|JQuery: Novice to Ninja|
|Castledine (Earle) & Sharkie (Craig)|
|Source: Castledine (Earle) & Sharkie (Craig) - JQuery: Novice to Ninja|
|Paper - Abstract|
What’s in This Book
jQuery excels at animation: whether you’d like to gently slide open a menu, or send a dialog whizzing across the screen, jQuery can help you out. In this chapter, we’ll explore jQuery’s wide range of animation helpers, and put them into practice by enhancing a few simple user interface components. We’ll also have a quick look at some animation-like helpers for scrolling the page and making elements resizable.
With the basics well and truly under our belts, we’ll turn to building some of the most common jQuery widgets out there: image galleries and slideshows. We’ll learn how to build lightbox displays, scrolling thumbnail galleries, crossfading galleries, and even take a stab at an iPhoto-style flip-book.
Now that we’re comfortable with building cool UI widgets with jQuery, we’ll dive into some slightly more sophisticated controls: drop-down and accordion-style menus, tabbed interfaces, tooltips, and various types of content panels. We’re really on a roll now: our sites are looking less and less like the brochure-style pages of the nineties, and more and more like the Rich Internet Applications of the twenty-first century!
This is the one you’ve all been waiting for: Ajax! In order to make truly desktop-style applications on the Web, you need to be able to pass data back and forth to and from the server, without any of those pesky refreshes clearing your interface from the screen — and that’s what Ajax is all about. jQuery includes a raft of convenient methods for handling Ajax requests in a simple, cross-browser manner, letting you leave work with a smile on your face. But before we get too carried away — our code is growing more complex, so we’d better take a look at some best practices for organizing it. All this and more, in Chapter 6.
The bane of every designer, forms are nonetheless a pivotal cornerstone of any web application. In this chapter, we’ll learn what jQuery has to offer us in terms of simplifying our form-related scripting. We’ll learn how to validate forms on the fly, offer assistance to our users, and manipulate checkboxes, radio buttons, and select lists with ease. Then we’ll have a look at some less conventional ways of allowing a site’s users to interact with it: a variety of advanced controls like date pickers, sliders, and drag and drop. We’ll round it off with a look at modal1 dialogs in the post-popup world, as well as a few original non-modal2 notification styles. What a chapter!
No matter how “Web 2.0” your application may be, chances are you’ll still need to fall back on the everyday list, the humdrum tree, or even the oft-derided table to present information to your users. This chapter shows how jQuery can make even the boring stuff fun, as we’ll learn how to turn lists into dynamic, sortable data, and transform tables into data grids with sophisticated functionality.
jQuery is more than just cool DOM manipulation, easy Ajax requests, and funky UI components. It has a wealth of functionality aimed at the more ninja-level developer: a fantastic plugin architecture, a highly extensible and flexible core, customizable events, and a whole lot more. In this chapter, we’ll also cover the jQuery UI theme system, which lets you easily tailor the appearance of jQuery UI widgets to suit your site, and even make your own plugins skinnable with themes.
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