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The ACCU passes on review copies of computer books to its members for them to review. The result is a large, high quality collection of book reviews by programmers, for programmers. Currently there are 1949 reviews in the database and more every month.
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Beginning jQuery
Jack Franklin
Apress (213)
Alex Paterson
Appeared in:

Reviewed: September 2013

There can be little doubt that jQuery has made a significant contribution to web development since its first release in 2006. It has provided higher-order constructs for HTML/CSS programming that allow complex dynamic content to be displayed and manipulated in more and more impressive ways.

As a C++ programmer with limited exposure to Javascript, I was hopeful that the book, Beginning jQuery by Jack Franklin (Apress, 2013), would give me a head-start on a new web project.

The first two chapters are clearly aimed at those with little programming experience. An overview of Javascript is given and the basic syntax of jQuery is introduced mostly through practical code examples.

Chapters three and four look at how jQuery can be used to manipulate the DOM and alter the content of a web page. Again, code examples are used to try and explain the concept to the reader.

Chapters five and six give a very brief introduction to the power of functions in Javascript and there are further chapters on animation, ajax, jQuery plug-ins. The book rounds off with a worked example containing code elements seen throughout the chapters.

The author has commendably tried to cover a wide range of topics in a slim volume, however the presentation clearly lacks some polish. The most disappointing aspect is the almost inexcusable lack of diagrams; there are many areas where the author’s explanation of a concept should have been accompanied by a diagram to aid the reader’s understanding. There are some images in the book, but these are mostly browser output, jQuery API website screenshot and kittens. Yes, kittens. Another area that gave disappointment was the index, which looks incomplete and only provides entries for seven letters of the alphabet.

In summary, despite the interesting subject matter, the readability and presentation issues made the book almost inaccessible for this reader.