This week's book giveaway is in the Reactive Progamming forum. We're giving away four copies of Reactive Streams in Java: Concurrency with RxJava, Reactor, and Akka Streams and have Adam Davis on-line! See this thread for details.
As Yehuda pointed out, core jQuery has built-in effects to hide and show elements in various animated fashions. The hide() and show() methods can either instantaneously make items appear and disappear, or cause them to appear over a duration; fadeIn() and fadeOut(), along with fadeTo() animate the opacity of objects, and slideUp() and slideDown() cause the elements to appear and vanish using a window blind effect.
You can also use the general animate() method to animate just about any numeric CSS value in order to create your own custom animations. The Effects chapter in the book shows how, with just a few lines of code, you can create custom animations that cause an element to scale in size, appear to "drop off" the page, and one that makes elements disappear in a "puff".
Plugins add more animations, including "easing functions" that alter the pace of animations, and the ability to animate color values. [ January 17, 2008: Message edited by: Bear Bibeault ]
I like the plug-ins that way you can pick and choose what you want like you said.
Does the book provide any examples on how to adapt an existing web site and add some new functionality or do you do a project from the grounds up and follow it through out. Do you have a chapter summary or a sample chapter on the net somewhere??
That said, because jQuery plays so well with other libraries (by just staying out of the way) it's easy to start integrating jQuery into even the most complex page in a piece-meal manner if that's what makes the most sense. Because you can add jQuery to an existing page without fear of it breaking anything (be sure to unbind $ if that's being used by something else already), you can slowly convert a complex page over time if need be.
In the preface, I outline how I learned about jQuery and what ended up winning me over. A large part of that was that the process of converting over existing web apps -- some rather complex -- to jQuery was such a breeze and that the end result was always much simpler and smaller than the original, and sometimes with enhanced functionality that I added along the way because it was just so easy.