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Book Review: Learning the Yahoo! User Interface Library

We've published many of Dan Wellman's articles here on Dev Articles, so it's a particular pleasure to review his first book. Learning the Yahoo! User Interface Library, published by UK-based Packt Publishing, promises to ease the job of JavaScript developers building web-based programs. Let's take a look between the covers.

Author Info:
By: Terri Wells
Rating: 5 stars5 stars5 stars5 stars5 stars / 8
August 12, 2008
  1. · Book Review: Learning the Yahoo! User Interface Library
  2. · What's a YUI?
  3. · AJAX, Animation and Buttons, Oh My!
  4. · Navigating the Rest of the Way

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Book Review: Learning the Yahoo! User Interface Library
(Page 1 of 4 )

Before we begin, however, I'm compelled to tell you that I'm not part of the book's intended audience. Wellman assumes that readers understand JavaScript, HTML, and CSS, which makes sense in a book that covers a JavaScript library. At best, I know a little HTML, and have picked up some programming principles from the many articles I've edited.

That said, the author's explanations allowed me to follow along at least conceptually with the points he presented. Someone better versed in the three “prerequisite” technologies would benefit much more from the material than I did. Wellman noted in his preface that “Other skills, such as the ability to install and configure a web server, are required. A PC or Mac, a browser, text editor, the YUI, and a web server are also required.” If you plan to use this book in a practical way, you should make sure you have these things available for your use.

The book is divided into ten comprehensive chapters, each of which begins with a bulleted list stating what it covers and ends with a brief summary. This way of presenting educational material – introducing it, covering it in depth, and then summarizing it – helps it stick in the mind. The book includes an index, but no glossary. That's probably a sensible decision; since this book is not intended for total beginners, there is no need to define terms such as “element” and “attribute.” Readers using the book for reference would most likely look up particular utilities, which are cited in bold in the index.

The table of contents lists every single heading and subheading, giving you a good feeling for the substance of the chapters. It runs to about six and a half pages. Here's an abbreviated version, with just the chapter titles (there is also a preface, not mentioned here):

Chapter 1: Introducing the YUI

Chapter 2: Creating Consistency With The CSS Tools

Chapter 3: DOM Manipulation and Event Handling

Chapter 4: AJAX and Connection Manager

Chapter 5: Animation and the Browser History Manager

Chapter 6: Buttons and Trees

Chapter 7: Navigation and AutoComplete

Chapter 8: Content Containers and Tabs

Chapter 9: Drag-and-Drop with the YUI

Chapter 10: Advanced Debugging with Logger

Now let's take a closer look at these chapters to see how Wellman covers his subject.

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