jQuery – The Man, The Myth, The Legend

imageI admit it.  I’ve been ignoring jQuery for quite a while.  But I have a tendency to do that with most new things.  I generally don’t work with beta software and I wait for critical mass to develop before jumping on new technology.  Otherwise, I’d end up spending all of my time trying new stuff and never using 80% of it.

It is my opinion that jQuery has finally hit critical mass.  Aside from the fact that my instincts are telling me this, there is also the fact that both Microsoft and Nokia have committed to including jQuery in their products.

And while I don’t care much about what Nokia is doing, I’m quite interested in the fact that Microsoft is interested in jQuery.  Now that I’m looking at it, I see what all the fuss is about.

If you’ve ever worked with JavaScript before, you know that getting your javascript to work across the various browsers is a royal pain in the butt.  The fact that you can’t create a tooltip without having to have a cross platform library to position the tooltip window on the screen is a major testament to this.  Can’t someone create an industry standard way of programming with javascript on the browsers so that I can just concentrate on getting the job done?

They have–it’s called jQuery.

If this was all it did, it probably wouldn’t be getting that much attention.  But here’s another problem jQuery solves.

Have you noticed that with every new technology, there is a new syntax we need to learn to get the job done?  Currently, a web page uses the following technologies:

  • HTML or XHTML
  • CSS
  • JavaScript

and each of those have their own syntax.  Not to mention that we also use the XML syntax of XPATH and the Regular Expression syntax to help us with other tasks we need to do.

What if our JavaScript incorporated the syntax of the other technologies we already know?  Wouldn’t that make your programming life a little easier?

They have–it’s called jQuery.

We keep talking about separation of responsibility, but when it comes to JavaScript we always seem to end up embedding much of our JavaScript into our HTML.  Yes, we could attach events to elements programmatically but you and I both know that this hardly ever gets done because it isn’t easy and isn’t reliable across the various browsers.

What if someone created a standard way of wiring functions to events that allowed us to keep the JavaScript out of the HTML and made it easy to wire those events?  Would you be interested?  Well….

They have–it’s called jQuery.

What if you could access elements using their ID, their class name, or the element name?  What if you could act on the results of all the elements you retrieved at once instead of using a foreach loop or for/next loop?

You can–it’s called jQuery.

What if you could use XPATH statements or Regular Expressions to find elements on the page and act on them?

You can–it’s called jQuery.

What if you could programatically control the look and feel of your web page, and could apply CSS after the fact?  What if it also helped you with your AJAX programming?

You guessed it.  You can–it’s called jQuery.

As with most great technologies, once I discovered jQuery, I wished I had learned it sooner.

So stick around.  If you haven’t already subscribed to my RSS feed, do it now so you can be alerted any time I write about jQuery.

 

Other places talking about jQuery

  • jQuery, AJAX, and Classic ASP – While there was a good size buzz about jQuery before Scott Guthrie announced that jQuery will be shipping with Visual Studio, I have seen even more buzz with people wanting to learn more about it. I have seen a huge number of new posts …
  • Password strength validation with jQuery – The jQuery Password Strength Meter is a great free plugin that provides realtime client side evaluation of your password, providing visual indication regarding the strength of the password. This article covers setting up, …
  • jQuery and Microsoft – A big part of the appeal of jQuery is that it allows you to elegantly (and efficiently) find and manipulate HTML elements with minimum lines of code. jQuery supports this via a nice “selector” API that allows developers to query for …

 

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About Dave Bush

Dave Bush is a .NET programmer and Certified ScrumMaster who is passionate about managing risk as it relates to developing software. When he is not writing or speaking about topics related to Application Lifecycle Risk Management (ALRM), he is an example to his peers as he develops web sites in the ASP.NET environment using industry best practices.

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  • http://netsuo.ch netsuo

    I’m using jQuery since one of the first releases and I have to say it’s a wonderful piece of code. I can’t even imagine doing any type of site without it !
    jQuery makes coding javascript something like an amusement !

  • Pete

    I’m afraid Microsoft’s sudden interest in jQuery will do more harm than good. We’ll see how Microsoft implements the “extend” portion of its “embrace”.

  • http://jeff.viapositiva.net Jeff Eaton

    I’ve been working with the open source Drupal web CMS for about four years now, and the frustrations you mention were what kept Javascript out of its codebase for years. When we adopted jQuery as Drupal’s official JS library, it was like turning the lights on in a dark room. Obviously, bad code is still possible. But its approach makes doing things the right way so much easier…

  • http://www.webascender.com/ DotNetNuke Consultant

    Have been using JQuery for over a year, excellent framework and I’m excited to hear that Microsoft is integrating it. It’s just so easy, we also use YUI for some components as well.

    James

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  • http://www.fewmorecents.com Chirag Pinjar

    extjs is worth taking a look at.

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