Documentation and Support Resources for jQuery

read 4 comments

One of the first things I want to know when I try out a new programming language or library or framework is where I can find documentation and support. Yet too often I have found an otherwise promising new tool to be nearly useless for someone like me who is just starting out and can't immediately absorb all of the functionality just by looking at source code.

The excellent documentation is one of the things that first attracted me to jQuery, and with the release of 1.0 (we're now at 1.0.3) the API is baked right into the uncompressed jQuery source code comments. As helpful as this is, however, there may be times when new jQuery users need even more help. So, here is my list of useful resources for great information.

(Skip to the complete list without descriptions)

API

  • jquery.com/api: Pulled directly from the source code comments, the API page contains all of the jQuery methods at your disposal in an alphabetically paginated format
  • Visual jQuery: This site, maintained by Yehuda Katz, pulls from the same source source code comments, but displays the methods in a lovely graphical manner. Many jQuery developers have made Visual jQuery their default reference destination.

Wiki

The jQuery docs wiki has information that doesn't fit into the API. I use it mostly for its list of jQuery expressions that allow you to traverse the DOM and get any element or attribute therein. For example $('p.intro img[@src$=jpg]) would get all jpg images — that is, images with an src attribute ending in "jpg" — that appear within any paragraph with a class of "intro").

Note: jQuery supports CSS 1-3 expressions, but only basic XPath expressions.

Community

jQuery has an incredibly vibrant and generous developer community. To become a part of it you can:

You may want to search the mailing list archives at nabble.com before posting a question.

Tutorials

No matter how comfortable I feel doing the jQuery thing, sometimes I just want my hand held to see how code is written from start to finish. That's where the tutorials come in handy.

  • jQuery Basics: From jquery.com, this tutorial steps you through launching code on document ready, making something happen on click, adding a class, creating special effects, and working with callbacks.
  • Getting Started with jQuery: Covers a simple "hello world" example, selector and event basics, AJAX, FX, and usage and authoring of plugins. Knowledge of JavaScript and the document object model (DOM) is required.

I'm doing my best to add useful tutorials here at Learning jQuery, too, so keep checking back for more! In the meantime, here are links to all of the resources I mention in this entry:

The Complete Resource List #

Truth be told, I'll probably be referring to this list as much as anyone else. So, if you have any additional resources that you've found particularly helpful on your road to jQuery nirvana, please put them in a comment, and I'll update the entry accordingly.

Bonus

As much as I love Visual jQuery, sometimes it's really hard for me to see the big picture because of the page's layout, especially on my tiny PowerBook's screen. I've heard rumors that Yehuda is planning to redesign it a bit; in the meantime, I've created a custom stylesheet that I use whenever I go to the site. It hides the header and moves the reference information up:

CSS:
  1. div#header {display: none;}
  2. ul {top: 20px;}

If you use Firefox with the Web Developer extension, you can add a custom stylesheet from the Web Developer toolbar's "CSS" menu.

comment feed

4 comments

  1. Theme using the same CSS you use for Visual jQuery:
    http://userstyles.org/style/show/1288

    It requires the Stylish extension for Firefox:
    http://userstyles.org/stylish

  2. thanks a lot for posting this, Dan! I've never used the Stylish extension. Looks cool!

  3. Thanks so much for this documentation.
    I Starting to lean jQuery, and to newbies.

    Thanks so much

  4. thank you a lot , i really liked your techniques
    and i am going to use it with my next designes

    regards

Sorry, but comments for this entry are now closed.