Foreword to the First Edition

It’s all about simplicity. Why should web developers be forced to write long, complex, book-length pieces of code when they want to create simple pieces of interaction? There’s nothing that says that complexity has to be a requirement for developing web applications.

When I first set out to create jQuery I decided that I wanted an emphasis on small, simple code that served all the practical applications that web developers deal with day to day. I was greatly pleased as I read through jQuery in Action to see in it an excellent manifestation of the principles of the jQuery library.

With an overwhelming emphasis on practical, real-world code presented in a terse, to-the-point format, jQuery in Action will serve as an ideal resource for those looking to familiarize themselves with the library.

What’s pleased me the most about this book is the significant attention to detail that Bear and Yehuda have paid to the inner workings of the library. They were thorough in their investigation and dissemination of the jQuery API. It felt like nary a day went by in which I wasn’t graced with an email or instant message from them asking for clarification, reporting newly discovered bugs, or recommending improvements to the library. You can be safe knowing that the resource that you have before you is one of the best thought-out and researched pieces of literature on the jQuery library.

One thing that surprised me about the contents of this book is the explicit inclusion of jQuery plugins and the tactics and theory behind jQuery plugin development. The reason why jQuery is able to stay so simple is through the use of its plugin architecture. It provides a number of documented extension points upon which plugins can add functionality. Often that functionality, while useful, is not generic enough for inclusion in jQuery itself—which is what makes the plugin architecture necessary. A few of the plugins discussed in this book, like the Forms, Dimension, and LiveQuery plugins, have seen widespread adoption and the reason is obvious: They’re expertly constructed, documented, and maintained. Be sure to pay special attention to how plugins are utilized and constructed as their use is fundamental to the jQuery experience.

With resources like this book, the jQuery project is sure to continue to grow and succeed. I hope the book will end up serving you well as you begin your exploration and use of jQuery.