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late last year I began experimenting with jQuery and within a couple of hours wanted to make it my wife.

It was as if somebody had looked at me, my little spindly fingers, those tired eyes, sweats of desperation and instantly knew what it was I needed to reduce the level of ‘programming’ required in being a front-end developer and make it more accessible for the punk DIY’ers like myself and essentially re-write javascript to not suck monkey balls.

Several things make jQuery instantly accessible. For me, the main bonus is that its framework allows you to write logical statements. No more getElementById for everything when really all you want to do is change the behaviour of a class, and a whole toolbox of effects, methods and actions to go nuts with.

After running up some very basic prototypes using the demo examples I had put forward the introduction of jQuery into our application. This did provide some initial issues, the main one being that we were not using a doctype of any kind within our application, but this was quickly rectified.


January saw the release of jQuery 1.4 a significant release to the library with both improvements and additions agogo. To celebrate its release the jQuery crew put together what I can only describe as the geekiest of promotional campaigns I have ever witnessed. The 14 Days of jQuery site was created to build up to the final release candidate going public. Each day a new video was posted showing you around some of the new features along with discussions on how these new features could be used.

Despite the announcement that documentation is going to be reviewed and improved, that certain elements look a lot better and that the jQuery-UI library is about to be released to github, there are a few things that have bummed me out about the release and the absolutely stunning 14 days website.

All videos are code-behind
Not so bad, yes we need to know how to write these new functions and features, but by it’s nature jQuery is a visual applicant, if we can’t see what it is doing then how do we know we got it right? I would really like to have seen some actual working examples of how, for example the .live() function works.

Comments on API Docs
I am a huge advocate of comment posts of blogs of any kind, I think they’re invaluable at times and allow for the extension of a debate. But! how will the new comments for API be controlled? It says not to use it for bug tracking, but surely that is what most people will be commenting on? Is it only open for a short period, if so when will comments be closed? They’re already starting to look shabby, take the page for .add() as an example.

Let’s not forget that this is Awesome

Even with just a few bug bears about the release and changes to jQuery UI (although this could see some serious move on the UI tools) the fact is jQuery is still totally amazing and certainly a platform I am going to continue working in for all that little extra flair of interactivity.


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