Welcome!

IoT User Interface Authors: Elizabeth White, Pat Romanski, Yakov Fain, John Basso, Liz McMillan

Related Topics: Java IoT, Microservices Expo, IBM Cloud, Weblogic, IoT User Interface, Apache

Java IoT: Article

Book Excerpt: jQuery Essentials | Part 1

An introduction to jQuery

This excerpt is from the book Murach's JavaScript and jQuery by Mike Murach and Zak Ruvalcaba.

Now that you have the JavaScript skills that you need for using jQuery, you're ready to learn jQuery. So, in this excerpt, you'll learn a working subset of jQuery that will get you off to a fast start.

When you complete this section, you'll have all the jQuery skills that you need for developing professional web pages. You can also go on to any of the three sections that follow because they are written as independent modules. If, for example, you want to learn how to use Ajax next, skip to section 4.

Get off to a fast start with jQuery
In this excerpt you'll quickly see how jQuery makes JavaScript programming easier. Then, you'll learn a working subset of jQuery that will get you off to a fast start. Along the way, you'll study four complete applications that will show you how to apply jQuery.

Introduction to jQuery
In this introduction, you'll learn what jQuery is, how to include it in your applications, and how jQuery, jQuery UI, and plugins can simplify JavaScript development.

What jQuery is
As Figure 1 summarizes, jQuery is a free, open-source, JavaScript library that provides dozens of methods for common web features that make JavaScript programming easier. Beyond that, the jQuery functions are coded and tested for cross-browser compatibility, so they will work in all browsers.

What jQuery offers

Dozens of methods that make it easier to add JavaScript features to your web pages

ŸMethods that are tested for cross-browser compatibility

How to include the jQuery file after you've downloaded it to your computer

<script src="jquery-1.8.2.min.js"></script>

How to include the jQuery file from a Content Delivery Network (CDN)

<script src="http://code.jquery.com/jquery-latest.min.js"></script>

Description

ŸjQuery is a free, open-source, JavaScript library that provides methods that make JavaScript programming easier. Today, jQuery is used by more than 50% of the 10,000 most-visited web sites, and its popularity is growing rapidly.

ŸThe jQuery download comes in two versions. One version (min) is a compressed version that is relatively small and loads fast. The other version is uncompressed so you can use it to study the JavaScript code in the library.

ŸIf you include the jQuery file from a Content Delivery Network (CDN), you don't have to provide it from your own server, but then you can't work offline.

ŸThe jQuery CDN now provides a link that will always deliver the latest version of jQuery. That's the way the script element is coded in all of the applications in this book.

ŸIf you download the jQuery file to your system, you can change the filename so it's simpler, but then you may lose track of what version you're using.

Figure 1: What jQuery is and how to include it in your applications

Those are two of the reasons why jQuery is used by more than half of the 10,000 most-visited web sites today. And that's why jQuery is commonly used by professional web developers. In fact, you can think of jQuery as one of the four technologies that every web developer should know how to use: HTML, CSS, JavaScript, and jQuery. But don't forget that jQuery is actually JavaScript.

How to include jQuery in your web pages
If you go to the web site that's shown in this figure, you'll find a download button that lets you download the single file that contains the jQuery core library. By default, the version that's downloaded is a compressed version that today is around 32KB. As a result, this version loads quickly into browsers, which is another reason why developers like jQuery.

The other version is uncompressed and currently about 247KB. If you download this version, you can study the JavaScript code that's used in the library. But beware, this code is extremely complicated.

Once you've downloaded the compressed version of the core library, you can include it in a web page by coding a script statement like the first one in this figure. Then, if you store the file on your own computer or a local web server, you'll be able to develop jQuery applications without being connected to the Internet. For production applications, though, you'll need to deploy the file to your Internet web server.

In this script statement, the file name includes the version number, but you can use whatever file name you want. However, if the file name doesn't include the version number, it's easy to lose track of which version you're using.

The other way to include the jQuery library in your web applications and the one we recommend is to get the file from a Content Delivery Network (CDN). A CDN is a web server that hosts open-source software, and the Google, Microsoft, and jQuery web sites are CDNs for getting the jQuery libraries. In the second example in this figure, the script element uses the jQuery CDN with a URL that gets the latest version of jQuery, and that's the way all of the applications in this book include the jQuery library.

The benefit to using a CDN is that you don't have to download the jQuery file. This works especially well with the jQuery CDN and the "latest" URL. Then, you don't have to change the URL when a new release becomes available. The disadvantage is that you have to be connected to the Internet to use a CDN.

How jQuery can simplify JavaScript development
To show you how jQuery can simplify JavaScript development, Figure 2 shows both the JavaScript and the jQuery for the FAQs application that you learned how to develop in chapter 6. If you're like most people who are learning JavaScript, you probably found the JavaScript code for this application both complicated and confusing. That's because it is.

The JavaScript for the application

var $ = function (id) {
return document.getElementById(id);
}
window.onload = function () {
var faqs = $("faqs");
var h2Elements = faqs.getElementsByTagName("h2");
var h2Node;
for (var i = 0; i < h2Elements.length; i++ ) {
h2Node = h2Elements[i];
// Attach event handler
h2Node.onclick = function () {
var h2 = this;         // h2 is the current h2Node object
if (h2.getAttribute("class") == "plus") {
h2.setAttribute("class", "minus");   
}
else {
h2.setAttribute("class", "plus");
}
if (h2.nextElementSibling.getAttribute("class") == "closed") {
h2.nextElementSibling.setAttribute("class", "open");
}
else {
h2.nextElementSibling.setAttribute("class", "closed");
}
}
}
}

The jQuery for the application

$(document).ready(function() {
$("#faqs h2").toggle(
function() {
$(this).addClass("minus");
$(this).next().show();
},
function() {
$(this).removeClass("minus");
$(this).next().hide();
}
);  // end toggle
}); // end ready

Figure 2: How jQuery can simplify JavaScript development

In contrast, the jQuery code takes less than half as many lines of code. You'll also find that it is much easier to understand once you learn how to use the JQuery selectors, methods, and event methods. And you'll start learning those skills right after this introduction.

Incidentally, jQuery uses CSS selectors to select the HTML elements that the methods should be applied to. For instance,

$("#faqs h2")

is a jQuery selector for the CSS selector

#faqs h2

which selects all of the h2 elements in the element with "faqs" as its id. In fact, jQuery supports all of the CSS selectors including the CSS3 selectors, even in browsers that don't support all of the CSS3 selectors. This is another reason why developers like jQuery.

How jQuery can affect testing and debugging
When you use jQuery to develop applications, you can use the same testing and debugging skills that you learned in chapter 4. Remember, though, that a call to a jQuery method is a call to the jQuery file that you specify in a script element in the head section of the HTML. In other words, when your code executes a jQuery method, it is the JavaScript in the jQuery file that does the processing.

Then, if the jQuery code can't be executed, the display in Firebug or in the error console of the browser will point to a statement in the jQuery file. This can happen, for example, because a faulty parameter is passed to a jQuery method. Unfortunately, the information in Firebug or the error console doesn't tell you which statement in your code caused the problem. Instead, you have to use the other debugging techniques to find the bug and fix it.

In most cases, though, Firebug and the error console of the browser do provide information that helps you find and fix the bug. So this is a minor problem that is more than compensated for by the benefits that you get from using jQuery.

How jQuery UI and plugins can simplify JavaScript development
Besides the core jQuery library, jQuery provides the jQuery UI (User Interface) library. The functions in this library use the core jQuery library to build advanced features that can be created with just a few lines of code. These features include themes, effects, widgets, and mouse interactions.

For instance, the browser display in Figure 3 shows the FAQs application as a jQuery UI widget known as an accordion. To implement this widget, you just need the three lines of JavaScript code that are highlighted, and that also applies the formatting that's shown.

To use jQuery UI, you include a jQuery UI library file in your web pages in much the same way that you include the jQuery core library. You also include a jQuery UI CSS file that provides the themes for jQuery UI. In section 3, you'll learn how to do that, and you'll learn how to use the features of jQuery UI.

The HTML for a jQuery UI accordion

<div id="accordion">
<h3><a href="#">What is jQuery?</a></h3>
<div> <!-- panel contents --> </div>
<h3><a href="#">Why is jQuery becoming so popular?</a></h3>
<div> <!-- panel contents --> </div>
<h3><a href="#">Which is harder to learn: jQuery or JavaScript?></a></h3>
<div> <!-- panel contents --> </div>
</div>

The JavaScript code for the jQuery UI accordion

<script>
$(document).ready(function() {
$("#accordion").accordion();
});
</script>

Some typical plugin functions

ŸData validation

ŸSlide shows

ŸCarousels

Description
jQuery UI is a free, open-source, JavaScript library that provides higher-level effects, widgets, and mouse interactions that can be customized by using themes. In section 3, you'll learn how to use jQuery UI.

A plugin is a JavaScript library that provides functions that work in conjunction with jQuery to make it easier to add features to your web applications. In chapter 11, you'll learn how to use some of the most useful plugins, and you'll also learn how to create your own plugins.

In general, if you can find a plugin or jQuery UI feature that does what you want it to do, you should use it. Often, though, you won't be able to find what you want so you'll need to develop the feature with just the core jQuery library.

Figure 3: How jQuery UI and plugins can simplify JavaScript development

Because jQuery UI can make JavaScript development even easier than it is when using jQuery, it makes sense to use jQuery UI whenever it provides an effect, widget, or mouse interaction that you need. Keep in mind, though, that jQuery UI is limited, so you'll still need jQuery for most of your web applications. As a result, you should think of jQuery UI as an add-on that you should learn how to use after you master jQuery.

Besides jQuery UI, the jQuery web site provides access to dozens of plugins that have been developed for jQuery. These plugins provide higher-level functions like data validation and drop-down menus that require minimal coding for their implementation. To facilitate the development of plugins, jQuery provides specifications that help standardize the way that plugins are implemented. Plugins are one more reason why developers like jQuery.

Like jQuery UI, plugins are libraries that make use of the core jQuery library. In fact, you can think of jQuery UI as a plugin. To use a plugin, you use a script element to include the plugin file in a web page, and you code that script element after the script element for the jQuery core library. In chapter 11, you'll learn how to get the most from plugins, and you'll also learn how to create your own plugins.

In practice, it makes sense to look first for a plugin that implements a feature that you want to add to a web page. If you can find one, you may be able to do in a few hours what would otherwise take a few days. Next, if you can't find a suitable plugin, it makes sense to see whether jQuery UI can facilitate the implementation of the feature. Finally, if neither a plugin nor jQuery UI can help you implement a feature, you have to use jQuery to develop it. That's why you need to master all of the jQuery skills in this section.

More Stories By Mike Murach

As a freelance writer many years ago, Mike Murach decided that he had to develop his own writing methods because the ones that others were using clearly didn’t work. Since then, Mike and his staff have continued to refine those methods, so today every Murach book becomes the best one on its subject. Now, after a long hiatus from writing, Mike has teamed with Zak Ruvalcaba to write Murach’s JavaScript and jQuery.

More Stories By Zak Ruvalcaba

Zak Ruvalcaba has been researching, designing, and developing for the Web since 1995. He holds a BS from San Diego State University and an MS in instructional technology from National University in San Diego.

Zak's skillset includes HTML/HTML5, CSS/CSS3, JavaScript, jQuery, ASP.NET, ADO.NET, Visual Basic, C#, Web Services, and Flash/ActionScript. He is also a Microsoft Certified Application Developer for .NET (MCAD) and a Microsoft Certified Solutions Developer for .NET (MCSD).

In his spare time, Zak teaches web development courses for the San Diego Community College District, Mt. San Jacinto Community College and Palomar Community College.

Comments (0)

Share your thoughts on this story.

Add your comment
You must be signed in to add a comment. Sign-in | Register

In accordance with our Comment Policy, we encourage comments that are on topic, relevant and to-the-point. We will remove comments that include profanity, personal attacks, racial slurs, threats of violence, or other inappropriate material that violates our Terms and Conditions, and will block users who make repeated violations. We ask all readers to expect diversity of opinion and to treat one another with dignity and respect.


@CloudExpo Stories
SYS-CON Events announced today that eCube Systems, a leading provider of middleware modernization, integration, and management solutions, will exhibit at @DevOpsSummit at 19th International Cloud Expo, which will take place on November 1–3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. eCube Systems offers a family of middleware evolution products and services that maximize return on technology investment by leveraging existing technical equity to meet evolving business needs. ...
SYS-CON Events announced today Telecom Reseller has been named “Media Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 19th International Cloud Expo, which will take place on November 1–3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Telecom Reseller reports on Unified Communications, UCaaS, BPaaS for enterprise and SMBs. They report extensively on both customer premises based solutions such as IP-PBX as well as cloud based and hosted platforms.
The 19th International Cloud Expo has announced that its Call for Papers is open. Cloud Expo, to be held November 1-3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA, brings together Cloud Computing, Big Data, Internet of Things, DevOps, Digital Transformation, Microservices and WebRTC to one location. With cloud computing driving a higher percentage of enterprise IT budgets every year, it becomes increasingly important to plant your flag in this fast-expanding business opportuni...
Pulzze Systems was happy to participate in such a premier event and thankful to be receiving the winning investment and global network support from G-Startup Worldwide. It is an exciting time for Pulzze to showcase the effectiveness of innovative technologies and enable them to make the world smarter and better. The reputable contest is held to identify promising startups around the globe that are assured to change the world through their innovative products and disruptive technologies. There w...
Is the ongoing quest for agility in the data center forcing you to evaluate how to be a part of infrastructure automation efforts? As organizations evolve toward bimodal IT operations, they are embracing new service delivery models and leveraging virtualization to increase infrastructure agility. Therefore, the network must evolve in parallel to become equally agile. Read this essential piece of Gartner research for recommendations on achieving greater agility.
Data is the fuel that drives the machine learning algorithmic engines and ultimately provides the business value. In his session at Cloud Expo, Ed Featherston, a director and senior enterprise architect at Collaborative Consulting, will discuss the key considerations around quality, volume, timeliness, and pedigree that must be dealt with in order to properly fuel that engine.
To leverage Continuous Delivery, enterprises must consider impacts that span functional silos, as well as applications that touch older, slower moving components. Managing the many dependencies can cause slowdowns. See how to achieve continuous delivery in the enterprise.
Enterprises have forever faced challenges surrounding the sharing of their intellectual property. Emerging cloud adoption has made it more compelling for enterprises to digitize their content, making them available over a wide variety of devices across the Internet. In his session at 19th Cloud Expo, Santosh Ahuja, Director of Architecture at Impiger Technologies, will introduce various mechanisms provided by cloud service providers today to manage and share digital content in a secure manner....
Using new techniques of information modeling, indexing, and processing, new cloud-based systems can support cloud-based workloads previously not possible for high-throughput insurance, banking, and case-based applications. In his session at 18th Cloud Expo, John Newton, CTO, Founder and Chairman of Alfresco, described how to scale cloud-based content management repositories to store, manage, and retrieve billions of documents and related information with fast and linear scalability. He addres...
Aspose.Total for .NET is the most complete package of all file format APIs for .NET as offered by Aspose. It empowers developers to create, edit, render, print and convert between a wide range of popular document formats within any .NET, C#, ASP.NET and VB.NET applications. Aspose compiles all .NET APIs on a daily basis to ensure that it contains the most up to date versions of each of Aspose .NET APIs. If a new .NET API or a new version of existing APIs is released during the subscription peri...
Akana has announced the availability of version 8 of its API Management solution. The Akana Platform provides an end-to-end API Management solution for designing, implementing, securing, managing, monitoring, and publishing APIs. It is available as a SaaS platform, on-premises, and as a hybrid deployment. Version 8 introduces a lot of new functionality, all aimed at offering customers the richest API Management capabilities in a way that is easier than ever for API and app developers to use.
SYS-CON Events announced today that Isomorphic Software will exhibit at DevOps Summit at 19th International Cloud Expo, which will take place on November 1–3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Isomorphic Software provides the SmartClient HTML5/AJAX platform, the most advanced technology for building rich, cutting-edge enterprise web applications for desktop and mobile. SmartClient combines the productivity and performance of traditional desktop software with the simp...
DevOps at Cloud Expo, taking place Nov 1-3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA, is co-located with 19th Cloud Expo and will feature technical sessions from a rock star conference faculty and the leading industry players in the world. The widespread success of cloud computing is driving the DevOps revolution in enterprise IT. Now as never before, development teams must communicate and collaborate in a dynamic, 24/7/365 environment. There is no time to wait for long dev...
Personalization has long been the holy grail of marketing. Simply stated, communicate the most relevant offer to the right person and you will increase sales. To achieve this, you must understand the individual. Consequently, digital marketers developed many ways to gather and leverage customer information to deliver targeted experiences. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Lou Casal, Founder and Principal Consultant at Practicala, discussed how the Internet of Things (IoT) has accelerated our abil...
SYS-CON Events announced today that 910Telecom will exhibit at the 19th International Cloud Expo, which will take place on November 1–3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Housed in the classic Denver Gas & Electric Building, 910 15th St., 910Telecom is a carrier-neutral telecom hotel located in the heart of Denver. Adjacent to CenturyLink, AT&T, and Denver Main, 910Telecom offers connectivity to all major carriers, Internet service providers, Internet backbones and ...
With so much going on in this space you could be forgiven for thinking you were always working with yesterday’s technologies. So much change, so quickly. What do you do if you have to build a solution from the ground up that is expected to live in the field for at least 5-10 years? This is the challenge we faced when we looked to refresh our existing 10-year-old custom hardware stack to measure the fullness of trash cans and compactors.
Extreme Computing is the ability to leverage highly performant infrastructure and software to accelerate Big Data, machine learning, HPC, and Enterprise applications. High IOPS Storage, low-latency networks, in-memory databases, GPUs and other parallel accelerators are being used to achieve faster results and help businesses make better decisions. In his session at 18th Cloud Expo, Michael O'Neill, Strategic Business Development at NVIDIA, focused on some of the unique ways extreme computing is...
The emerging Internet of Everything creates tremendous new opportunities for customer engagement and business model innovation. However, enterprises must overcome a number of critical challenges to bring these new solutions to market. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Michael Martin, CTO/CIO at nfrastructure, outlined these key challenges and recommended approaches for overcoming them to achieve speed and agility in the design, development and implementation of Internet of Everything solutions wi...
With over 720 million Internet users and 40–50% CAGR, the Chinese Cloud Computing market has been booming. When talking about cloud computing, what are the Chinese users of cloud thinking about? What is the most powerful force that can push them to make the buying decision? How to tap into them? In his session at 18th Cloud Expo, Yu Hao, CEO and co-founder of SpeedyCloud, answered these questions and discussed the results of SpeedyCloud’s survey.
19th Cloud Expo, taking place November 1-3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA, will feature technical sessions from a rock star conference faculty and the leading industry players in the world. Cloud computing is now being embraced by a majority of enterprises of all sizes. Yesterday's debate about public vs. private has transformed into the reality of hybrid cloud: a recent survey shows that 74% of enterprises have a hybrid cloud strategy. Meanwhile, 94% of enterpri...