Week 10 assignments: Starting jQuery

Spring Break falls between this week (Week 8) and our next class meeting. By Monday, March 11, you should complete the benchmark listed in the Course Schedule for Week 10. We will have normal individual meetings on March 11, 12 and 14 — and you will show your work as usual.

The jQuery assignments are in a new place: Code School. They have a pay-per-month model for offering courses — but the first jQuery course is 100 percent free.

Now, something just happened to change your assignment a little bit. Code School had a free introduction to jQuery called “jQuery First Flight,” which I had linked in your Course Schedule. Now Code School has changed this — grrr! That’s the risk I take in introducing you to these online materials created by other people. I don’t control the materials, so they can change.

So I will be changing the Week 10 and Week 11 benchmarks to match the new free jQuery course from Code School. We will definitely still use the Code School course, but I need to take the new course myself so I can figure out your (new) benchmarks. I will be doing that between Feb. 25 and March 2, Saturday. So you can expect to see the exact benchmarks for jQuery on the Course Schedule sometime on March 2.

The original Code School jQuery course was uneven, with parts 4 and 5 taking much longer to complete than parts 1, 2 and 3. So you can see why I want to test-drive the new course before I assign your benchmarks.

This is done — your new benchmarks are in the Course Schedule (Feb. 27).

Check your JavaScript know-how

Important note: jQuery is JavaScript. If you neglected any part of the Codecademy JavaScript lessons (benchmark for Week 8), you need to catch up. Seriously. We use jQuery to make Web pages dynamic and interactive, and none if it will make sense to you if you did not practice and learn your JavaScript basics.

jQuery also uses the DOM, which can seem confusing if you have not taken some time to try to understand it. This introduction to the DOM has good diagrams to explain the concept. (See also the link to the PowerPoint, in the Course Schedule.) In particular, you need to understand the concepts of nodes and children. You don’t need to spend too much time on the notation, such as:

document.getElementById('hereweare').firstChild.nodeValue

You’ll be happy to know that jQuery does most of that for you. Nevertheless, you need to understand the way an HTML document works as a structure — as a kind of tree, with branches — so that you can use jQuery without getting confused.

Post examples for extra credit

I am surprised that not many students have posted examples to get extra points, as explained on the Required Work page. Please consider starting to post examples now. You still have time to get one of these points. Five examples must be posted in five different weeks to earn one point.

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