This is the first book sent to me from Packt where I wasn’t left dizzy from trying to understand just what it is the author was trying to get across. It looks like their proof-reader was awake for this one – totally awesome.
“jQuery 1.3 with PHP” is aimed “for PHP application developers who want to improve their user interfaces through jQuery’s capabilities and responsiveness”. Over the course of ten chapters Verens starts the off with an introduction, then a series of ‘Quick Tricks’ that almost immediately help you add some measure of “Web 2.0″ functionality to what I’d term a “web 0.2 application” rather sharply.
The book ends with a chapter on Optimization – some of which you are bound to already know and some which are complete gems.
In the middle are chapters with mini-projects on tabs and accordians, forms and form validation, file management, calendars (and how to make your own google-calendar-like application), image manipulation, drag and drop and data tables.
In each case, projects are analysed and the required steps for each are outlined in the simplest terms – no extraneous buzzwords are used or are the projects over-analysed for the sake of pedantry.
I was a little surprised in some places where, for example, the json encoded output was not created via json_encode; but then thought not everyone is going to have PHP 5.2 or greater installed. Thumb forward a few pages and this is mentioned. So all’s o k.
It was good to see Kae suggesting use of the PEAR Validate package (or similar) in the Forms and Forms Validation chapter (chapter 4). I had to wonder if there was a PEAR package for creating and shunting down jQuery validation rules to the client – and found that there isn’t. That’s something to consider for later on, I guess.
The rest of the book is similarly both easy to read and easy to understand – my first port of call for learning how to do something that I’d almost term exotic with jQuery and with PHP in the background is usually Google but that is going to change (actually it already has).
Honestly, I wouldn’t be surprised if this books working title was “JQuery and PHP: The HowTo” – it is that good.
Now, this book is not for learning jQuery – that is not within its remit, but I would heartily recomend “jQuery 1.3 with PHP” by Kae Verens to anyone wanting to utilise jQuery from a PHP background.