So, I Wrote a Book

Instant jQuery 2.0 Table Manipulation How-to

Instant jQuery 2.0 Table Manipulation How-to

A few months back I was contacted by a representative of Packt Publishing asking me if I’d have any interest in writing a book on using jQuery to perform HTML table manipulation. Apparently they had seen a previous blog entry that I had written on manipulating table row backgrounds using jQuery and thought that the concept could be fleshed out into a book. Turns out they were right. Instant jQuery 2.0 Table Manipulation How-to has made it to the final steps of publication as we speak.

It’s a long and unfortunate title, but that’s OK as I didn’t come up with it. The title isn’t mine. Everything inside is, and I hope that people find that to be more entertaining and more educational and just all around better than the title. Of course, that assumes that you’re going to buy the book. You do plan on buying the book, don’t you? If you don’t buy the book then all of that knowledge just sits there between the pages (or electrons, if you’re into the epub scene) and does nobody any good.

The book is part of Packt’s “Instant” line, which is meant to be a cookbook of sorts. Technical cookbooks focus less on teaching general concepts or languages and more on demonstrating how to accomplish certain tasks. While this book isn’t meant to teach jQuery itself (there are quite enough competent books on that topic), it does demonstrate how to perform various manipulations on HTML tables and does strive to explain how the underlying code works.

Although the book doesn’t teach jQuery, you don’t necessarily have to know jQuery to use it. Most of the code samples are cut-and-paste ready. With the accompanying explanations, it should be straightforward enough to modify those samples as needed to accomplish your goals. And if you do know jQuery, the “recipes”, as they’re called, can hopefully save you some time by providing functional code samples.

It’s a fairly short book, as I was asked to provide ten “recipes” plus an introduction and a preface, and to keep the page count to 50. Apparently that’s a hard limit that Packt enforces for this particular format of book. The drawback to this is that it will be harder to get it optioned by Hollywood as the basis for a full-length major motion picture. The advantage is that even if you’re not into jQuery, you can still buy the book and use it as a shim to stop your kitchen table from wobbling. You know you hate that.

In spite of the book being relatively short, it was still a fairly arduous endeavor. Between providing initial outlines, content, rewrites, marketing blurbs, additional rewrites, and more rewrites, it was a good amount of time and effort. I’m proud of the final draft, and also quite relieved that it’s done and that I can now re-focus my energies back on continuing to learn Clojure and spending time with my family.

If anybody actually does buy the book, I’d love to hear your thoughts on what worked and what didn’t. Hopefully there’s much more of the former than the latter.

I’d be remiss in my duties as an author if I didn’t provide a proper link for folks to buy the book. It’s a fine line, really, as you don’t want to be overbearing in asking people to buy your book, but you’ve poured so much time and energy into it that it’d just break your lil’ heart if people didn’t buy it.

So if you happen to be so inclined and have been wondering where you can find a link to buy the book, you can do so at