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Beginning JavaScript® and CSS Development with jQuery by Richard York

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Chapter 1. Introduction to jQuery

JavaScript frameworks have arisen as necessary and useful companions for client-side web development. Without JavaScript frameworks, client-side programming becomes a crater-filled minefield of cross-browser, cross-platform inconsistencies and idiosyncrasies. JavaScript frameworks pave over those craters and inconsistencies to create a seamless, enjoyable client-side programming experience.

The most important hole filled by a JavaScript framework is inconsistencies between Internet Explorer's and the W3C's standard Event APIs. jQuery fills in this hole by making a cross-browser Event API that is very similar to the W3C's, adding some original helpful extensions of its own.

Another hole filled by most of the popular client-side JavaScript frameworks is the ability to select and traverse through nodes in the Document Object Model (DOM) using more than the very remedial selection and traversal APIs that are provided by browsers' default DOM implementations.

jQuery provides a selection mechanism that uses selector syntax like that used in cascading style sheets. However, not content to support only the standard selectors supported in CSS and even the new Selectors API implementations supported by WebKit and Internet Explorer 8, jQuery again extends the standard to support new, innovative, and useful selectors that make sense when using selectors to select DOM nodes.

In a nutshell, jQuery reduces significantly the amount of JavaScript programming and Q/A ...

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