Book Review - jQuery Mobile Web Development Essentials

The imminent release of Visual Studio (2012) will include jQuery Mobile as part of the ASP.NET MVC 4 Mobile application template, and some enhancements to the framework to make developing for mobile devices much easier. So it was a well-timed invitation that I received from Packt Publishing to review their latest jQuery title: jQuery Mobile Web Development Essentials.

jQuery is a unified, HTML5-based user interface system for all popular mobile device platforms, built on the jQuery and jQuery UI foundation. Its lightweight code is built with progressive enhancement, and has a flexible, easily themeable design. It is becoming the most popular touch-optimised web development framework for sites that target mobile devices.

jQuery Mobile Web Development Essentials (ISBN: 978-1-84951-726-3) is written by Raymond Camden and Andy Matthews. It weighs in at just over 200 pages plus index, and covers the use of the jQuery mobile library for developing web sites that specifically target mobile devices. It is divided into 13 chapters:

  1. Preparing your First jQuery Mobile Project
  2. Working with jQuery Mobile Pages
  3. Headers, Footers, and Toolbars
  4. Working with Lists
  5. Building a Simple Hotel Mobile Site
  6. Working with Forms
  7. Modal Dialogs, Grids, and Collapsible Blocks,
  8. jQuery Mobile Configuration, Utilities, and JavaScript methods
  9. Working with Events
  10. The Notekeeper Mobile Application
  11. Working with Themes
  12. Using PhoneGap to Create Native Applications
  13. The RSS Reader application

Chapters 2, 3, 4, 6, 7 and 9 work through the core concepts offered by jQuery Mobile to a similar level of depth as offered by the official online documentation. Chapter 5 combines some of these concepts in a very simple sample application. Chapter 10 walks through building a more sophisticated application that makes use of HTML5 local storage to provide some interactivity. Chapter 11 covers themes and icons, and how to customise them, and then apply those customisations to the application built in chapter 10. Chapter 12 explores the basics of PhoneGap for creating native mobile apps from HTML and JavaScript, and finally chapter 13 puts this knowledge to use in creating a simple RSS reader.

The book is quite well structured, and provides good coverage of the essentials of jQuery Mobile, so it meets any expectations set by its title. It is also clearly written. Since my site covers mainly ASP.NET-related topics, it is worth pointing out that this book does not include any coverage of Microsoft's web development framework. In fact, the only brief look at adding server side functionality (when working with forms in chapter 6) featured ColdFusion. Well, one of the authors is a developer evangelist at Adobe. You are expected to know HTML5 to get the best out of this book, but not much more. Having said that, the first look at JavaScript in the book (when building the Notekeeper application) is quite advanced.

If you have spent any time working with the jQuery Mobile documentation online, you are unlikely to find any additional insight within this book. However, if you are looking for a basic grounding in the framework and prefer the portability and convenience of a book, this might be the title for you.

 

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2 Comments

- Alan

What happened, after so many great articles we get a book review.

- Mike

@Alan,

Wassa matter? It's a good book review don't you think? I've done quite a few of them in fact: http://www.mikesdotnetting.com/Category/24 :o)

What would you prefer articles on?
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