Review of Master Mobile Web Apps with jQuery Mobile | Matt Doyle

I have spent some time over the past few years reading and reviewing many jQuery books, but must admit I have struggled to have any jQuery sink in. I don't come from a javascript background, but rather from a Flex background, and have dabbled a bit in trying to work with javascript, and there are lot of books out there, but the structure and sequence in which they tried to teach me javascript, got me lost. The same with jQuery and jQuery mobile books, there some very well written books out there, but those books are for those who do have the javascript foundational knowledge, embedded in their brains. Just recently, I was handed a copy of Master Mobile Web Apps with jQuery Mobilethird ed., by Matt Doyle, a 'jQuery Mobile' book that really hit the sweet spot, for someone who is interested in picking up some jQuery skills, but not to get drowned in all the javascript jargon and code. The level of detail in each chapter had been well thought out and scoped, just enough to give a reader like me all the tools and knowledge to start building mobile apps right away, and worry about coding later on.

Matt Doyle introduces jQuery concepts and lays out the essentials in the first three chapters of the book, with a simple tutorial on creating a basic jQuery page right from scratch, with buttons and a toolbar, to whet your appetite. Chapters 5,6 and 7 then deal specifically with creating buttons, toolbars, popups and dialogue boxes, from basics to customising the behaviour and look and feel, in a very fluid manner. Typical of most chapters, the author would set out the chapter by showing the most basic and clear example snippet code, such as:

To turn a link into a button, add a data-role="button" attribute to the link:

<a href="view-recipe.html" data-role="button">View Recipe</a>

A coding example would then be followed by graphical illustrations to show what effect your code would have. Matt would then dive into deeper detail on how to adjust various properties and customise a button for example, using a reference table for the various markup options and preview of the result.

jQuery reference table
jQuery reference table

A specifically useful chapter for me was chapter 7, which went into creating interesting forms, in jQuery mobile, from layout the various controls, whilst not getting too detailed on the mechanics of submitting a form, leaving that for the later chapters. Chapter 10 marked the start of the more advanced topics, for those of us who want to customise their app even further, and contrary to the section heading, it wasn't as intimidating or terribly complex that many of the other books fall into.

The advanced section only had three chapters, Theming jQuery mobile, which showed various options, from playing around with the default template, to using Theme-Roller to develop your own themes. I was quite impressed the author had so much detail on how to use the third-party website to to really customise the look and feel, which was comforting as it saved me having to look elsewhere for a user guide.

Chapter 11 then focused on some javascript, which you do have to know, in order to make the app functional, and not just focus on the aesthetics, by showing you how to deal with clicks and responding to actions, working with event handlers and creating javascript-powered dynamic pages, which is quite cool. Chapters 12 and 13, the final two chapters focused solely on two separate jQuery mobile apps, from start to finish, to hone in the skills you learned in the book, and solidify your knowledge, and further supplemented by the appendix chapters, which are reference guides for various tags and properties.

Overall, I am a very big fan of this book, I think after reading this book, jQuery won't be as intimidating. Sure, I won't go on linkedIn and call myself a jQuery wizard after this, but from this book, it provides you with the confidence to go out and pick up other javascript and jQuery books, to further understand the coding side of things, to supplement the widgets and controls you now know how to do. The book is just the right thickness, not too detailed, not too short that it leaves you hungry and unsatisfied. I am really recommending this book, as one of my favourite jQuery books.

Concise: [rating=4.5]

Level: [rating=2.0]

Prior Knowledge: None,but some HTML is advisable. Javascript is a plus, but if you already know standard jQuery, you might be skipping certain chapters.

My rating :[rating=4.5]


Master Mobile Web Apps with jQuery Mobile
Master Mobile Web Apps with jQuery Mobile

Author: Matt Doyle

TitleMaster Mobile Web Apps with jQuery Mobile, 3rd ed.

Publisher: Elated Books

Year: October 2012