jQuery, my love …

I have a new fetish (web development fetish, of course) and that would be jQuery.  I had been introduced to it a few weeks back thanks to that most awesome of instructors Hilary Mason (www.hilarymason.com), but now having seen the man himself John Resig present on it at BarCamp Boston 3, I am yet more eager to explore its marvelous functionality.

John Resig’s presentation (to be posted on Youtube before too long, according to kind audience member who thought to record it) was a wonderful overview, going from nuts to bolts in a half an hour.  He explained that jQuery is a Javascript library which, at a minified 15k, provides a way for HTML and Javascript to interact that usually takes server-side scripting to accomplish.  In fact it can act as its own programming language even to the extent of replacing some server-side code. 

Besides enabling cool visual effects such as the toggling of show/hide, accordion drop down menus, and custom animations, it allows manipulation of DOM elements such as your div tags and header tags.  PHP groupies will love the dollar sign syntax, and those who have mastered the CSS #id and .class tags will find learning jQuery an easy transition.

What really perked my ears were two features that I am dying to try out – the AJAX call to load an HTML page and then strip out only those elements that are needed, and the chaining method in which an element is acted upon by multiple events, in a series that looks like this:  div.show().foo().bar() , where show, foo and bar all act on the same element to accomplish their respective functions.

Three books I plan on purchasing in sequence based on Mr. John’s recommendation are Learning jQuery (Packt), jQuery Reference Guide (Packt), and jQuery in Action (Manning) with none other than John Resig writing the foreword.

Interested in learning more about jQuery?  Check it out at jquery.com .  John Resig’s blog is ejohn.org/blog