Couple of months ago (october 2010) Packt Publishing published another very useful jQuery book. Book is written by Giulio Bai, and it contains very detailed info on how the make plugins for jQuery with several full examples and also info on many useful small plugins and snippets.
jQuery 1.4 Plugin Development, Beginner’s Guide on Packt Publishing Website.
I like the way this book is structured. Starting with some basics about how jQuery works, list of useful resources: other books, tutorials and cheatsheets. It’s a good thing that not a lot of space is wasted on the way jQuery works, this is after all book about making plugins for jQuery, and chapter 2 is already giving us basic information about that.
It’s a great thing to actually start with existing jQuery plugins repository, basics of how to use plugins and how the plugins work. This second chapter is here to give you basic experience in dealing with plugins.
Most of the book after this deals with different types of plugins you can create for jQuery, and it starts with chapter 3 and creating of first plugin, focusing on the right way to do it: how to structure the plugin, organize your files, dealing with plugin options and adding functions.
Book has several very interesting and useful examples. It starts with images plugin that deals with similar problems like lightbox or thickbox plugins do. Next is plugin that handles audio files and getting a basic player in jQuery followed by the video plugin and example on handling YouTube videos.
One of the most important things when making a website is handling forms (contact, login, registration…), validating input from user before doing anything else. There are many existing plugins for this, but I think that example in the book on how to actually make your own plugin for this is very useful, and will help you great deal, since plugin for this will turn out to be very complex.
Starting with chapter 8, book deals with user interface elements and plugins that can be used to enhance user experience on your website. You will get tooltip, menu and animation plugins. Last practical chapter (12) gives you basic utility plugin.
In many cases is better to use existing plugin, not writing everything from scratch. Chapter 13 gives you overview on how to use 10 popular jQuery plugins. More in-depth reference is in Appendix A with quiz answers in Appendix B. Index (as well as the rest of the PDF version of the book) uses interlinking, so you can easily navigate through the PDF.
Book does exactly what you an expect from beginner’s guide and more. Not only you will get good plugin examples, but all the explanations are written very well, allowing you to follow the process. Maybe it was better to include few more UI/Forms examples instead of the chapter with top plugins, but that’s not that big of a deal. Also, I personally could go without quizzes after every chapter, but for beginner’s guide it’s expected to have something like that to help readers memorize most important facts from the chapter.
Now we only need a good developers guide on making jQueryUI plugins. Or at least an advanced guide for jQuery plugins that will cover jQueryUI also. Until then, grab this book and make some plugins.
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I would like to say thanks to Packt Publishing and especially Nikita Raykar for providing me with a copy of this book for this review, and also giving one more copy of the book for one lucky reader. Starting today, until Christmas Eve you have a chance to win this book by leaving a comment or sending the tweet about this review. On December 24 at 14:00 CET I will announce the winner that will be picked up randomly from all comments and tweets. So how to get this book as Christmas gift:
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Lucky winner is getting PDF version jQuery 1.4 Plugin Development, Beginner’s Guide from Packt Publishing.
Winner of PDF version of the book jQuery 1.4 Plugin Development, Beginner’s Guide is @4forme. Congratulations!
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