I’ve enjoyed previous books by David Flanagan and decided to read jQuery Pocket Reference. I thought I would quickly skim through the chapters because I considered myself fairly proficient in jQuery. After the first chapter and Flanagan’s explanations of jQuery’s method, object, and function (‘a’ versus ‘the’), I decided to read more in-depth. I’m glad, because this is one of the best books I’ve read in O’Reilly’s Pocket Reference library. I was surprised to have found a one which has a perfect balance between API, examples, and explanation.
For developers who want to learn jQuery, you will be able to learn nearly all you need to get started from this book. When I first heard about jQuery, I purchased a much larger book, which ended up being about 80% reprinting the API on jquery.com. If you’re like me, and you prefer insight, hints, and gotchas which encourage you to write some code, then this book is perfect for you.
For developers familiar with jQuery, you may learn a little from this book. Flanagan covers a lot of overloads to common jQuery functions. Some of them, I never knew existed. The recent release of jQuery 1.5 has actually added more functionality than what is covered in this book.
The only thing I found a little odd about this book is how the jQuery Selectors chapter was at the end of the book. Considering jQuery is a framework for querying the DOM, using selectors, I would expect that content to be the first covered. On the other hand, as a reference, you may expect the most used content at the end of the book. Luckily, Flanagan knows what he’s doing and tells you to review the Selectors chapter if you’re rusty or unfamiliar.