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jQuery 1.4 Animation Techniques Beginner's Guide

There are many ways to learn jQuery. There are examples and tutorials all over the web. But, I found myself reading several tutorials and downloading several examples just to understand one jQuery effect. That's when I decided to turn to the printed page and checked Amazon for the latest books to get the background knowledge needed to create my own jQuery animations.

jQuery 1.4 Animation Techniques Beginner's Guide, by Dan Wellman, caught my eye because it took a different approach to teaching jQuery. The author concentrates on the animations one can create with the jQuery UI Library, CSS3 and the HTML5 canvas element. Most of the examples in the book are for web user interface elements and the sample code can be downloaded from the publisher's website.

The book starts with the simple built-in jQuery effects and builds up to creating custom animations. Although jQuery claims to be browser independent, the author does cover some of the work-arounds needed for the Internet Explorer browser.

As you would expect, the book begins with an introduction to jQuery and the most common built-in jQuery effects. The author teaches how to use a template as the base file for all the examples covered in the book, which is very helpful to the beginner when creating the first animation example in the book, a preloader. From simple animations, the author moves on to sequencing several animations, queue management and creating jQuery plugins.

Next, he discusses the jQuery UI and how to use this library of 14 effects to extend jQuery methods. At this point, the author gives a few examples of animating graphics. I especially like the bouncing ball and the window blinds that opened with a click of the mouse. Moving progressively to more complex animations, the author covers full page animations such as a stick man stop-motion walk cycle, mouse proximity events and an interactive game based on the canvas element.

Although this is a beginner's book on jQuery animation, the author assumes the reader has a working knowledge of JavaScript, HTML, CSS and some jQuery. I have to admit that I was hoping for more coverage of complex jQuery animations but this book would be good for anyone new to jQuery animation.

Dan Wellman is an author of several books and a web developer for the Design Haus agency.


Sample Chapter at Packt Pub

*Packt Publishing provided a review copy to me free of charge.

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