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Learning JQuery 1.3

samzenpus posted more than 4 years ago | from the read-all-about-it dept.

Programming 153

Michael J. Ross writes "Of all Web technologies, JavaScript may have the most checkered past — first heralded as a powerful object-oriented language for jazzing up Web pages, but later condemned as a source of spammy pop-up windows and horrid animations polluting websites everywhere. Yet during the past several years, Web designers and developers are increasingly using JavaScript unobtrusively, for client-site interactivity — as a supplement to server-side functionality, not a replacement, and built upon standards-compliant (X)HTML and CSS. As a result, the once-derided language is now enjoying a true resurgence in interest and use. This has been bolstered by the proliferation of JavaScript libraries, of which jQuery is clearly the front runner. Web programmers seeking to get up to speed on this exciting resource can turn to Learning jQuery 1.3: Better Interaction Design and Web Development with Simple JavaScript Techniques." Keep reading for the rest of Michael's review.Written by Jonathan Chaffer and Karl Swedberg — two veteran Web developers based in Grand Rapids, Michigan — Learning jQuery 1.3 was published on 13 February 2009, under the ISBN 978-1847196705, by Packt Publishing, which kindly provided to me a copy of the book for review. There is a publisher's Web page for the book, where readers can order print or PDF versions of the book (or both, at a sizable discount); contact Packt Publishing with questions or feedback; read more information about the book, the authors, and the table of contents; and download a free sample chapter (the fourth one, titled "Effects") in PDF format. Readers who want to follow along with the authors' discussion, should note that all of the sample code used in the book can be downloaded from its support page. There is also a link for reading the reported errata, of which there are eleven, as of this writing. (The erratum for page 40 is incorrectly listed twice.)

The book begins with a foreword by John Resig, the creator of jQuery. What follows is over 400 pages of information, organized into eleven chapters and four appendices, covering all of the major topics related to jQuery, after a quick-start chapter: selectors, events, effects, DOM manipulation, AJAX, tables, forms, shufflers and rotators, plug-ins, online resources, development tools, and closures. The book has all the ingredients to serve as a full introduction to jQuery for experienced Web programmers, because it assumes no prior knowledge of jQuery (or any other JavaScript libraries); but it does assume that the reader comprehends the basics of HTML, CSS, and JavaScript — thus not wasting time by teaching these prerequisites skills, as is attempted in some other Web programming books.

The first chapter may be brief, but it is sufficient to present the major features of jQuery, its advantages versus raw JavaScript, and a quick history of its various releases after it was first mentioned by John Resig in August 2005. In addition, the reader is shown where to obtain the library, how to add it to a Web page, and a few of its basic capabilities. In the given example, multiple HTML paragraph elements are styled using just three lines of code; yet the power of jQuery would have been demonstrated even better had the authors also shown the equivalent raw JavaScript needed to perform the same functionality.

The next four chapters present the basics of jQuery upon which everything that follows is built. Readers are introduced, in Chapter 2, to the jQuery syntax for accessing individual elements and groups of elements on a Web page, using the $() factory function, CSS selectors, and jQuery's own custom selectors. As with all of the chapters that follow, several examples are used to illustrate the core ideas. The ability to intercept and react to events on a Web page — such as a user clicking on a particular link — is an essential part of client-side interactivity, and is the topic of the third chapter. But first the groundwork is set by learning how to control when code is executed, how to utilize multiple scripts on a page, and how to use jQuery with other JavaScript libraries. Then a style switcher example is used to demonstrate the "this" keyword, shorthand event methods, and compound events, as well as event capturing, bubbling, objects, targets, propagation, delegation, namespacing, and other topics. Unfortunately, the screenshots are of little help, largely because the black-and-white images fail to show user feedback, such as green backgrounds on hover, and even bolded link text. Chapter 4, which covers jQuery effects, begins by explaining how to programmatically discover and save attribute values, for later use; then it explains how to hide and show HTML elements, fade them in and out, toggle their settings, create simple custom animations, invoke effects sequentially using queuing, and queue effects on different elements using callback functions. The fifth chapter shows how to easily add and remove elements and their attributes from the DOM, and even create a new DOM structure from scratch. Most of the sample code is well explained, except for the fourth line in the insertAfter() snippet on page 96, which is not clear at all. Also, the sample text that consumes the bulk of pages 98 and 99, should be replaced with something much shorter, partly because it would be easier to locate the "span" tags within the text. This chapter, like the previous one, concludes with a "nutshell" summary that is quite helpful — and would be even more so if it listed, next to each jQuery method, the corresponding page number.

Asynchronous JavaScript and XML (AJAX) is a combination of technologies that is seeing more widespread use every year, as developers discover the advantages of dynamic Web page interactivity without the reloading of the page each time, which of course slows down the process for the user. The sixth chapter shows how to utilize AJAX, from a jQuery perspective, with explanations and examples of the four major approaches that involve static data files, including a handy summary of when each approach would be most appropriate. Also explored are the dynamic AJAX strategies, including GET and POST requests. The authors should have mentioned that, in order to make functional the "E" and "F" dictionary entries in the example, the reader will need to load the index.html file using a Web server, and not as a static HTML file, so the calls to "e.php" and "f.php" will work. By the way, anyone confused by the reference to jQuery Reference Guide, on page 146, should be aware that it is the title of a book written by the same authors as this one.

With the seventh chapter, the authors transition from what they consider to be the tutorial portion of the book, and begin to demonstrate how the reader can utilize the earlier basics for improving Web page functionality — in this case, working with tables. The authors make good use of code snippets and screenshots to show how one can do table sorting, row striping, row highlighting, and other capabilities independent of — and in conjunction with — server-side equivalents. The subsequent chapter consists of a similar survey of jQuery goodness, but applied to forms — specifically: styling, client-side validation, auto-completion of search entry fields, and input masking (with an emphasis upon numbers). The sample HTML is a model of quality markup, except for the wrapping of checkbox input elements inside of label elements, which is noncanonical and can make it problematic to properly align all the checkboxes in a form vertically, for all browsers. Chapter 9, titled "Shufflers and Rotators," demonstrates how to create a rotator for RSS newsfeed headlines, and an image carousel featuring image enlargement with transition. Readers interested in testing out the sample code — and possibly even modifying it — should be aware that, for chapters 7 through 9, the sample code within the downloadable archive is not stored in chapter-named directories, but instead combined into an application, in the "bookstore" directory.

The last two chapters of the book are devoted to jQuery plug-ins — using those created by others, and developing one's own. In Chapter 10, to illustrate the high-level ideas, the authors focus on and recommend a number of specific plug-ins built for handling forms, advanced effects, widgets, tables, images, and charts, as well as some theming resources. In the subsequent chapter, the authors show how to develop plug-ins of varying complexity, including those that implement new global functions, implement new jQuery object methods, and extend the jQuery selector engine; the chapter wraps up with advice on how best to distribute newly-created plug-ins.

All of the chapters end with summaries, which, given the detailed and technical nature of the material within each chapter, do not add any value to the book, and could be excised without loss. The four appendices offer some valuable information: numerous online resources for readers seeking reference material; development tools for the most popular Web browsers; details on JavaScript closures; and a quick reference for the jQuery selector expressions and all of the methods. The weakest part of the book, the index, is inadequate — missing important terms, such as "animation," "callback," "iteration" (or "iterator"), and "toggling."

The following errata have yet to be listed on the book's support page: "Let[']s" (page 23), "page [is] loaded" (page 40), "if Normal was" (should read "if Normal were"; page 61), ", though" (should read "though,"; page 80), "user the $() factory function" (page 113), "slices with be" (page 283), and "though[,] there" (page 340). In the errata listed on the support page, the entry for parseFloat refers to page 74, but the error actually occurs once on page 69 and twice on pages 70, 71, and 79. In the six screenshots on pages 253 through 257, the shipping totals are incorrect. Nevertheless, the number of errata per page is far less than what is found in most computer books, especially those from Packt Publishing.

The generous amount of sample code should be quite helpful to the reader, because for most programmers, we learn best by example. However, there are many instances where a line of code is unnecessarily wrapped to a second line, even though there is plenty of room at the end of the first line to accommodate the portion of code forced down; pages 82 and 217 have glaring examples of this. The same premature wrapping is seen in some of the text, such as on pages 210 and 311.

The authors as a whole do an admirable job of explaining the central ideas. The explanations are generally clear, which is absolutely critical for a topic like jQuery that can be overwhelming to anyone unfamiliar with it — and not just as a result of the somewhat cryptic syntax (which admittedly is unavoidable), made worse by chaining and especially by the nesting of anonymous functions. Even a cursory glance through the book should make evident that the authors put a lot of effort into writing it, reflected not just in its substantial length, but also the number of examples they created for the book, and the functionality contained therein.

With its thorough coverage of key jQuery topics — from the basics to plug-in development — Learning jQuery 1.3 is an information-packed resource that can help Web developers learn how to take their JavaScript programming to the next level.

Michael J. Ross is a freelance website developer and writer.

You can purchase Learning jQuery 1.3 from amazon.com. Slashdot welcomes readers' book reviews -- to see your own review here, read the book review guidelines, then visit the submission page.

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153 comments

HTML forms (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30724150)

Client side form handling is the browsers job.

Roll on HTML 5 [diveintohtml5.org]

Re:HTML forms (2, Funny)

toastar (573882) | more than 4 years ago | (#30724716)

indeed, I thought HTML 5 was supposed to magically make Javascript and other client side scripting languages*Cough*Flash*Cough* go away.

Re:HTML forms (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30725098)

indeed, I thought HTML 5 was supposed to magically make Javascript and other client side scripting languages*Cough*Flash*Cough* go away.

Flash, yes. Javascript, no.

If you thought HTML5 was going to get rid of Javascript then you've completely missed the point. Javscript use is going to increase with HTML5, not decrease. HTML5 adds new objects and events to the DOM (eg sessionstorage), and the only way to make use of those is through Javascript.

Sorry to disappoint you.

Re:HTML forms (3, Insightful)

Tablizer (95088) | more than 4 years ago | (#30725626)

The problem is that HTML was originally designed for "e-brochures" more or less. It doesn't fit desktop/CRUD-style GUI's very well and people have been trying to tack that on after-the-fact with D+ results which are bloated, buggy, jittery, and version/brand-sensitive.

In my opinion, we need a new kind of browser that is designed to handle desktop/CRUD GUI's well from the get-go. Most of the features we know and love from desktop/CRUD GUI's would be specified by mere mark-up and wouldn't have to download entire GUI system kits to emulate them. Client-side scripting would then be for rare specialized stuff it can't handle. Force-fitting is just not working well and we've been at it for more than a decade. Let's stop trying to paint stripes on a horse and just go get a real zebra.
       

Re:HTML forms (1)

reed (19777) | more than 4 years ago | (#30726472)

On the other hand, the *lack* of a standard WIMP GUI toolkit for web pages has also let loose a few creative ideas for what a UI could be. The standard desktop GUI toolkits make it easy to write mediocre and somewhat boring UI's that get the job done but not very elegantly or ergonomically, and which all look exactly the same.

Web apps are not really a blank slate... but they could be close once you decide what parts of the HTML/browser framework you intentionally *don't* want to use and step around.

(HTML5's Canvas is also more literally a blank slate... so will be interesting to see what happens with that.)

Functional programming (2, Interesting)

Camel Pilot (78781) | more than 4 years ago | (#30724220)

I have been learning jquery lately. I am still uncomfortable about the functional programming paradigm. I really hate the way it creates highly indented code. At the end of some complex operations with several anonymous functions as arguments you end up with scads of )}: characters and it is easy to get lost in the indentation.

Re:Functional programming (4, Informative)

ByOhTek (1181381) | more than 4 years ago | (#30724318)

So, don't make them anonymous. Problem solved.

Re:Functional programming (0, Offtopic)

CobaltBlueDW (899284) | more than 4 years ago | (#30724552)

In JavaScript, easier said than trolled.

Re:Functional programming (4, Informative)

nschubach (922175) | more than 4 years ago | (#30724970)

Instead of:
$(".someClass").each(
   function(index, element){
      somestuff();
   }
);

Do:
function doThings(index, element){
   somestuff();
}
$(".someClass").each(doThings);

Re:Functional programming (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30724512)

Please don't think that just using anonymous functions is functional programming. JavaScript is not a functional language.

Functional programming is far more than that. Referential transparency, for instance, is a significant feature that is totally absent from JavaScript. You can't even declare constants in real-world JavaScript yet. Even then, if you use the DOM or any existing JavaScript libraries, you're basically stuck maintaining and manipulating state (which just isn't done when using a functional language).

Most functional languages also offer strict, static typing, with type inference. This is something else that is completely contrary to how JavaScript works.

Don't let JavaScript's poor attempts to include functional techniques taint real functional programming languages like Haskell, SML and OCaml for you. JavaScript is to functional programming as somebody sticking a crowbar up your ass is to a comforting back massage.

Re:Functional programming (3, Insightful)

rob_osx (851996) | more than 4 years ago | (#30724554)

The name "functional programming" implies the use of functions, yet I've seen too much "functional programming" that is just lines and lines of indented code. Here is an idea: Actually create new functions! Yes, these innovative routines can actually make the code readable and encourage code reuse! Try to make each function do one task, and code will be readable, reusable, and will not suffer from over indention.

Re:Functional programming (2, Insightful)

Nadaka (224565) | more than 4 years ago | (#30724800)

No. Functional programming does not just "implies the use of functions". Functional programming applies only to languages that consist of stateless atomic functions exclusively. The word you are looking for is "procedural programming"

Re:Functional programming (3, Insightful)

slim (1652) | more than 4 years ago | (#30724962)

You can do functional programming in languages that don't enforce functional programming.

The GP makes the valid point that people sometimes use anonymous functions when a named function would be clearer.

Instead of (hypothetical language):

myList.map({ // some complex inline anonymous function
});
... instead ...

function transform { // some complex code
}

myList.map(transform);

It can increase clarity, and reduces the depth of indentation the GGP was complaining about.

Re:Functional programming (2, Informative)

Nadaka (224565) | more than 4 years ago | (#30725152)

That is technically accurate, you can do functional programming in languages that do not enforce use of stateless atomic functions... If you are able to ensure that you only use stateless atomic functions and none of the functions/objects you use in the language alter the programs state. In practice, that means being confined to a fairly small subset of the language in question and it may be impossible in some languages.

His definition was still clearly referencing procedural programming.

Re:Functional programming (1)

rob_osx (851996) | more than 4 years ago | (#30725344)

Nadaka - I was incorrectly referencing procedural programming.

Slim - thank you for trying to clarify my muddled post. You are totally correct that people use anonymous functions when a named function would be clearer.

I blame my clouded mind on lack of sleep that comes from a 13 week old daughter. :-)

Re:Functional programming (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30725574)

Let's try a little experiment. Pick your favorite functional language, one that uses stateless atomic functions exclusively or whatever other criteria float your boat.

Got it? Good.

Is it turing complete? Does a turing machine satisfy your definition of functional?

Re:Functional programming (1)

Stooshie (993666) | more than 4 years ago | (#30724600)

Anonymous functions. Eww!

Don't, just don't!

Re:Functional programming (3, Informative)

slim (1652) | more than 4 years ago | (#30724856)

aka closures. If the language supports them, anonymous functions can be elegant and readable.

To double every item in a Groovy list:

mySet.collect { it * 2 }

Re:Functional programming (1)

CaptSaltyJack (1275472) | more than 4 years ago | (#30724620)

Dudes. Then get a real editor that handles auto-indentation. "Highly indented code" is a GOOD thing, I've worked with enough developers who slack on their indentation, and it makes the code a bitch to read.

Re:Functional programming (1)

slim (1652) | more than 4 years ago | (#30725116)

Proper indentation is of course essential.

But "highly indented code", i.e. running out of space on the right, often means you're trying to do too much in one routine. Linus once stated that if you had trouble sticking to the 80 column, 8 char indent kernel coding style rules, you should be breaking your code into more functions.

However certain styles of JavaScript programming (and Java, with anonymous inner classes) cause you to open a lot of brackets -- and therefore indent a long way -- for otherwise quite terse statements. That's what the GP was getting at.

Re:Functional programming (3, Insightful)

Tablizer (95088) | more than 4 years ago | (#30724946)

I think there's some "faddism" to the recent functional programming (FP) push. FP has a place, but that place is not necessarily everywhere. We learned the same lesson with OOP: some parts of our software fit it well and some don't. Use the right tool for the job. Some if it is also subjective. We all think different.

There will be some zealots who will say, "Your entire program must use X-oriented programming or you are a lame dumb Luddite who doesn't get it. Puppies will die of cancer if you don't use only X". But these extremists will tend to fall by the wayside and people will end up using different paradigms where they work best as experience teaches when to use what.

Re:Functional programming (1)

shutdown -p now (807394) | more than 4 years ago | (#30725296)

I have been learning jquery lately. I am still uncomfortable about the functional programming paradigm. I really hate the way it creates highly indented code. At the end of some complex operations with several anonymous functions as arguments you end up with scads of )}: characters and it is easy to get lost in the indentation.

It's the deficiency of (overly verbose for an FP language) JavaScript syntax, not FP itself. If you look at Ruby, for example, it specifically has some syntactic sugar to make it possible to write FP code that looks like "normal" control structures. E.g.:

xs.each { |x|
  puts(x)
}

It's actually an invocation of method "each", passing it a single-argument block (closure) as an argument.

Re:Functional programming (1)

BlueBoxSW.com (745855) | more than 4 years ago | (#30725362)

I also get annoyed with this style of programming. While I try to while things in more explicit form when using jQuery to make debugging easier for myself, pretty much all the examples on the web are written in this terse, yet not so readable form.

JQuery (2, Insightful)

Reality Master 101 (179095) | more than 4 years ago | (#30724232)

I looked into JQuery recently for a web project, and while it is really, really cool, it's pretty heavy if all you want is (say) a Calendar popup. I think JQuery is really useful if you are going to basically do a desktop-style application using Javascript, like a spreadsheet or other major application. If all you want is a few controls for standard web forms, JQuery is overkill and too slow to download. There are better individual choices.

Re:JQuery (4, Insightful)

royallthefourth (1564389) | more than 4 years ago | (#30724274)

It's only 19kb and that tiny transfer only happens once because of browser caching. It's not too big for anything.

Re:JQuery (1)

Reality Master 101 (179095) | more than 4 years ago | (#30724436)

It's only 19kb and that tiny transfer only happens once because of browser caching. It's not too big for anything.

Maybe you got it down to 19K, but when I tried to do something actually useful (like the aforementioned Calendar popup), the sum of all the various components was pushing 70-80K (yes, using the compressed versions). Maybe there was some trick I wasn't using to get it down that small -- I wish there was, because I did actually want to use it. The JQuery site isn't the most straightforward in the world.

And you can run into problems with caching if you're using https.

Re:JQuery (0)

Anonymusing (1450747) | more than 4 years ago | (#30724568)

Maybe you got it down to 19K, but when I tried to do something actually useful (like the aforementioned Calendar popup), the sum of all the various components was pushing 70-80K (yes, using the compressed versions). Maybe there was some trick I wasn't using to get it down that small -- I wish there was, because I did actually want to use it.

How big was the calendar pop-up you finally programmed yourself? And, could it do everything the pre-fab jQuery one could do?

It's hard to complain that free code on the Internet is too big for your purposes. It's free. If you don't like it, roll your own.

Re:JQuery (1)

Reality Master 101 (179095) | more than 4 years ago | (#30724774)

How big was the calendar pop-up you finally programmed yourself? And, could it do everything the pre-fab jQuery one could do?

I didn't program it myself, I used one the numerous ones available around the web. I think it was like 8K or something. And no, it didn't have all the animation gimmicks the JQuery one did, but it did what I needed it do -- er, popup a calendar, and input a date in a functional, attractive way.

It's hard to complain that free code on the Internet is too big for your purposes. It's free. If you don't like it, roll your own.

Sheesh, retract the geek rage. All I did was point out that it's really heavy if all you want is a simple control, and it is. It's useful information for someone who is considering JQuery, whose web site claims that it's super light weight. You know, offering the benefit of my experience using this newfangled "forum thing."

And, if you note, since I didn't like it, I did "roll my own", as you suggested.

JavaScript and jQuery are RELIGIONS. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30724972)

You have to understand, JavaScript isn't just a scripting language, and jQuery isn't just a library. They've basically become religions for some people, much more so than we've even seen for any other programming technology.

I think it has to do with the advocates of those technologies not having any real programming skills or experience. Since they've never been good enough to program in Qt or Swing or even Visual Basic, they can't see all of the horrid flaws that are prevalent throughout JS and jQuery.

Complete ignorance brings out the reaction that Anonymusing just subjected you to.

Re:JQuery (1)

Anonymusing (1450747) | more than 4 years ago | (#30725608)

Sheesh, retract the geek rage. All I did was point out that it's really heavy if all you want is a simple control, and it is.

No rage here. It seemed like you were complaining about something unnecessarily, and I meant my comment matter-of-factly. My apologies if it came across too strongly.

Re:JQuery (1)

redJag (662818) | more than 4 years ago | (#30724734)

I believe you're talking about the jQuery UI Datepicker, whereas the 19kb is referring to just the jQuery library. jQuery UI can get pretty heavy, but you can use jQuery itself to write your own light-weight Calendar popup as well.

Re:JQuery (3, Informative)

Mr. DOS (1276020) | more than 4 years ago | (#30724812)

19KB is an "I-wish" number. To actually get that size, the web server has to be gzipping output, a feature that isn't always on or available. Minified alone, the base jQuery library is 56KB. That's probably where the majority of your size was coming from.

      --- Mr. DOS

Re:JQuery (1)

Ungrounded Lightning (62228) | more than 4 years ago | (#30726324)

Minified alone, the base jQuery library is 56KB. That's probably where the majority of your size was coming from.

And on 28k dialup (which some people - like me at one site - are lucky to get) that's 20 seconds (more with TCP turnarounds).

Re:JQuery (1)

Mr. DOS (1276020) | more than 4 years ago | (#30726576)

Oh, I wasn't disagreeing - my home was on a 48k dial-up connection for a six-year period that only just ended in the last week of October. I was simply trying to explain why 19KB is less likely than the jQuery team seems to make out.

On a related note, accessing /. on dial-up raises a funny point about the new Slashcode comment system: the slowness of the site is not so much due to the size of all the resources, but due to the amount of CPU time it takes to handle the CSS and JS.

      --- Mr. DOS

Re:JQuery (1)

Seakip18 (1106315) | more than 4 years ago | (#30726544)

Also, I'm wondering if there is caching going on for this. If not, it could be as bad as 56KB every page without compression.

Also, I thought any container that was configured by someone with half a brain knew how to setup compression. I was one of those less-than-half-brain-folks as recently as a month ago, so it happens. I never did the initial configuration of Tomcat/Apache, just never bothered looking at how it was configured.

Compression + proper caching means your jqueryMini.js is a one-time 20KB hit.

Re:JQuery (1)

Mr. DOS (1276020) | more than 4 years ago | (#30726762)

I can't remember whether or not the default Apache configuration has compression enabled or not - it's been a while since I installed a web server. This matters because I'm sure there are many less-than-half-brained folks who leave the majority of httpd.conf in its default state and jump straight to setting up virtual hosts.

      --- Mr. DOS

Re:JQuery (1)

Lunix Nutcase (1092239) | more than 4 years ago | (#30725246)

the sum of all the various components was pushing 70-80K (yes, using the compressed versions).

Which takes all of .16 seconds on even a low-end 512k DSL/Cable connection. Even on dialup that's not even 2 seconds (but one would question why one would be going to a javascript heavy website on dialup).

Re:JQuery (2, Insightful)

Reality Master 101 (179095) | more than 4 years ago | (#30725450)

Which takes all of .16 seconds on even a low-end 512k DSL/Cable connection. Even on dialup that's not even 2 seconds (but one would question why one would be going to a javascript heavy website on dialup).

Okay, first of all, that "512k" connection is 512 kilo-BITS. That means 64 kilo-BYTES / second. So that 80K download takes an extra one and a quarter seconds. That may not sound like much, but it adds up.

And if the whole world was broadband, then I'd be less concerned, but a lot of the world is still on crappy dial-up connections. A typical dial-up connection is 33 Kbits or about 4K Bytes/second. That means that 80K download is 20 seconds. 20 seconds NOT EVEN RELATED TO CONTENT. Try counting off 20 seconds and see how long that really is.

I don't know about anyone else, but I want my web pages to pop. Snap! Snap! Snap! I HATE waiting for crappy designed web pages to load, and I'm on a 16 megabit connection.

Re:JQuery (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30726174)

If you still want to use JQuery you could use the Google CDN.
http://encosia.com/2008/12/10/3-reasons-why-you-should-let-google-host-jquery-for-you/

Re:JQuery (1)

daveime (1253762) | more than 4 years ago | (#30726042)

Considering most Slashdot pages climb to over 1MB ... YES, 1 whole megabyte ... 19k or even 70-80k would be a Godsend.

Re:JQuery (1)

Wraithlyn (133796) | more than 4 years ago | (#30726242)

I tend to just use jQuery core and write everything else on top of that from scratch.

I don't usually bother looking at using jQuery addons unless trying something really tricky, I can write much leaner code myself for highly specific purposes than I would be able to accomplish by bolting together some generalized components.

I'm not sure where the GP got 19KB though, unless it's a really old version. Current version is 54KB "minified", which is what people should be using. Prior to 1.3.x, they used to provide "packed" (compressed) versions which were smaller (last one clocked in at ~30KB), but these were never a good idea to use (which is why they were discontinued) as they had to be decompressed by the browser on *every* page load, whereas the larger size of the minified version is a one-time penalty due to browser cache.

Re:JQuery (1)

Azureflare (645778) | more than 4 years ago | (#30724656)

There might be some confusion here. You're referring to JQuery UI, which is not the same thing as the core JQuery language. 19kb is referring the gzipped, minified version of JQuery. What you're seeing is probably the JQuery UI script (which is pretty large, even if you cut out the extra stuff).

If you just want a simple calendar, I've found Unobtrusive Date Picker [frequency-decoder.com] to be quite nice. It also doesn't take up a whole lot of space, AND is keyboard friendly! Oh, and it plays nice with JQuery (a big plus).

Re:JQuery (1)

Reality Master 101 (179095) | more than 4 years ago | (#30724958)

It's really cool, but the packed version + CSS file = 54K... Ouch. But I'm pretty obsessive about keeping web pages light and fast loading.

Re:JQuery (1)

clampolo (1159617) | more than 4 years ago | (#30725354)

Yes, JQuery has some nice ui stuff in one of its additional libraries. But the primary purpose of JQuery is for the AJAX support. Using it, you don't need to sit and worry about browser compatibility. It's also a lot easier to find and manipulate DOM objects.

Re:JQuery (1)

GigaHurtsMyRobot (1143329) | more than 4 years ago | (#30726014)

How is jQuery 'clearly the frontrunner'?... Has this reviewer never heard of ExtJS?

It bothers me how overcomplicated everyone makes the use of asynchronous connectivity on a web page, and how wasteful it is to use XML to communicate with yourself.

None of these frameworks are easy to use.. you're better off learning a few key pieces and using a minimalist/obscure approach and remove XML from the AJAX equation. The filesize of some of these frameworks are 50% wasted on encoding/decoding XML when plain delimited text would prove sufficient. I've re-written them from scratch and proven it.

What has UI development become? (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30724268)

After years of doing UI development using Motif, then MFC and finally Swing and WinForms, I've ended up doing some web UI development for the past few years, mainly for business apps. It's simple enough to do, but I spend far too much of my time thinking "What the fuck?!?!" when using libraries like jQuery or YUI.

It's pretty bad that UI programming using C, C++, Java and even VB.NET was more enjoyable and productive than using JavaScript and jQuery.

With web UIs, we end up spending a whole lot of time getting around browser-specific problems, and many times it's just really awkward to bend our UI to the HTML or AJAX model. Often times, things that would have been really quick to do with Motif or even MFC ended up taking much longer to develop using HTML, JavaScript and jQuery.

And the UIs don't even look that good, too. We thankfully have some pretty good graphics designers working for us, and our web apps don't look bad, but they also don't look or feel as robust as native (or even pseudo-native like Swing) apps. Some of our users tell us that they found the old Motif apps easier to work with.

I really don't like the direction the craft is heading. We were making good progress up until Swing and WinForms, but then web development took over and it feels like we've made a serious regression. So I'm thinking about moving away from UI design and development, after 20+ years. There are other areas where they're going in the right direction. Unless I can find myself a job using Qt somewhere. That's the only toolkit that seems to be making sensible innovation these days.

Re:What has UI development become? (3, Informative)

slim (1652) | more than 4 years ago | (#30724388)

The thing is, these are for writing slick Web pages, not desktop-like apps.

If you want to write web apps that look like desktop apps, and feel like desktop apps to write, try GWT [google.com] or Cappuccino [cappuccino.org].

Re:What has UI development become? (1, Informative)

umghhh (965931) | more than 4 years ago | (#30724398)

You do not have to put much effort in convincing me that JS is source of all evil including Osama and rectal cancer but my observation over years brought me is understanding that the real pain that starts when somebody wants to use different language/set of tools over legacy code is caused not that much by the fact the legacy is coded in X but that legacy is coded badly in X. X is sometimes relevant but usually not significantly.

Re:What has UI development become? (1)

rycamor (194164) | more than 4 years ago | (#30725318)

I really don't like the direction the craft is heading. We were making good progress up until Swing and WinForms, but then web development took over and it feels like we've made a serious regression.

HTML was never intended to be an application language, just a document presentation one. And rather than develop an additional language to embed real application elements, we've spent the past 10 years trying to turn a hammer into a screwdriver.

Mozilla tried to present a workable solution in the form of XUL [mozilla.org], which actually gives web developers a real GUI toolkit to work with. The world pretty much ignored or misused it, sadly. (Although I have to admit early XUL implementation was pretty buggy and limited). At present, XUL is mainly used to create Firefox extensions, but even there we see a movement away from that to HTML.

Be that as it may, you have to admit that there are things web apps deliver that the traditional client-side program couldn't. Will we ever see a good marriage of the two? I suppose it's possible, but for the near future I foresee more and more of this 'papering over'; layering frameworks on top of suboptimal core technology in order for developers to at least achieve some sanity.

Re:What has UI development become? (1)

Blakey Rat (99501) | more than 4 years ago | (#30725888)

That's because the DOM sucks ass. Libraries like Prototype and JQuery can make the DOM suck slightly less ass, but unfortunately you're still getting some ass-suckage leaking though.

Believe me, if you were doing GUI programming in C++ or C# and had to go through DOM it would suck just as much.

object-oriented? (3, Informative)

gandhi_2 (1108023) | more than 4 years ago | (#30724320)

Because you don't make classes and instances of the classes, you just use object.property notation, Javascript is NOT object-oriented. It is object-based.

Re:object-oriented? (1)

royallthefourth (1564389) | more than 4 years ago | (#30724482)

function Apple (type) {
    this.type = type;
    this.color = "red";
    this.getInfo = getAppleInfo;
}

var apple = new Apple('macintosh');

What is not OO about this? Maybe there's no keyword for it, but I certainly made a new instance of a class here.

(example from http://www.phpied.com/3-ways-to-define-a-javascript-class/)

Re:object-oriented? (2, Interesting)

gandhi_2 (1108023) | more than 4 years ago | (#30724622)

That is a prototype.

JavaScript uses prototypes instead of classes for inheritance. It is possible to simulate many class-based features with prototypes in JavaScript.

You are mimicking some of the utility, but that's not OO. Go ahead and show me is-a, has-a, and as-a inheritance in Javascript.

Re:object-oriented? (1)

Tablizer (95088) | more than 4 years ago | (#30724724)

Prototyping is a form of inheritance. In fact, it could be argued that wetware (biology) uses prototyping for inheritance such that prototyping is closer to the original concept of "inheritance" than class-based. No biologist has discovered the master "primate class" (please, no jokes about monkeys flinging poo at teachers).

     

Re:object-oriented? (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30724828)

Again you're assuming that is-a, has-a and as-a are necessary components of OO development. They are merely necessary components of class/inheritance-based OO development.

Re:object-oriented? (1)

shutdown -p now (807394) | more than 4 years ago | (#30725350)

You are mimicking some of the utility, but that's not OO. Go ahead and show me is-a, has-a, and as-a inheritance in Javascript.

There's no such thing as "has-a inheritance" in any language. Public inheritance is a "is-a" relationship, by definition (Liskov Substitution Principle etc). Of course, there are other ways to model "is-a", and JavaScript has them.

Also, what's "as-a inheritance"?

Anyway, why do you even believe that inheritance is required for something to be considered OO?

Re:object-oriented? (1)

gandhi_2 (1108023) | more than 4 years ago | (#30726342)

A porche IS A car.
You already know about this, obviously.

A car HAS A carburetor.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Has-a [wikipedia.org]

The as-a is seldom used, but objects of one class can be used as-a object of another derived class if the parent supports it and the language supports it. For example... road tire and spare tire both inherit from tire, but one can inherit from the other (like siblings) and be used AS another, while overriding only say max_speed=45 for the spare.

Re:object-oriented? (1)

shutdown -p now (807394) | more than 4 years ago | (#30726560)

I know what "has-a" is about. You haven't explained how it has anything to do with inheritance, though.

The as-a is seldom used, but objects of one class can be used as-a object of another derived class if the parent supports it and the language supports it. For example... road tire and spare tire both inherit from tire, but one can inherit from the other (like siblings) and be used AS another, while overriding only say max_speed=45 for the spare.

This seems to be a very stretched example to me. I have never seen anything like that in production code, that's for sure. I also haven't seen it mentioned in any OOP/OOD theory books, either. Looking in Google doesn't bring anything up either, while plenty of hits are available for "is-a" and "has-a". Can you provide any reference for it?

Also, in your example, I don't see any special kind of relationship. If we have Tire, RoadTire->Tire and SpareTire->Tire, then we just have two "is-a" relationships, and the fact that RoadTire and SpareTire can be used interchangeably where any Tire is expected is just the fundamental nature of "is-a". If we have SpareTire->RoadTire, or RoadTire->SparedTire, then we again have "is-a". If we don't have any inheritance relationship between the two, but we can pass a RoadTire to something expecting SpareTire, and vice versa, then it sounds like duck typing to me.

Re:object-oriented? (1)

CobaltBlueDW (899284) | more than 4 years ago | (#30724728)

Making Objects and Orienting a language to Objects are quite different.

JavaScript uses what is called Prototyping, which is arguably the bastard step sibling of a proper class system.

Many of the powerful features inherent to classical class based system are hard to produce with JavaScript's prototyping system, which has it's own flaccid pros, but arguably quite inferior to a strong class based system.

Re:object-oriented? (1)

tepples (727027) | more than 4 years ago | (#30726074)

JavaScript uses what is called Prototyping, which is arguably the bastard step sibling of a proper class system.

You keep using that word [wikipedia.org].

Many of the powerful features inherent to classical class based system are hard to produce with JavaScript's prototyping system

Name a couple, please.

Re:object-oriented? (2, Insightful)

TheRaven64 (641858) | more than 4 years ago | (#30724796)

It is OO, but you did not make a new instance of a class, you made a new object. Apple is not a class, it is a closure. The semantics of the new keyword in JavaScript are the second most horrendous part of the spec. You're basically calling the closure with this bound to a new object which has Object as its prototype. A class is an object which is both a factory and a prototype. Here you have a factory, but not a prototype.

Re:object-oriented? (2, Informative)

fm6 (162816) | more than 4 years ago | (#30725434)

You created an object that was predefined in the JS library. You can do that in any language. (Example: ActiveX objects in C programs.) JS is a little more advanced in that its syntax supports object manipulation. But if you can't define new classes, you can't build object frameworks. Definitely not OO.

Re:object-oriented? (1)

Fahrvergnuugen (700293) | more than 4 years ago | (#30724504)

You can write classes (which contain properties and methods) and then instance new objects from those classes with JavaScript. How is that not Object Oriented?

Re:object-oriented? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30724628)

Wrong again. JavaScript is an object-oriented, prototype-based (instead of class-based) language.

Re:object-oriented? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30724634)

Because you don't make classes and instances of the classes, you just use object.property notation, Javascript is NOT object-oriented. It is object-based.

Just because JS doesn't call them "classes", doesn't mean they're not. You do define classes, and you do create instances of those classes. You can even use inheritance. It's not the nicest OO language out there, but it is OO.

Re:object-oriented? (1)

TheRaven64 (641858) | more than 4 years ago | (#30724644)

JavaScript is object oriented. In fact, it is a pure object-oriented language: everything is an object (even functions). It is not, however, a class-based language. Or are you going to claim that Self isn't an object oriented language either?

Re:object-oriented? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30724686)

Tosh. Javascript, like Self, just doesn't use inheritance. You can fundamentally create generic or base objects, including giving them object-oriented methods which can access an implicit 'this' for self-reference, and then instances of those using the 'new' keyword.

These objects are defined without inheritance, instead using a constructor that sets the object's 'prototype': a live instance of an object that has all of the fundamental properties of the newly defined object, which can be overridden by the instance. Furthermore, those prototype objects can themselves be the product of constructors, and have their own prototypes, all the way down to Object/Array. This is simply implicit rather than explicit inheritance.

See: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Prototype-based_programming

It's outdated nonsense to put prototype-based languages in the old-fashioned 'object-based' category that was contrived around limited languages like Visual Basic; Javascript and Self both clearly meet the fundamental requirements of object-oriented programming, and if they don't then it is the definition that needs to change.

Re:object-oriented? (1)

The End Of Days (1243248) | more than 4 years ago | (#30725390)

JavaScript is one of those things that is hated and misunderstood in equal measure, mostly by the same people. I think a lot of it is the inherent prejudice techies seem to have against providing UI. I couldn't tell you how many times I've listened to rants about how UI work is easy and boring, nothing to it, blah, blah, blah, by people who couldn't do the work to save their lives.

Just another instance of the general principle that people tend to deride as easy that which they cannot actually do.

In the end, I shrug. If a carpenter decides he has no need of a hammer, who am I to make fun of the nail marks on his screwdriver handle? The way I see it, that leaves more money for me to make.

Re:object-oriented? (1)

QuoteMstr (55051) | more than 4 years ago | (#30724700)

No language is object-oriented.

Some programs are.

You can write an object-oriented program in practically any language.

Some kind of runtime code dispatching tool (like defgeneric, function pointers, or first-class function objects) is helpful.

Re:object-oriented? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30725356)

From Wikipedia (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/JavaScript):

"JavaScript is an object-oriented scripting language used to enable programmatic access to objects within both the client application and other applications."

Re:object-oriented? (1)

losinggeneration (797436) | more than 4 years ago | (#30726452)

Javascript uses a form of OOP called prototype-based. Just because it's not class-based doesn't mean it's not OOP. Now please go ahead and look it up if you still have doubts. After a bit of reading it should become quite clear that you've been misinformed about what exactly is OOP.

Reading worth (4, Interesting)

Rikiji7 (1182159) | more than 4 years ago | (#30724328)

Thanks to jQuery javascript just makes sense. You can refer to and interact with things around the pages so easily that you will laugh thinking about the old days, when scripters were getting mad to write cross-browser js... Book is good and easy to read-through in a single day for an already experienced jscripter.

For cross browser compat (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30724332)

Once IE10?...11 comes out and all browsers have a standard JavaScript implementation all of these JavaScript frameworks will be borderline obsolete.

obj.addEventListener will be obj.addEventListener NOT
if(obj.attachEvent){...}else if(obj.addEventListener){...}else{...}

They will still have the convenience functions for Ajax, DragNDrop, and XPath, but once cross-browser annoyances are off the table the convenience factor becomes just another layer of abstraction.

JQuery vs. MooTools (1)

A Friendly Troll (1017492) | more than 4 years ago | (#30724344)

I am unable to find comparisons of JQuery and MooTools.

If anyone has experience with both frameworks, could you please try to summarize the big differences and say which one you prefer?

Re:JQuery vs. MooTools (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30724438)

This is a good read. http://jqueryvsmootools.com/ [jqueryvsmootools.com]

The author makes note that he personally prefers mootools, which has more of a learning curve, but makes sense.

Also, I saw somewhere that mootools has better performance than jquery in benchmark tests of some kind.

Re:JQuery vs. MooTools (1)

A Friendly Troll (1017492) | more than 4 years ago | (#30724708)

I found that site, but immediately discarded it when I read "I am a MooTools developer" in the disclaimer. I'd like to hear from people around here instead :)

Re:JQuery vs. MooTools (1)

phloe (264566) | more than 4 years ago | (#30725634)

The author is very subjective considering his affiliation with mootools. Give it a read.

Re:JQuery vs. MooTools (1)

Anonymusing (1450747) | more than 4 years ago | (#30724676)

I like jQuery more because... um... well, actually, I just like it more. Feels easier to use. MooTools has a steeper learning curve, and I can do what I want to in jQuery without that learning curve.

Incidentally, although it is highly dependent on the browswer running the test, jQuery often feels faster. But run the tests [jquery.com] yourself. And while speed is one thing, accuracy is another, and it all depends on what kind of work you do.

It gets really irritating, though, when I see a web site using both MooTools and jQuery on the same page, just because the designer/developer liked a particular plug-in for that page. I'm sure the client never notices.

Re:JQuery vs. MooTools (2, Insightful)

Mr. DOS (1276020) | more than 4 years ago | (#30725078)

I don't have any recent experience with MooTools, but when I was at a jQuery/MooTools crossroads about a year and a half ago, I chose jQuery for two reasons:

  • JS written using jQuery was more concise and easier to read/write
  • jQuery's documentation was better (at the time, I seem to remember large chunks of MooTools documentation missing; possibly because they'd just released a new version or something, but still bad)

And that's about it. jQuery has given me no reason to look elsewhere; it's still concise and easy-to-use, it's fairly fast, it's compatible with as many browsers as I'm willing to target for CSS, and there's a million and one plugins so often the only JS I need to write is that to enable a plugin.

      --- Mr. DOS

Javascript (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30724386)

Developers are using Javascript because they have no choice. Web development sucks, and Javascript is one of the reasons.

Re:Javascript (2, Informative)

MightyMartian (840721) | more than 4 years ago | (#30724516)

Amen! The browser is probably the worst application platform ever developed. It's a godawful mess only made worse by the different browsers and by having to support even worse legacy variants like IE6. I can only imagine if, 20 years ago, someone had come up and showed CSS and DHTML coupled together on top of a rendering engine using a terrible language like JavaScript as the glue, they would have looked at it, looked at MacOS and Windows, even in their relatively primitive forms, and laughed their asses off.

Re:Javascript (1)

Saint Stephen (19450) | more than 4 years ago | (#30725490)

What I hate is the float:left and clear:both bullshit in CSS. That's got to be the dumbest, most non-intuitive thing I've ever seen. "Let me express this in the most bass-ackward way possible."

Re:Javascript (1)

CobaltBlueDW (899284) | more than 4 years ago | (#30725016)

Agreed.

HTML is a horrible way to depict graphical content, and wasn't made to.

JavaScript is a terrible language, but how do you fix a language which everyone has already created their own implementation for, and which no one person has any control over.

CSS is a mess built on top of a mess.

Rigging them all together is like trying to create Frankenstein with jellyfish and hair-pins.

Now if only we could get a object/vector-based graphics system hooked-up to a solid OO language, and give it a flashy name. ;)

--but seriously, a vector graphics driven web browser running a good scripting language, or at least a popular scripting language like ActionScript3, Python, Ruby or c#, could create some brilliant results.

Re:Javascript (1)

tepples (727027) | more than 4 years ago | (#30726450)

Now if only we could get a object/vector-based graphics system hooked-up to a solid OO language, and give it a flashy name

You mean "HTML5"? If you meant "flashy" as in Adobe, you'll run into one of the consequences of Flash Player being non-free: unless your device is a traditional PC, you have to pay Adobe if you want your device to be able to view "flashy" documents.

Ghastly cover (1)

Tablizer (95088) | more than 4 years ago | (#30724594)

I have to say, that book cover reminds me of the day I had way too much pizza, and let's just say the pizza took upon itself to make a U-turn.
   

Re:Ghastly cover (1)

gregarican (694358) | more than 4 years ago | (#30725104)

I don't understand what you're trying to say. Can you please come up with an appropriate pizza analogy???

We don't use JavaScript here we use JQuery (0)

SpoodyGoon (1574025) | more than 4 years ago | (#30725384)

We don't use JavaScript where I work we use JQuery instead it's a lot more intuitive.

Re:We don't use JavaScript here we use JQuery (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30725948)

Are you some kind of fucking retard?

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