Book Review: Instant jQuery 2.0 Table Manipulation How-to by Charlie Griefer

Talks about the book Instant jQuery 2.0 Table Manipulation How-to by Charlie Griefer

I recently got the opportunity to review the book Instant jQuery 2.0 Table Manipulation How-to by Charlie Griefer. Being a fan and heavy user of jQuery, I happily accepted the offer.

Book Review

Instant jQuery 2.0 Table Manipulation is a short (around 40 pages of real content) and concise book focusing on a single topic: manipulation of the HTML <table> element using jQuery. It's written in a "recipe style" showing you how to implement the following:

  • Table row striping
  • Sum columns
  • Show/hide rows
  • Highlighting cells
  • Pagination – client side
  • Pagination – server side
  • Column sorting – client side
  • Column sorting – server side
  • Filtering
  • Plugins

Each recipe follows the same pattern: you see how to set up the required HTML and jQuery code followed by a step by step explanation of that code. The book does not introduce jQuery so some working knowledge with jQuery is assumed. However, the code is explained well, so it's easy to follow.

Good stuff

  • Clear and clean examples; each focusing on a single task with clean and simple to understand HTML and jQuery code.
  • Great explanation of the code, going over it line by line explaining what it does in detail.
  • Real-world examples that will definitely come in handy when you do jQuery development.

Not so good stuff

  • The book suffers from some editing issues. It feels to me that the author included phrases like "let's do this and that" that have been edited away, leading to some awkward sentences at times.
  • Page 46 shows a big SQL Injection hole in a SQL query with PHP. Admittedly, this is not a book about PHP, SQL or security, but still, a bad practice like this should not make it into any book.
  • Each recipe is categorized as Must Know, Should Know and Become an Expert. For me, this classification doesn't make so much sense. If you happen to have the need to do filtering of a table (classified as Expert), you Must Know how to do it.
  • Some of the examples are too simple. If you buy a book like this, you want advanced topics discussed in detail.

While the technical content of the book is good, I am not sure if a topic like this warrants an entire book (even though it's so short). For each of the topics discussed you can easily find blogs and articles for free on the Internet. That said, if you do happen to need one of the implementations described in this book and don't want to spend too much time Googling, the $6.79 that this book costs may be money well spent. Speaking of the price: you probably want to get his book from the Packt site as Amazon.com charges $9.86 for the Kindle version and even $17.99 (!!) for the paperback version.

Final score: 4 out of 5


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