Matt Gifford aka coldfumonkeh | Consultant Developer
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jQuery UI 1.6 Book Review

Apr 26, 2009

I love jQuery. I do. It's ease of use, it's cross-browser compatability, it's increasing level of customisation with user-built plugins (including my awesome gallerificPlus gallery plugin). It really is a fantastic javascript library that no developer should be without.

jQuery UI .6

Throw into the mix the fantastic jQuery UI library, containing most (if not all) common components that any website would be happy to use (tabs, accordions, dialog boxes, sliders, auto-complete, draggables, etc), this makes jQuery even more of a powerhouse for web technology and development.

After reading my copy of jQuery UI 1.6, published by Packt Publishing, I wanted to spread the word of both the library and the book, which is now a permanent fixture by my side during certain stages of development, and is a fantastic resource.

Chapter 1

The typical introduction chapter, outlining basics of the library, how to download, setting up your development environment, and details of the UI themes. This chapter also includes introductory text into unit testing, although by the author's own omission, unit testing is not included within the book.

Chapter 2

What better way to kick into the interface library than to start with one of the fundamental UI's implemented in today's web design, the tabbed navigation.

Content in this chapter focuses on implementation of the tab widget, setting the styles of the tabs, transitional effects for panel changes, and AJAX tabs, amongst other things.

Chapter 3

Next up in the book is the accordion, used widely on various sites and a content provider and a method for delivering site menu navigation. Chapter 3 shows how to style, configure and animate the accordion, and explains events  behind the object.

Chapter 4

The dialog.. a classic. So many sites use a dialog box or modal window now. It's become part of the furniture, a friendly sight, and this chapter focuses on the dialog box to great extent. Creating custom skins, working with callbacks, retrieving data and using animations are just some of the areas covered within Chapter 3.

Chapter 5

This chapter investigates the slider, which can be used for a wide range of purposes. Multiple handles, callback functions, methods and properties of the object are all covered.

Chapter 6

Pretty much no site customer facing site is complete without a date picker. Spruce up your CMS, intranet, e-commerce site or blog pages with this utility. Within this chapter, you'll learn about localization, trigger buttons, range selection and cllback properties amongst other things.

Chapter 7

Chapter 7 showcases the auto-complete object, and from reading the chapter it's very easy to pick up and understand the concepts and properties for the auto-complete UI object, including multiple selections, remote data, caching, multiple selections and styling.

Chapter 8

Drag and drop - a beauty in modern user experience, and this chapter clearly details how to create these elements including snapping, dragging, dropping, constraining and event callbacks.

Chapter 9

Resizing is the main focus of this chapter, and topics covered within include resize handles, ghosts, maintaining ratio, animations and callbacks. Ideal for most web sites/CMS applications and online tools.

Chapter 10

Selecting and the configuration of selecting are covered within this chapter. Ever wanted to understand the selectee class, how to filter selectables or understand the methods? This chapter will prove invaluable.

Chapter 11

Chances are you've seen sorting in use on many a web site. Now you can create your own sortable application/elements from this chapter, and understand placeholders, connected lists, callbacks and sortable events as you go.

Chapter 12

The final chapter in the book certainly doesn't disappoint, and comes packed with inormation and examples about the jQuery UI effects. You can read and learn about colour animations, easing, transitions, shaking, highlighting, scaling, explosions and so much more that can help to make your sites stand out from the crowd.

All in all, this really is a fantastic book. It's proved to be really useful to me, and still is read on a regular basis. Being able to browse online forums and wikis is fine to an extent, but there's nothing quite like having the book in your hands, your own personal reference guide and tutor.

I would highly recommend this book to anyone and everyone, so don't be left out. Grab yourself a copy and start coding and delivering high-quality sites and applications using the jQuery UI using the skills you have learnt from this book.

Book details

Title: jQuery UI 1.6 - The User Interface Library for jQuery

Author: Dan Wellman

Published by Packt Publishing

Useful links

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