cross browser compatibility and more subtle issues like taking care of potential memory leaks in IE. Essential event related tasks like preventing event bubbling, event propagation, and cancelling default actions are also discussed within the context of using jQuery.
Chapter 4 looks at jQuery's built in abilities for rendering effects like element fading, sliding in/out, movement across the page etc. jQuery isn't exactly an effects centric library like MooTools, but there are still areas it covers that the jQuery documentation itself does a poor job of, such as the animate() method and how to queue effects.
Chapter 5 breaks down DOM and HTML manipulation using jQuery, a task that is currently quite tedious for the purists that go through the standard DOM methods on their own to accomplish. You'll learn things like using jQuery to insert new elements, move elements, copying and appending elements to the document
In Chapter 6, "Learning jQuery" woes the Web 2.0 crowd by going into detail jQuery's Ajax abilities, and how it makes light work of common tasks such as performing GET/POST requests, fetching data as either JSON or XML and parsing it using jQuery. There are quite a few Ajax related methods in jQuery, some redundant IMO, and this chapter does start to lose focus by trying to cover too many of them, instead of limiting itself to just methods that do not overlap in function. Nonetheless, it's still better than the jQuery documentation, that's for sure.
Up until this point, all the chapters have been "building blocks" in nature, one paving the way to the next. However, starting in Chapter 7, "Table Manipulation", breaks away from this roadmap and looks at common tasks of the day that can be simplified and enhanced using jQuery. There are additional jQuery tips you pick up as you read these chapters, though the focus now is more on the application rather than new techniques. Chapter 8 "Forms with Function" arguably has the most mass appeal, containing numerous examples that are manageable in size and somewhat self contained, from the obligatory required fields validation, checking for specific data types like numbers, currency etc, to Ajax infused forms.