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jQuery: Just the Basics - A Primer for the JavaScript Programmer

JavaScript: Just the Basics - A Primer for the Complete Beginner

 


 

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jQuery: Just the Basics

A Primer for the JavaScript Programmer

By Michael J Young

jQuery is an open-source JavaScript library that makes it easier to develop lively and responsive web pages and interactive web applications. jQuery is simpler and more streamlined than standard JavaScript, yet also more powerful, full-featured, and portable. Using jQuery can save you considerable programming time and effort. But even if you don't choose jQuery yourself, it's important to understand this library because its use is so widespread. One survey found jQuery running on half of all websites.

If you want to start using jQuery NOW, you won't have time to labor through a large tome or to wrestle with the massive online documentation. Fortunately, you can be a productive jQuery programmer without knowing all of jQuery's vast collection of methods and options.

What "jQuery: Just the Basics" does for you is to select the smallest and most essential set of jQuery features that will still allow you to perform the majority of web development tasks. It then explains these features thoroughly, using many code examples and links to further information in the online help. The book's teach-by-example approach saves much unnecessary verbiage -- often you'll understand a technique by just glancing at the example.

The book is designed to be read through from the beginning, and is written with a step-by-step logic and a minimum of repetition. Although it focuses on the basics of jQuery and is intended to get you started quickly, it's NOT a superficial survey. It provides all the information, insights, and tips you'll need to get started writing that next great web application!

WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW

This book teaches just jQuery. You should understand the fundamentals of HTML, CSS, and standard JavaScript before reading it. If you're rusty on the essentials of JavaScript, consider starting with "JavaScript: Just the Basics," available as a Kindle book by the same author (bit.ly/JSBasics). "jQuery: Just the Basics" was written as a follow-up to the author's JavaScript book, and dovetails closely with it.

THE BOOK

The book is approximately 175 pages long. It was designed, written, and formatted specifically for the Kindle, and you can read it on any Kindle device or free reading app. (Reading the book in Kindle Cloud Reader isn't recommended because of the reader's non-standard formatting.) The manuscript was prepared so that the source code listings are easy to view on an e-reader, and the book is simple to navigate.

THE COMPANION WEBSITE

You'll find a companion website for the book at SelfReliantPress.com, where you can download the book's example source code listings or contact the author. On the website you'll also find ongoing updates, corrections, and elaborations on the material covered in the book.

THE CONTENTS

Introduction

Chapter 1. Using jQuery in Your Web Pages

Chapter 2. Selecting Web-Page Elements

Chapter 3. Traversing Web-Page Elements

Chapter 4. Modifying the Web Page

Chapter 5. Scripting CSS Styles

Chapter 6. Generating Animation Effects

Chapter 7. Handling Web-Page Events

Chapter 8. Ajax!

Chapter 9. Creating jQuery Plugins

Conclusion

Purchase, Borrow, or Sample Book

The book is available exclusively from the Amazon Kindle Store. If you don't have a Kindle reader (or even if you do!), you can download a free Kindle reading application for almost any computer, tablet, or mobile device, including the iPad. Go to the Free Kindle Reading Apps page on Amazon.

Purchase the Kindle book, borrow it (free, for Amazon Prime members with a Kindle reader), or download a free sample through one of the following links:

 


 

DOWNLOAD THE EXAMPLE SOURCE CODE LISTINGS FOR THIS BOOK

 

JavaScript: Just the Basics

A Primer for the Complete Beginner

By Michael J Young

JavaScript has become one of the most widespread and versatile computer languages. It's now used not only for adding active behavior to web pages, but also for developing applications for web servers, mobile devices, and even the computer desktop. Despite its popularity, however, JavaScript isn't so easy to learn or to understand. JavaScript has evolved into a large, complex, unique, and somewhat confusing computer language.

This book makes your JavaScript learning task much easier and gets you started quickly by selecting just the MOST ESSENTIAL JavaScript features. It then thoroughly explains and simplifies these features, using many easy-to-follow code examples. To offer a vision of the possibilities, the book also briefly introduces several more advanced JavaScript technologies, such as multi-window web applications, animations, cookies, and Ajax. The book doesn't duplicate the free online JavaScript documentation, but rather is meant to be used in conjunction with it, and it includes many documentation links to help you quickly find additional information.

This guide to beginning web development provides your FIRST JavaScript step. Using it to learn the fundamentals will prepare you for your JavaScript journey no matter what direction it takes. For example, the book provides the ideal background for going on to learn jQuery. It serves as the "prequel" to "jQuery: Just the Basics," available as a Kindle book by the same author (bit.ly/JQBasics).

WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW

This book is written for the JavaScript beginner -- no prior JavaScript experience required! It would be helpful, although not essential, to know something about HTML and CSS, and to have worked with another programming language.

THE BOOK

The book is approximately 290 pages long. It was designed, written, and formatted specifically for the Kindle, and you can read it on any Kindle device or free reading app. (Reading the book in Kindle Cloud Reader isn't recommended because of the reader's non-standard formatting.) The manuscript was prepared so that the source code listings are easy to view and the book is simple to navigate. Because using an index in an ebook is slow and awkward, the book doesn't include a traditional index. You can easily find topics with your Kindle's powerful Search feature, as well as the book's detailed Table of Contents.

THE COMPANION WEBSITE

You'll find a companion website for the book at SelfReliantPress.com, where you can download the book's example code listings, contact the author, get updates and corrections on the material in the book, and learn about the author's other books.

THE CONTENTS

Introduction

Part I. The Core JavaScript Language

Chapter 1. Variables and Values
Chapter 2. Expressions and Operators
Chapter 3. Flow Control
Chapter 4. Objects and Arrays
Chapter 5. Defining Functions and Methods
Chapter 6. Constructors and Inheritance
Chapter 7. Pattern Matching with Regular Expressions

Part II. Client-Side JavaScript: Adding Dynamic Behavior to Web Pages

Chapter 8. Running JavaScript in the Browser
Chapter 9. Scripting Browser Windows
Chapter 10. Scripting Web-Page Content
Chapter 11. Scripting Web-Page Styles
Chapter 12. Handling Web-Page Events

Purchase, Borrow, or Sample Book

The book is available exclusively from the Amazon Kindle Store. If you don't have a Kindle reader (or even if you do!), you can download a free Kindle reading application for almost any computer, tablet, or mobile device, including the iPad. Go to the Free Kindle Reading Apps page on Amazon.

Purchase the Kindle book, borrow it (free, for Amazon Prime members with a Kindle reader), or download a free sample through one of the following links:

 

I have a master's degree in computer science and have been writing books for computer programmers and users since 1986. The programming books have covered MS-DOS, OS/2, Windows, C, C++, Visual Basic, Java, XML, animation, game, and graphics programming. The user-level books have focused on Microsoft Office applications.

My first 26 books were written for major publishers—Microsoft Press, Wiley/Sybex, Elsevier/Academic Press, Addison-Wesley, and Pearson Education/Peachpit Press. More than a million of these books have been sold, and they have been translated into many languages. My book XML Step by Step won the top award, "Distinguished Technical Communication," in the 2000-2001 International Technical Publications Competition of the Society for Technical Communication. You'll find descriptions and companion web pages for these books on the books page. The book presented here, JavaScript: Just the Basics, was my first self-published digital book.

I began programming computers in 1984. My web, desktop, and mobile programming work is showcased on the programming page. All of the websites I've created were hand coded in HTML, CSS, JavaScript, PHP, and MySQL. I currently create applications for iOS devices—please visit the KeitaiArts website.

You'll find more details in my biography.

 

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"Michael Young has long specialized in writing for the intermediate programmer about the nuts and bolts of systems programming. ... This is a thorough, high-quality book which I shall undoubtedly refer to frequently. Definitely recommended." [Systems Programming in Microsoft C]
Andrew Binstock, C Gazette
"Its coherent style, the clarity of the material, and the attractiveness of the topic make the book good and easily approachable." [Windows Animation Programming with C++]
Svetlana Segarceanu, Computing Reviews
"A concise, practical, no-nonsense guide ... A well-designed and well-illustrated book." [Windows Programming with Microsoft C++]
PC Techniques magazine
"Michael J. Young's new book exhibits a maturity in its presentation that earlier books have lacked. He speaks with the authority that comes from having done some serious OS/2 programming. ... Contains a lot of practical advice ..." [Programmer's Guide to OS/2]
G. Michael Vose, Byte Magazine
Performance Programming Under MS-DOS was selected by the PC-Tech Journal reader opinion poll of favorite books for 1988 (cited in the January, 1989 issue).
"Thanks for the book ... I will use it for my Summer course." [Systems Programming in Turbo C]
Gerald Sacks, Ph.D., Professor, Department of Mathematics, Harvard University
"Recommended for anyone seriously committed to programming in OS/2. ... It is a good reference book as well as a senior tutorial." [Programmer's Guide to OS/2]
Hugh Mooney, Big Blue & Cousins
"You'll not only enjoy yourself, but I suspect you'll become a much better Visual Basic programmer." [Visual Basic—Game Programming for Windows]
PC Techniques magazine
"I thoroughly enjoyed the book. It was a clear, concise treatment of some very practical, but generally neglected, subjects." [Systems Programming in Microsoft C]
Tom Stephens, President, ScribeWare Corp., Pomona, NY
"Congratulations on an excellent book, which is one of my most valued possessions." [Systems Programming in Turbo C]
Dr. Melford John, Kingston, Jamaica
"Your book, Systems Programming in Microsoft C, is superb! I have learned a great deal from it and will continue to do so for quite some time to come. Thanks for writing it!"
Walter Hudson, Ph.D., Tempe, AZ
"Your book, Performance Programming Under MS-DOS, is an invaluable reference and source of ideas and techniques for me. It sits on my bookshelf right next to Kernighan and Ritchie. ..."
Rob Savoie, Telesensory Systems, Inc.
"I found the typography and layout excellent, and the writing clear and easy to read, but it was not until I keyed four modules into my computer that I really came to appreciate the quality of your work." [Systems Programming in Turbo C]
Charles Sankey, Johannesburg, South Africa
"It was a pleasure to obtain a publication that is superb for its content as well as writing style." [Performance Programming Under MS-DOS]
H. D. Noyes, Calgary, Alberta
"I want to congratulate you on an absolutely outstanding book, Mastering Microsoft Word for Windows. ... I found virtually everything I needed in your book. ... You had an uncanny ability to answer all the questions I had, and in just a few more paragraphs from where I had the question. ... Your writing style is clear and direct. ... I've read and used thousands of books and yours is literally the first that I was enthusiastic enough about to try to write to the author. ..."
Don Peterson, Boise, ID
"Programmer's Guide to the OS/2 Presentation Manager is very well written, perhaps the best book I have used in 1989. The author appears to have a very clear visualization of how people will actually use the book. In particular, he starts from ground zero and systematically builds up the necessary concepts and vocabulary to say what he has to say. Every sentence is understandable, without forward references. Time and again, there are sentences inserted into the text which appear to have been added at exactly the point where someone could become confused. ..."
Robin Tivy, Vancouver, B.C.

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