A Review of jQuery Drag and Drop Grids How-To

Last updated: 5/14/13

Last week, I said “[o]ne of the fun things about being a web developer is sometimes you get technical books to read for free.” That’s still true this week. Packt Publishing recently sent me a copy of jQuery Drag and Drop Grids by Marcos Placona to review for this blog. It’s part of their Instant series of books – short and focused books (instead of a 500 page tome) designed to deliver concrete results.

What is jQuery?

jQuery is an open-source cross-browser Javascript library designed to make it easier to enable Javascript behaviors and effects for web developers. As it’s one of the most popular open-source Javascript libraries today, it’s probably going to be a topic that a graphic designer who works on the web will run into.

The Pros

The book delivers on its main core promise

The book definitely delivers on its promise. You essentially get a bunch of jQuery recipes for building drag and drop layouts using a jQuery plugin called Gridster. For instance, there’s recipes for making your first gridster layout, using gridster methods for modifying layouts at runtime, building a draggable layout. I think it’s a good fit if you’re a developer that needs to get something up and running quickly using Gridster and jQuery.

The book’s explanations are clear

The book was about 50+ pages long, and it gave you the problem you were trying to solve, the jQuery/HTML recipe for doing so, and then a short explanation of how it all worked.

You get the code

Packt does provide a URL where you can download the example code. Obviously this is useful for testing out the examples. While I didn’t test all the examples, I’m pretty confident if you run into any errors you can probably solve them via Google and StackOverflow.

The Cons – Downloading Example Code

To leave a balanced review, I like to find at least one or two things I would like to change. Regarding the downloading of example code, here is what the book says: “You can download the example code files for all Packt books you have purchased from your account at http://www.packtpub.com. If you purchased this book elsewhere, you can visit http://www.packtpub.com/support and register to have the files e-mailed directly to you.”

Having to register in order to download code isn’t the worst thing in the world, but it does feel inconvenient. Though I understand why the publisher would want to do something like this, I wish they would take the approach some other book publishers have and make the code downloadable without having to go through a registration process.

Overall, the book delivered on its promise

It will help you achieve a focused result using a jQuery recipe. So if you’ve been looking for a quick read to help you AJAX-ify your web application, consider picking this book up over at Amazon in kindle or paperback format if you’re interested.

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