“JQuery UI” By Eric Sarrion; O’Reilly Media

Taking the popular JQuery one step further, JQuery UI is a Javascript library that makes doing all the things I enjoy about making a Web site dead easy. Datepickers? Easy. Drag and Drop? Hardly any effort at all! Radio buttons? Not a problem. All of things it does have been done with varying success elsewhere, but (at least in my opinion) never quite as easily.

So when I had the opportunity to review Eric Sarrion’s “JQuery UI” book from O’Reilly Media, I fell upon it with glee. And Mr. Sarrion does’t disappoint. The book is somewhat slim at 244 print pages (I reviewed the electronic version) but it hits every part of the topic well. For each of the elements available in JQuery UI, he goes through and starts with the basics: You’ll set up, for example, a tab set using exactly one line of Javascript code, along with the requisite HTML of course. Then you’ll examine how tabs are formatted; Mr. Sarrion provides the Firebug-retrieved HTML that will help him (and of course the reader) add custom formatting to their existing code to, for example, change the background color of the tab header. After this the author discusses the actual code itself and various options that may be used to manage the element being discussed; tabs, for example, may be disabled or accompanied by an effect. Lastly, and where appropriate, the author will explore the more advanced aspects of the topic, like handling events and dynamically creating content based on user input and so on.

Mr. Sarrion’s writing is concise, sober, and friendly, but never familiar. He doesn’t dig into years of Javascript history, because it doesn’t matter. He does, however, discuss just about every conceivable angle of the book’s subject, to the point that I found myself wondering why O’Reilly didn’t offer this book as part of its ‘Cookbook’ line. Maybe it was the methodical method of the author’s writing, which focuses on building on the previously discussed topic rather than flipping to a recipe for a specific issue to find a quick fix. Ultimately the format is good; by the end of the book, the reader will have a comprehensive understanding of the subject.

In other words, this is a comprehensive, well put together, and thoughtfully made book that will help out anyone looking for a reference to JQuery UI. I’d heartily recommend it to anyone.