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Book review - jQuery 1.3 with PHP

by Robert Basic on January 06, 2010.
Heads-up! You're reading an old post and the information in it is quite probably outdated.

Although I never wrote about jQuery here, I use it quite often and can pull of nice tricks with it. Also, bending any jQuery plugin to my will, was never a problem. But enough about me, you’re here cause of the book.

jQuery 1.3 with PHP is written by Kae Verens, a JavaScript and PHP developer. This book is aimed at PHP developers who have met only a few times with JavaScript and jQuery, but I believe even a novice programmer can gain knowledge from it – just be warned, the PHP examples are here for the sake of the examples only; about which the author warns throughout the book. As the author said: “This book is designed to help a PHP developer write some immediately-useful client-side applications without needing weeks of study”. And it will.

On the other hand, you need to know your HTML and CSS selectors, as the book only says that jQuery uses CSS selectors to select elements.

The examples in the book are well explained and commented!

The book starts off with an introductory chapter about jQuery, what it is, why the author chose it over other JS libraries, what projects use jQuery and so on…

The “Quick tricks” chapter shows some really quick but useful tricks, such as dynamic select boxes, contextual help or inline editing. OK, you may have all done this before, but it’s a good starting point for getting to know jQuery.

From chapter 3 to chapter 9, the author shows how to do things like validating forms, creating an event calendar, managing files and folders from the browser, rotating, cropping, resizing images (with ImageMagick!) also from the browser or making lists sortable by dragging and dropping items. Of course, no one wants to reinvent the wheel, so all the examples are using plugins – either from the jQuery UI collection or “standalone” plugins that are “too specific” to be in the said collection.

My personal favorite chapter is the “Data tables” chapter, which shows how to present and use table data on your website by adding sort, filter and pagination functionality to your table. The example shown uses a table with over 2 million rows, which is worth mentioning, cause this way we know that it’ll work on a large dataset also.

The final chapter is reserved for optimizing the front-end code and reveals some stuff behind jQuery and JavaScript in general (I personally never knew that there’s a speed difference between different type of selectors).

In conclusion, if you’re a PHP dev wanting to “spice up” your apps, this book will most likely worth the money spent.

You can take a look at the Table of Contents, read the sample chapter, or just buy the book!

Tags: book, jquery, php, review.
Categories: Development, Programming.

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