Posted by: Bruno | November 6, 2008

From Flash Advocate to jQuery Evangelist

jquerylogoThere was once a time where I believed that the only way to do spiffy interface and cool looking websites was to use Flash and put it everywhere that seems to fit for that kind of overhauling. I was planning complete web-based flash modules that would be a probable computer killer or something like that. Then my friend Yannick introduced me to jQuery, a simplification of JavaScript that helps animating your web page without using external plug-ins.

In it’s whole, jQuery is a revival of JavaScript. The language was slowly dying due to malovolent uses of the code that made the major browser makers (most notably Microsoft) block the crap out of JavaScript. People turned to other alternatives to create some more intuitive stuff via PHP or .NET. But basicly, JavaScript was slowly dying. Of course, a lot of people will argue with me that AJAX is the actual revival of JavaScript. I can agree at some point with them, but the true redemption came of the simplification of JavaScript via jQuery.

What is jQuery?

jQuery is a simplification of JavaScript and DOM. It uses simple queries to do various stuff such has making stuff fading in on your page, move colored blocks or litterally make your page alive without even thinking about inputing an external plug-in such as Flash or anything like it. The only thing you actually need is the framework library, which is open source and freely distributed on http://www.jquery.com .

jQuery’s advantages

  • jQuery is lightweight and doesn’t require any client based download to run
  • It’s very easy to implement jQuery on a website and will not interfere with scripts already in place.
  • Animating and tweaking your interface is much easier with commands that control the element of the page you wish.

    For example: If I want to make a division of my web page fade in with the ID fubar, I simply type $(#fubar).fadeIn();

  • jQuery is Cross Browser (Internet Explorer, Firefox, Chrome, Opera, Safari)
  • It’s CSS 2 and CSS 3 compliant, the code does some of the work, but the rest of beauty factors comes from CSS, you have comple control over what happens on your website
  • jQuery is W3C compliant
  • Can be used with AJAX
  • Many plug-ins available to help you in your animating

jQuery’s disadvantages

  • It relies on JavaScript to work, if blocked, the jQuery will NOT display at all
  • Overstuffing jQuery in a website can often occasionate a slowdown in the machine
  • jQuery is open source, but some of the plug-ins , even though free, are not. Look if the plug-in your about to use is editable
  • Some plug-ins are not very well documented or very well programmed

I often explain how jQuery is actually changing the internet, some believe me, some other think I’m a crack pot. But when you got on their site and see the big players who uses the script right now, you can only be suprised by how incredible that thing has became in only two short years. Even Microsoft is now using it.

But don’t get me wrong, jQuery cannot completely cover Flash, it a lightweight solution to Flash, but it doesn’t posses the bazillion of feature that flash offers, you cannot create web based game with jQuery and some effects aren’t as developed has you could actually input them in Flash. For myself, I believe that Flash and jQuery should coexist in a page to bring the user experience to a great summum.

jQuery is definitely here to stay and most certainly will continue to change the internet all over.

Source:

jQuery’s website – http://www.jquery.com

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