jQuery is a compact, lightweight library that currently works in Microsoft’s Internet Explorer browser from version 6 on, Firefox from version 1.5 on, Safari from version 2.0.2 on, Opera from version 9 on, and Google’s new Chrome browser from version 0.2 on. Getting started with jQuery is very easy — all you have to do is include a single link of markup in your HTML or XHTML documents that includes the library. Throughout this book, I demonstrate jQuery’s API (Application Programming Interface) components in detail and show you how all the nuts and bolts of this framework come together to enable you to rapidly develop client-side applications.
What This Book Covers
Later in the book, I cover how you can leverage the jQuery UI library to make graphically driven UI widgets. jQuery gives you the ability to break content up among multiple tabs in the same page. You have the ability to customize the look and feel of the tabs, and even to create a polished look and feel by providing different effects that come in when you mouse over tabs and click on them. The jQuery UI library also makes it easy to create accordion sidebars, like the one on Apple’s Mac website. These sidebars have two or more panels, and when you mouse over an item, one pane transitions to another via a smooth, seamless animation wherein the preceding pane collapses and the proceeding pane expands.
The jQuery UI library also gives you the ability to make any element draggable with the mouse; by clicking and holding and moving the mouse, you can move elements around on a page. It also makes it really easy to create drag-and-drop user interfaces. This can be used to make a dropping zone where you take elements from other parts of the page and drop them in another, as you would in your operating system’s file manager when you want to move a folder from one place to another. You can also make lists that are sortable via drag-and-drop, rearranging elements based on where you drop them. You can also have a user interface where you drag the mouse cursor to make a selection, as you would in your operating system’s file manager when you want to select more than one file. Then jQuery UI also exposes the ability to re-size elements on a page using the mouse. All of those neat things that you can do on your computer’s desktop, you can also do in a web browser with jQuery UI.
Another widget that jQuery UI provides is a graphical slider bar, similar to your media player’s volume control.
- Beginning Web Programming with HTML, XHTML, and CSS, 2nd ed. (2008), by Jon Duckett
- Beginning CSS: Cascading Style Sheets for Web Design, 2nd ed. (2007), also written by yours truly.