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Posted March 6, 2009
First and foremost, I would like to mention that this book review and the opinions contained within it reflect my own personal thoughts. While I might contribute and participate on the jQuery & jQuery UI open source project, my intent here is to speak as an individual representing my opinions as an individual.
The author Dan Wellman, of the jQuery UI 1.6: The User Interface Library for jQuery book from Packt Publishing should be applauded for bringing the first jQuery UI book to completion. You will learn a lot from this well written book about the general usage and implementation of the UI widgets, interactions, and effects. However, the book suffers from an unavoidable downfall: its content is already deprecated. And with technical books timeliness matters.
The books downfall is that it does not cover the most recent advancements and significant changes made in the evolution of the jQuery UI project. The book's focus is clearly based on versions 1.5.3 to 1.6rc2 of jQuery UI (using jQuery 1.2.6). This needs to be mentioned because the release of this book is unfortunately close to the release of version 1.7 of the library. This new release is a significant update.
Now in all fairness to the author, the jQuery UI team and project have been in a transition/growing phase in the last year. Bringing this book to fruition with any sort of up-to-date technical completeness would have been challenging if not impossible. So, as a potential purchaser of this book what you need to clearly understand is that it is specific to the 1.5.3 to 1.6rc2 releases of the UI library. And that release compared to the most recent release are significantly different.
Setting aside the book's lack of coverage of 1.7 and judging it on the merits of what it covers, I would have to say that the book itself is actually very good. It's well written and contains in-depth information about the jQuery UI widgets, interactions, and effects as it pertains to releases 1.5.3 to 1.6rc2. Additionally, it provides in-depth implementations of the widgets and interactions in a realistic context (real world scenarios).
A reader should pick up this book with confidence, but also be prepared to bridge the gap between the information it provides and the current release of the library (highlighted above). With all that said, I recommend giving the book a read, even if only because it's the sole book written on the topic to date.
To sum up, JQuery UI 1.6 provides thorough instruction on how to configure and style the widgets released with jQuery UI 1.5.3 to 1.6rc2. If you're currently working with jQuery UI 1.5.3 to 1.6rc2, or would like to add jQuery UI to a project that must be comp
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Posted February 5, 2009
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