jQuery Revelations

A few posts ago I lamented how there are so many things you can do with Javascript/jQuery, but most of those things are inappropriate for modern websites or are otherwise useless. Then today it suddenly hit me that the primary use of such things as slideDown() or animate(), which I just learned, is for advertising. Duh! I get those all the time when I’m reading news articles. You hit a certain point in the page and suddenly a video slides down and wrecks your entire reading experience. You close it and it slides up. I also noticed that the practice site for the book I am reading uses slideDown() to add some flair to whenever I move to the next question.

Sometimes you really do just have to keep learning before it begins to make sense. I’m sure I will recognize other legitimate uses of jQuery as I continue learning.

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jQuery Adventures

I finally started to learn jQuery using a book titled “A Smarter Way to Learn jQuery”. It’s a very effective book, teaching in tiny two or three page chapters, hosting 20 practice exercises for each chapter online. I usually dislike practice problems and prefer to chew the meat and move on, but this latter strategy has resulted in some glaring gaps in my knowledge, and has meant the frequent rereading of chapters in books such as “C# 6.0 and the .NET 4.6 Framework”, which has been my buddy for learning C#. I can honestly say this new methodology is really effective.

jQuery is used closely with Bootstrap and is also the library I chose for Egret, given its prevalence and the fact that a Javascript library has been missing from my repertoire. I am about a quarter of the way through this book, but the practice questions follow the exact same format for each chapter, so the thought of doing 55 more of these is wearing me down. More importantly, there are a lot of bells and whistles, but that doesn’t mean these bells and whistles should ever be used (I’m reminded of the html <marquee> tag, not that my company’s internal IT website would EVER use that).  Unless you’re using Ajax, I can’t imaging paragraph text swaps or fade-ins being used in a professional environment. This has always been my greatest barrier to learning more Javascript: Everything is permissible, but not everything is beneficial. Books almost always focus on what is permissible. As a developer with an eye for design, I have a hard time seeing much value in most of the site behavior. If it looks good and it works, why would I ever need fades, scrolls, replacements, swaps? Ok, well now that I think of it, swapping a class for input validation might be handy, but that’s about it.

Well, that’s why you have to jump in. You can find the useful bits later, but you have to understand the technology first. I’m just excited I’ve been making so much progress through these books lately.