Review: PHP jQuery CookbookWednesday, January 19th, 2011

Articles, Jquery, News, PHP

Packt Publishing recently (December 2010) published a very useful book called the “PHP jQuery Cookbook” by Vijay Joshi.

Over 60 simple but highly effective recipes to create interactive web applications…

What’s inside?

jquery
From the very first chapter, you will find the book is quite practical and gets you writing code almost immediately. Which for some, may be a little intimidating but rest assured you can quickly get to grips with it after writing a few more scripts and reading through the explanations, that are clearly and well presented.

I like the way the book is structured, it lets you jump into any chapter you like without having to read the previous one, obviously only do this if you are comfortable with the basics.

The book starts off explaining how to handle events in jQuery and swiftly moves on to more advanced topics like saving and retrieving data to files and databases with the use of PHP, XML / JSON, and all the way and not limited to, creating your own simple ajaxed shopping cart!

I was impressed with the “Working with forms” chapter. As web developers we are making online forms till the cows come home, for all sorts of things from simple newsletter forms to the most complex order forms; building “secure” forms I found is neglected in many books, however not anymore. The author conveniently covers live client side validation as well as server side validation with use of regular expressions and PHP filters. Not only does this give you a good fall back solution for those browsing your site without javascript (fairly rare these days), but also reduces the chances of your site being compromised.

Another useful script that stood out, is the auto-complete / auto-suggest feature. We have seen these everywhere now, and here you will learn how to create it from scratch, including the use of keyboard navigation of the results list.

Along with all the other useful scripts in this book, there is a section on Firebug. If you are in web development / design and have never used this firefox plugin before, then you will kick yourself and wonder why you hadn’t. Firebug makes HTML / CSS manipulation and JavaScript debugging a real breeze! At the end of the book, the author explains how to obtain and use it properly. A nice little touch, and definitely a tool that every web developer should not be without…

Conclusion

I would definitely recommend this book to those who have dabbled with PHP and Javascript / jQuery before. Even if you have experience in PHP only, I feel you can get to grips with jQuery very quickly, especially with the help of the jQuery documention. I found the code in the book was very easy to follow and where it gets complex, explanations were provided along with links for further reading. The usable real life scripts in this book will entice you  to experiment further, great learning material and is certainly a worthy purchase.

Where can I buy this book?

Both the ebook and printed version are available at Packt Publishing or just the print version is also available from Amazon.

Win a free copy of the book

Thanks to Nikita at Packt Publishing, we have the chance to offer one of our lucky readers a PDF copy of this book. All you need to do is to comment on this post or tweet about why you think PHP & jQuery is cool

  1. Comment on this post
  2. Tweet including @webmotionuk

We will update this post with information of the winner, who will be chosen at random from all the comments and tweets at the end of the month (31st Jan 2011).

Competition Closed!

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Amit Thakrar

Amit is a web designer and developer with a passion for design, interaction and usability. In his free time if he's not at the gym he's traveling the world.

View all posts by: Amit Thakrar

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