jQuery Enlightenment: Book Review and Giveaway (Winners Announced!)

Winners Announced

I was really happy to see so much participation in this giveaway! After seeing how many people entered, I was feeling really bad that only one of them would leave with a copy of the book. I talked to Cody, and he graciously provided two more free copies so we can award a total of three books! I randomly picked three winners (using Random.org) and am happy to announce the following winners:

Book Review

Late in 2009, Cody Lindley published a PDF book on jQuery titled jQuery Enlightenment. Today we are presenting our view of the book as well as offering a free copy to one lucky reader.

jqueryen

About The Author

Cody Lindley is a core team member of the jQuery project, and the original developer of the well known Thickbox plugin for jQuery. I had the pleasure of meeting and listening to Cody present at the jQuery Conference last year in Boston. He describes himself on his website:

Today I am a Christian, husband, son, brother, professional Web developer, and outdoor enthusiast. I spend a majority of my time sleeping and working, but who doesn’t? In between the daily routines of the average American, I desire an existence that entails a relationship with God, my family, and nature. I would like to consider myself a bookworm (a novice theologian at best), but truth be told, I simply enjoy watching movies and playing xBox way too much. I guess I also have the luxury of pursuing my profession as a personal passion. Yes, I often work even when I am not at work.

Overview

jQuery Enlightenment is a different type of book than I am used to seeing in the tech field. A list of what it is not might help shed light on what I mean. It is not documentation, a tutorial/walkthrough, or just conceptual material. jQuery Enlightenment is an amazingly clear montage of principals and code samples every jQuery developer needs to know grouped by topic. Cody covered topics both basic and profound throughout the pages of the book.

I consider myself quite adept at using jQuery, but found myself constantly amazed at the things I was learning while reading this book. Cody says it picks up where the jQuery documentation leaves off. I can see his point, but I think this book would be a better starting place for a new jQuery developer than even reading through the jQuery API site.

Pros

Code Samples

code

Code samples make up over 70% of the book (rough estimation). The book is not written in an editorial way at all. It is about presenting what you need to know, demonstrating it with an example, and moving on. For this reason the book is an extremely fast read and perfect for reference on a day to day basis.

Possibly one of the neatest features of the book itself is that (almost) every code sample provided in the book has a link to the same code on JSBin.com. JSBin is an online playground for testing and demonstrating JavaScript, HTML, and CSS technologies. jQuery Enlightenment isn’t a flat reading experience, it allows you to immediately jump in and play with the code samples until everything makes sense.

Additional Notes

notes

Many of the topics are followed by a little box titled ‘Notes’. I am glad Cody didn’t choose some cheesy title for these boxes, but ‘Notes’ really does not sum up what they provide. You will find many undocumented (or hard to find) tips and tricks about the finer points of jQuery in these boxes. Skip over them at your own peril!

No Fluff Quality

Cody doesn’t waste any time on any of the topics presented in the book. The pattern used is simple: explain, demonstrate, move on. I personally will be using this book not just for reference, but for a quick read-through every few weeks to keep my jQuery senses sharp.

Cons

You will be hard pressed to find something negative to say about this book, and it wasn’t until I reached the end that I had one complaint about the content. The chapter on Ajax (Chapter 11) was far too short. Perhaps this is because the documentation is very clear, but I still wanted to learn more and have more examples to glean from. Perhaps the second edition of the book (which will cover jQuery 1.4) will provide more detail on jQuery’s AJAX implementation and associated methods.

Conclusion

I am confident new users and seasoned users alike will find much to learn in jQuery Enlightenment. After reading the book, my only concern is that I won’t remember all of the cool things I learned while reading it!

Win a FREE Copy!

Next Wednesday we will be selecting a winner to receive a free copy of jQuery Enlightenment. Entering the competition is easy!

Head over to jQuery Enlightenment and quickly look through table of contents. Then, leave a comment below telling us what chapter you think you would learn the most from if you were to win the book. Only comments referencing one of the actual chapters in the book will be eligible to win. We will randomly select a winner next Wednesday and announce it here on the site.. Sorry, but the contest is over!

Doug Neiner is an Editor at Fuel Your Coding and an official member of the jQuery Team. He is addicted to new technology, and specifically loves spending time with WordPress, Ruby on Rails and jQuery. Learn more via twitter or his Google Profile.

 

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