jQuery Tools UI Library

jQuery Tools UI Library

4.33 (3 ratings by Goodreads)
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Description

A practical tutorial with powerful yet simple projects that are quick to implement. This book is aimed at developers who have prior jQuery knowledge, but may not have any prior experience with jQuery Tools. It is possible that they may have started with the basics of jQuery Tools, but want to learn more about how it can be used, as well as get ideas for future projects.
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Product details

  • Paperback | 112 pages
  • 188 x 234 x 10mm | 220g
  • Birmingham, United Kingdom
  • English
  • black & white illustrations
  • 1849517800
  • 9781849517805
  • 2,070,901

About Alex Libby

Alex Libby holds a Masters degree in e-Commerce from Coventry University, and currently works as a Sharepoint Technical Analyst for a well-known parts distributor based in the UK. Alex has used jQuery Tools as part of his daily work for the last 18 months, and enjoys the challenge of working out simple solutions to common issues using jQuery and jQuery Tools, particularly using a progressive enhancement methodology. Prior to this, he has spent a number of years in IT Support, working in the banking, health and defence publishing industries. Alex has also been instrumental in releasing the current version of jQuery Tools as featured in "jQuery Tools UI Library", and enjoys helping out many others in the forums, to figure out solutions to their issues when using the software.
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Rating details

3 ratings
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Our customer reviews

jQuery is currently the most popular JavaScript library out there, and for good reason. There are many UI (User Interface) extensions to jQuery, and the most well known is probably jQuery UI from the writers of the jQuery library. There is no doubt that the jQuery UI extension is amazing, but it does come with a price in the way of a large footprint (file to be downloaded by your website's visitors). What if you don't need all of the features offered? It is true that you can customize jQuery UI to only include the features you want (and I have for some of my own projects). The jQuery Tools library is another option, and that is what this book covers. As this book asks in chapter 1, "Do you really need drag-and-drop, resizable windows, or sortable lists in your web applications? If the answer is no, then welcome to jQuery Tools!" Before reading this book, you should be familiar and comfortable with using jQuery, as well as HTML and CSS. If you are not, it will be difficult for you to follow what is going on. Chapter 1 gets you started with a brief overview of the technologies in front end development, such as HTML, CSS and JavaScript, and the roles of each in your website. It then covers some tips on choosing a text editor to use, some basic debugging tools for your browser, how to download/include the jQuery Tools library in your website pages, and some abstract examples of how to use the functions provided by the library. Chapter 2 gets into some practical applications, starting with an overlay, or what is more commonly known as a light box. This is a very common and useful tool on many applications. Several useful examples are given including how to use the overlay to show an iframed page from another site, in this case Google Maps, and how to dynamically grab information from your HTML to display in a tool tip style overlay. The author does a great job of showing how to add additional styles to the overlays using only CSS (how it should be done), which is a testament to how the jQuery Tools library is properly designed. We then move on to using the Scrollable tool and how that can be used to build a mini photo gallery, and a brief overview of the Tabs tool. Chapter 3 covers the form tools included in the library such as Validator for form field validation, Dateinput for accepting a date input type, and Rangeinput for accepting an input within a specified minimum and maximum range (an interesting product gallery example is used). The examples show how to customize the styling and localization of these tools. An example from the Dateinput tool even shows how to integrate styles from a jQuery UI theme. Chapter 4 covers the remaining tools in the library such as FlashEmbed, an abstraction to properly embed flash files regardless of the user's browser. Note: By the author's own admission, this part of the library will most likely be changing dramatically in the near future as the HTML5 video and canvas tags become better supported. Another tool covered in this chapter is the History plugin which allows you to manipulate the browser page history so that the "Back Button" properly functions on pages using tabs or other dynamically generated content. The Expose feature helps to draw focus to a certain page element and works hand-in-hand with the Overlay tool from chapter 1. The mousewheel feature will allow your scripts to listen and respond when a user uses their mousewheel to scroll, which is a very handy tool to have. Bonus Download Chapter: There is a bonus chapter available only as a PDF download from the publisher's website that covers using jQuery Tools in Wordpress. This chapter itself is 53 pages, which is rather substantial compared to the 112 pages in the entire paperback version of this book. I do not use Wordpress, so much of this chapter did not make sense to me, but the author did go into depth on how to implement each of the examples in a Wordpress site. I'm sure that if you use Wordpress, you will get a lot out of this bonus chapter. In summary, there were several things I liked about this book. It strongly encourages good coding techniques such as progressive enhancement (the site will still work for users with JavaScript disabled, it just won't be nearly as cool), relying on CSS for styling, and writing your jQuery to allow chaining. The jQuery Tools library was built with extendibility in mind, and the author does a good job of giving you a place to start extending the style and functionality of the tools. They can be extended much further by the designer/front end developer. One small strike I have to mention is that although this is a new book, the version of jQuery used is 1.6.4, and therefore the author relies rather heavily on the .bind() method. The current version of jQuery is 1.7.2 and the .bind() method has been deprecated and replaced by the .on() method. This could cause confusion for someone new to jQuery. One important thing about this book that potential buyers should be aware of, is that it is rather short. The paperback version is only 112 pages. I was able to read the entire book in about five hours, and I am not a fast reader by any means. This book gives you a great starting place to get comfortable with using the jQuery Tools library, and to decide if it is the right UI library for your project. It is by no means an exhaustive reference on the library. It shows you how to customize and extend the library, and then leaves it to your creativity, which is really how it should be for a tool in a website designer/front end developer's arsenal. As long as you understand in advance what you are purchasing (and what you are not purchasing), I think you will find this book useful and worthwhile. I plan on using jQuery tools in some of my future projects, and this book will be very helpful in that integration. Disclosure: I was provided with a free copy of this book in return for reviewing it.show more
by Alex Fraundorf
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