First *2: jQuery Condensed & Kindle Owner’s Lending Library

Dec 19, 2011
Mark
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Tinkering is in my nature. After dabbling with jQuery under WordPress a bit, I wandered away impressed but also with the realization I was clueless about what it could do. Darting between tutorials only confounded my understanding. The basics were still eluding me.

So I went to Amazon to check on titles and see which texts were recommended. I flipped around quite a bit. None of the works really stuck out as superior to the next. Then I stumbled upon jQuery Condensed by Jakob Jenkov. It was available for the Kindle. Additionally, it was available for free as part of the Kindle Owner’s Lending Library.

I’d never read a programming book on the Kindle. I also had never seen a title available for checkout. Free equates to nothing to lose. I checked out the text on the kindle. Then spent the entire afternoon reading through the first half of the book during a lazy football watching Sunday afternoon.

After about 3 chapters, I realized not only was the book useful but the formatting was fine. My intent was to speed-read through a good overview of jQuery and the book covered it well. I also wanted brief examples. Massive listing of examples wasn’t going to be useful via the Kindle. They still are not but the author did a stupendous job keeping examples brief and still legible. For a few, I had to drop the font size to see the entire example.

Overall, I was pleasantly surprised by the quality of information and the attention to the presentation. The author’s intention for the text and attention to the detail made it readable, understandable, and more importantly — useful.

I’ve long been a fan of electronic formats. Do they work for everything? No. Would I have tried an electronic version of a programming text if it wasn’t offered for free? Probably not. After trying it, I now would. More importantly, by trying and succeeding, the author transitioned me from a potential customer into an actual customer.

Can it work for role playing games? Absolutely. For everything? Of course not. Early publishers adapting will benefit even if the rewards are not on the immediate horizon. The capabilities of the format are going to continue to increase. PDF’s were not all that capable originally.

I’m off to search out the fringe RPG publisher. Then I’m going to see if they’ll loan me a book.


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