Book Review: “jQuery 1.3 with PHP”

I was given another book to review, called “jQuery 1.3 with PHP”, so here it is.  The book is aimed at beginners or intermediate developers wanting to learn how to “enhance your PHP applications by increasing their responsiveness through jQuery and its plugins“.

Chapter 1: Introduction & Overview, Chapter 2: Quick Tricks – Good chapter to teach beginners to both JavaScript, jQuery, and PHP the differences between client-side and server-side code, and how the jQuery framework fits into it all.

Chapter 3: Tabs and Accordions – At first this chapter looks to be nothing more than glorified examples of jQuery UI Widgets, but later it actually does a nice job showing how PHP can be used with these widgets to do server-side management of the tabs.

Chapter 4: Forms and Form Validation – Interesting and insightful way of validating forms (both on the client and server side, which is necessary) without having to duplicate all the validation rules.

Chapter 5: File ManagementChapter 6: Calendars – Very specific examples, but Ch. 6 uses the very nice jquery-week-calendar plugin to create an interface very similar to Google Calendar and shows how to link it up with PHP managing the events server-side.

Chapter 7: Image Manipulation – Another nice example of bringing using both PHP and jQuery plugins (treeview and jcrop) to create something really useful.  In this case an image browser, resizer, rotator, and cropper.

Chapter 8: Drag and Drop – Standard sorting/dragging examples + persisting data.

Chapter 9: Data Tables – Using the DataTables jQuery plugin with PHP on very large data sets.

Chapter 10: Optimization – A few helpful tips regarding caching, automatically merging .js source files, JavaScript code optimization, perceived user load times, etc.

Overall, if you’re a programmer not super familiar with PHP or JavaScript, this book does have some very helpful explanations with good examples.

One small gripe about the book: while I do know that black and white books are much cheaper to produce, reading code without syntax coloring makes it unnecessarily harder to understand.

To learn more or purchase: “jQuery 1.3 with PHP” by Kae Verens.

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