Welcome!

Apache Authors: Mark R. Hinkle, Carmen Gonzalez, Roger Strukhoff, Liz McMillan, Elizabeth White

Related Topics: Java, SOA & WOA, Websphere, Weblogic, AJAX & REA, Apache

Java: Article

Book Excerpt: jQuery Essentials | Part 1

An introduction to jQuery

The basics of jQuery programming
In the next three figures, you're going to learn the basics of jQuery programming. Then, you'll study an application that uses these skills. That will show you how jQuery simplifies JavaScript programming.

How to code jQuery selectors
When you use jQuery, you start by selecting the element or elements that you want to apply a jQuery method to. To do that, you can use jQuery selectors as shown in Figure 4.

The syntax for a jQuery selector

$("selector")

The HTML for the elements that are selected by the examples

<section id="faqs">
<h1>jQuery FAQs</h1>
<h2 class="plus">What is jQuery?</h2>
<div>
<p>jQuery is a library of the JavaScript functions that you're most
likely to need as you develop web sites.
</p>
</div>
<h2 class="plus">Why is jQuery becoming so popular?</h2>
<div>
<p>Three reasons:</p>
<ul>
<li>It's free.</li>
<li>It lets you get more done in less time.</li>
<li>All of its functions cross-browser compatible.</li>
</ul>
</div>
</section>

How to select elements by element, id, and class

  • By element type: All <p> elements in the entire document
    $("p")
  • By id: The element with "faqs" as its id
    $("#faqs")
  • By class: All elements with "plus" as a class
    $(".plus")

How to select elements by relationship

  • Descendants: All <p> elements that are descendants of the section element
    $("#faqs p");
  • Adjacent siblings: All div elements that are adjacent siblings of h2 elements
    $("h2 + div")
  • General siblings: All <p> elements that are siblings of ul elements
    $("ul ~ p")
  • Children: All ul elements that are children of div elements
    $("div > ul")

How to code multiple selectors

$("#faqs li, div p")
$("p + ul, div ~ p")

Description
When you use jQuery, the dollar sign ($) is used to refer to the jQuery library. Then, you can code selectors by using the CSS syntax within quotation marks within parentheses.

Figure 4: How to code jQuery selectors

To code a jQuery selector, you start by coding the dollar sign ($) followed by set of parentheses that contains a set of quotation marks. Then, within the quotation marks, you code the CSS selector for the element or elements that you want to select. This is shown by the syntax summary at the top of this figure.

The HTML and the examples that follow show how easy it is to select one or more elements with jQuery. For instance, the first selector in the first group of examples selects all <p> elements within the entire document. The second selector selects the element with "faqs" as its id. And the third selector selects all elements with "plus" as the value of its class attribute.

In the second group of examples, you can see how other types of CSS selectors are coded with jQuery. Here, you can see how descendants, adjacent siblings, general siblings, and children are coded. For instance, the first selector gets all <p> elements that are descendants of the element with "faqs" as its id. That includes all of the <p> elements in the HTML in this figure.

In contrast, the second selector gets the div elements that are adjacent siblings to the h2 elements, which includes all of the div elements. The third selector gets all <p> elements that are siblings of ul elements, which selects the one <p> element in the second div element. And the fourth selector gets all ul elements that are children of div elements, which selects the ul element in the second div element.

The third group of examples shows how to code multiple selectors. To do that, you separate them with commas, just as you do with CSS.

How to call jQuery methods
Once you've selected the element or elements that you want to apply a method to, you call the method using the syntax shown at the top of Figure 5. This is the same way that you call a method of any object. You code the selector that gets the element or elements, the dot, the method name, and any parameters within parentheses.

The syntax for calling a jQuery method

$("selector").methodName(parameters)

Some common jQuery methods

Method

Description

val()

Get the value of a text box or other form control.

val(value)

Set the value of a text box or other form control.

text()

Get the text of an element.

text(value)

Set the text of an element.

next([type])

Get the next sibling of an element or the next sibling of a specified type if the parameter is coded.

submit()

Submit the selected form.

focus()

Move the focus to the selected form control or link.

Examples

How to get the value from a text box

var gallons = $("#gallons").val();

How to set the value for an input element

$("#gallons").val("");

How to set the text in an element

$("#email_address_error").text("Email address is required");

How to set the text for the next sibling with object chaining

$("#last_name").next().text("Last name is required");

How to submit a form

$("#join_list").submit();

How to move the focus to a form control or link

$("#email_address").focus();

Description

ŸTo call a jQuery method, you code a selector, the dot operator, the method name, and any parameters within parentheses. Then, that method is applied to the element or elements that are selected by the selector.

When you use object chaining with jQuery, you code one method after the other. This works because each method returns the appropriate object.

ŸIf the selector for a method selects more than one element, jQuery applies the method to all of the elements so you don't have to code a loop to do that.

Figure 5: How to call jQuery methods

To get you started with jQuery, the table in this figure summarizes some of the jQuery methods that you'll use the most. For instance, the val method without a parameter gets the value from a selected text box or other form control, and the val method with a parameter sets the value in a selected text box or other form control. The first two examples after the table show how this works.

Similarly, the text method without a parameter can be used to get the text of a selected element, and the text method with a parameter can be used to set the text of a selected element. Methods like these are often referred to as getter and setter methods. Here, third example illustrates the setter version of the text method, which sets the text of an element to "Email address is required".

The fifth method in the table is the next method, which is used to get the next (or adjacent) sibling of an element. This method is often followed by another method. To do that, you use object chaining, which works just as it does with JavaScript. This is illustrated by the fourth example. Here, the next method gets the next sibling after the element that has been selected, and the text method sets the text for that sibling.

The last two methods in the table are the submit and focus methods, which are just like the JavaScript submit and focus methods. The submit method submits the data for a selected form to the server, and the focus method moves the focus to the selected form control or link.

In a moment, you'll see how these selectors and methods work in an application. But first, you need to learn how to set up the event handlers for an application.

How to use jQuery event methods
When you use jQuery, you use event methods to attach event handlers to events. To do that, you use the syntax shown at the top of Figure 6. First, you code the selector for the element that will initiate the event like a button that will be clicked. Then, you code the name of the event method that represents the event that you want to use. Last, you code a function that will be the event handler for the event within parentheses.

The syntax for a jQuery event method

$(selector).eventMethodName(function() {
// the statements of the event handler
});

Two common jQuery event methods

Event method

Description

ready(handler)

The event handler runs when the DOM is ready.

click(handler)

The event handler runs when the selected element is clicked.

Two ways to code an event handler for the jQuery ready event

The long way

$(document).ready(function() {
alert("The DOM is ready");
});

The short way

$(function(){                // (document).ready is assumed
alert("The DOM is ready");
});

An event handler for the click event of all h2 elements

$("h2").click(function() {
alert("This heading has been clicked");
});

The click event handler within the ready event handler

$(document).ready(function() {
$("h2").click(function() {
alert("This heading has been clicked");
}); // end of click event handler
}); // end of ready event handler

Description

  • To code a jQuery event handler, you code a selector, the dot operator, the name of the jQuery event method, and an anonymous function that handles the event within parentheses.
  • The event handler for the ready event will run any methods that it contains as soon as the DOM is ready, even if the browser is loading images and other content for the page. This works better than the JavaScript onload event, which doesn't occur until all of the content for the page is loaded.
  • In this book, the ready event is always coded the long way that's shown above. In practice, though, many programmers use the short way.
  • When coding one event handler within another, the use of the closing braces, parentheses, and semicolons is critical. To help get this right, many programmers code inline comments after these punctuation marks to identify the ends of the handlers.

Figure 6: How to use jQuery event methods

In the table in this figure, the two event methods that you'll use the most are summarized. The ready event is the jQuery alternative to the JavaScript load event, except that it works better. Unlike the load event, the ready event is triggered as soon as the DOM is built, even if other elements like images are still being loaded into the browser. This means that the user can start using the web page faster.

Because the DOM usually has to be built before you can use JavaScript or jQuery, you'll probably use the ready event method in every JavaScript application that you develop. The examples in this figure show two ways to do that. In the long form, you use document as the selector for the web page followed by the dot, the method name (ready), and the function for the event handler.

In the short form, you can omit the selector and event method name and just code the function in parentheses after the dollar sign. Although this form is often used by professional developers, all of the examples in this book use the long form. That way, it's clear where the ready event handler starts.

The next example in this figure shows an event handler for the click event of all h2 elements. This is coded just like the event handler for the ready event except h2 is used as the selector and click is used as the name of the event method.

The last example in this figure shows how you code an event handler within the ready event handler. Note here that the closing brace, parenthesis, and semicolon for each event handler is critical. As you can guess, it's easy to omit one of these marks or get them out of sequence so this is a frequent source of errors. That's why professional programmers often code inline comments after the ending marks for each event handler to identify which event handler the marks are for.

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.


@ThingsExpo Stories
How do APIs and IoT relate? The answer is not as simple as merely adding an API on top of a dumb device, but rather about understanding the architectural patterns for implementing an IoT fabric. There are typically two or three trends: Exposing the device to a management framework Exposing that management framework to a business centric logic • Exposing that business layer and data to end users. This last trend is the IoT stack, which involves a new shift in the separation of what stuff happens, where data lives and where the interface lies. For instance, it’s a mix of architectural style...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Utimaco will exhibit at SYS-CON's 15th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on November 4–6, 2014, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Utimaco is a leading manufacturer of hardware based security solutions that provide the root of trust to keep cryptographic keys safe, secure critical digital infrastructures and protect high value data assets. Only Utimaco delivers a general-purpose hardware security module (HSM) as a customizable platform to easily integrate into existing software solutions, embed business logic and build s...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Red Hat, the world's leading provider of open source solutions, will exhibit at Internet of @ThingsExpo, which will take place on November 4–6, 2014, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Red Hat is the world's leading provider of open source software solutions, using a community-powered approach to reliable and high-performing cloud, Linux, middleware, storage and virtualization technologies. Red Hat also offers award-winning support, training, and consulting services. As the connective hub in a global network of enterprises, partners, a...
SYS-CON Events announced today that SOA Software, an API management leader, will exhibit at SYS-CON's 15th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on November 4–6, 2014, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. SOA Software is a leading provider of API Management and SOA Governance products that equip business to deliver APIs and SOA together to drive their company to meet its business strategy quickly and effectively. SOA Software’s technology helps businesses to accelerate their digital channels with APIs, drive partner adoption, monetize their assets, and achieve a...
Internet of @ThingsExpo Silicon Valley announced on Thursday its first 12 all-star speakers and sessions for its upcoming event, which will take place November 4-6, 2014, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in California. @ThingsExpo, the first and largest IoT event in the world, debuted at the Javits Center in New York City in June 10-12, 2014 with over 6,000 delegates attending the conference. Among the first 12 announced world class speakers, IBM will present two highly popular IoT sessions, which will take place November 4-6, 2014 at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, Calif...
Samsung VP Jacopo Lenzi, who headed the company's recent SmartThings acquisition under the auspices of Samsung's Open Innovaction Center (OIC), answered a few questions we had about the deal. This interview was in conjunction with our interview with SmartThings CEO Alex Hawkinson. IoT Journal: SmartThings was developed in an open, standards-agnostic platform, and will now be part of Samsung's Open Innovation Center. Can you elaborate on your commitment to keep the platform open? Jacopo Lenzi: Samsung recognizes that true, accelerated innovation cannot be driven from one source, but requires a...
P2P RTC will impact the landscape of communications, shifting from traditional telephony style communications models to OTT (Over-The-Top) cloud assisted & PaaS (Platform as a Service) communication services. The P2P shift will impact many areas of our lives, from mobile communication, human interactive web services, RTC and telephony infrastructure, user federation, security and privacy implications, business costs, and scalability. In his session at Internet of @ThingsExpo, Robin Raymond, Chief Architect at Hookflash Inc., will walk through the shifting landscape of traditional telephone a...
From a software development perspective IoT is about programming "things," about connecting them with each other or integrating them with existing applications. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Yakov Fain, co-founder of Farata Systems and SuranceBay, will show you how small IoT-enabled devices from multiple manufacturers can be integrated into the workflow of an enterprise application. This is a practical demo of building a framework and components in HTML/Java/Mobile technologies to serve as a platform that can integrate new devices as they become available on the market.
SYS-CON Events announced today that Matrix.org has been named “Silver Sponsor” of Internet of @ThingsExpo, which will take place on November 4–6, 2014, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Matrix is an ambitious new open standard for open, distributed, real-time communication over IP. It defines a new approach for interoperable Instant Messaging and VoIP based on pragmatic HTTP APIs and WebRTC, and provides open source reference implementations to showcase and bootstrap the new standard. Our focus is on simplicity, security, and supporting the fullest feature set.
BSQUARE is a global leader of embedded software solutions. We enable smart connected systems at the device level and beyond that millions use every day and provide actionable data solutions for the growing Internet of Things (IoT) market. We empower our world-class customers with our products, services and solutions to achieve innovation and success. For more information, visit www.bsquare.com.
Connected devices are changing the way we go about our everyday life, from wearables to driverless cars, to smart grids and entire industries revolutionizing business opportunities through smart objects, capable of two-way communication. But what happens when objects are given an IP-address, and we rely on that connection, sometimes with our lives? How do we secure those vast data infrastructures and safe-keep the privacy of sensitive information? This session will outline how each and every connected device can uphold a core root of trust via a unique cryptographic signature – a “bir...
Almost everyone sees the potential of Internet of Things but how can businesses truly unlock that potential. The key will be in the ability to discover business insight in the midst of an ocean of Big Data generated from billions of embedded devices via Systems of Discover. Businesses will also need to ensure that they can sustain that insight by leveraging the cloud for global reach, scale and elasticity.
WebRTC defines no default signaling protocol, causing fragmentation between WebRTC silos. SIP and XMPP provide possibilities, but come with considerable complexity and are not designed for use in a web environment. In his session at Internet of @ThingsExpo, Matthew Hodgson, technical co-founder of the Matrix.org, will discuss how Matrix is a new non-profit Open Source Project that defines both a new HTTP-based standard for VoIP & IM signaling and provides reference implementations.

SUNNYVALE, Calif., Oct. 20, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- Spansion Inc. (NYSE: CODE), a global leader in embedded systems, today added 96 new products to the Spansion® FM4 Family of flexible microcontrollers (MCUs). Based on the ARM® Cortex®-M4F core, the new MCUs boast a 200 MHz operating frequency and support a diverse set of on-chip peripherals for enhanced human machine interfaces (HMIs) and machine-to-machine (M2M) communications. The rich set of periphera...

SYS-CON Events announced today that Aria Systems, the recurring revenue expert, has been named "Bronze Sponsor" of SYS-CON's 15th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on November 4-6, 2014, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Aria Systems helps leading businesses connect their customers with the products and services they love. Industry leaders like Pitney Bowes, Experian, AAA NCNU, VMware, HootSuite and many others choose Aria to power their recurring revenue business and deliver exceptional experiences to their customers.
The Internet of Things (IoT) is going to require a new way of thinking and of developing software for speed, security and innovation. This requires IT leaders to balance business as usual while anticipating for the next market and technology trends. Cloud provides the right IT asset portfolio to help today’s IT leaders manage the old and prepare for the new. Today the cloud conversation is evolving from private and public to hybrid. This session will provide use cases and insights to reinforce the value of the network in helping organizations to maximize their company’s cloud experience.
The Internet of Things (IoT) is making everything it touches smarter – smart devices, smart cars and smart cities. And lucky us, we’re just beginning to reap the benefits as we work toward a networked society. However, this technology-driven innovation is impacting more than just individuals. The IoT has an environmental impact as well, which brings us to the theme of this month’s #IoTuesday Twitter chat. The ability to remove inefficiencies through connected objects is driving change throughout every sector, including waste management. BigBelly Solar, located just outside of Boston, is trans...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Matrix.org has been named “Silver Sponsor” of Internet of @ThingsExpo, which will take place on November 4–6, 2014, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Matrix is an ambitious new open standard for open, distributed, real-time communication over IP. It defines a new approach for interoperable Instant Messaging and VoIP based on pragmatic HTTP APIs and WebRTC, and provides open source reference implementations to showcase and bootstrap the new standard. Our focus is on simplicity, security, and supporting the fullest feature set.
Predicted by Gartner to add $1.9 trillion to the global economy by 2020, the Internet of Everything (IoE) is based on the idea that devices, systems and services will connect in simple, transparent ways, enabling seamless interactions among devices across brands and sectors. As this vision unfolds, it is clear that no single company can accomplish the level of interoperability required to support the horizontal aspects of the IoE. The AllSeen Alliance, announced in December 2013, was formed with the goal to advance IoE adoption and innovation in the connected home, healthcare, education, aut...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Red Hat, the world's leading provider of open source solutions, will exhibit at Internet of @ThingsExpo, which will take place on November 4–6, 2014, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Red Hat is the world's leading provider of open source software solutions, using a community-powered approach to reliable and high-performing cloud, Linux, middleware, storage and virtualization technologies. Red Hat also offers award-winning support, training, and consulting services. As the connective hub in a global network of enterprises, partners, a...