Book Review: jQuery Mobile Web Development Essentials

The authors: Raymond Camden, Andy Matthews The drink: amaretto sour book cover

Full disclosure and a good chuckle…

So, I’m currently writing an advanced level book (jQuery Mobile Hotshot) for Packt Publishing but apparently their marketing guy who contacted me to see if I would write a review on this book had no idea that I was already in bed with them. LOL. So, bottom line, I’m connected to this publisher (and grateful) but being as I’m just getting started down this road, I’m not about to sacrifice my integrity. So, with the aid of nachos and a double amaretto sour, here is my review of jQuery Mobile Web Development Essentials.

Value beyond the documentation

The jQuery Mobile team had put a great amount of effort into producing very practical examples of how to use the framework. The example are actually written in jQuery Mobile so all you have to do to see how they did something is to view the source. It’s a genius approach for anyone who is already technically savvy. So, what does this book gain you that you can’t get out of the documentation? Oh, you mean aside from a more fun way to learn it?

  • There were many points about the subtle differences in the event models of normal web development and jQuery Mobile, like how the document.ready function is almost useless and better ways to hook into the events you need.
  • They do a great job of teaching you to customize your own look and feel beyond just using the Theme Roller.
  • How to create your own custom icons.
  • PhoneGap (Apache Cordova) integration to turn your web apps into native apps.
  • A fully functional, self-contained web app for RSS reading and caching.

book sample referencing bacon

General Impression

I liked it. Raymond and Andy have flavor. I’ve read a LOT of tech books and APIs in my time. I’m one of those continuous learners. I’ve only seen three books that had genuine flavor. HTML5 for Web Designers, jQuery: Novice to Ninja, and this one, which has a flavor of bacon. This is figurative and literal. Raymond scored a total geek nod from me for his used Bacon Ipsum (http://baconipsum.com/) in one of his examples. Trivial, true, but to me, there is nothing worse than stale, stuffy books. Not only does it cover the material well, it’s actually a fun read.

Biggest Criticism

I knew 87% of the content already. If you’ve already coded a real project or two in jQuery Mobile, you might find yourself in the same boat. I realize that’s less of a criticism and more of an audience qualifier. If you’re just starting to dive into jQuery Mobile or if you’re more of a visual learner, you’ll love it.

Biggest Praise

Chapter 13 taught me something I didn’t know that revolutionized one of the chapters in my own book. It was a great example that did an awesome job of binding it all together.

Bottom Line

It’s a fun, approachable book that takes you through the basics of jQuery Mobile and rounds off with a stellar final example. It’s equally appropriate for both designers and developers.