Friday, 29 June 2012

jQuery Conference 2012 San Francisco

John Resig created something amazing 6 years ago.

A javascript library that would reduce the pain of programming websites; that would on all browsers. Instead of writing and maintaining separate branches of code to run in different browsers, developers could write one version of their javascript that would just work.

For anyone who's had to debug cross-browser issues, this was like showing us the path to The Promised Land.

Throw in some syntactic sugar, add convenience methods, and add some pretty awesome tools to handle asynchronous programming challenges, and you have jQuery only 6 years later -- the de facto javascript library for every browser and every platform

Today, I'm at the second day of jQuery Conference 2012 in San Francisco with 600 fellow coders. After a marathon day yesterday that went on until the hackathon ended at 10pm, here's some of the highlights:

  • jQuery 1.9 will be released in early 2013
  • jQuery 2.0 will be released in early 2013
  • what's the difference? Well, 2.0 no longer supports IE6, IE7 or IE8! It is promised to be smaller, faster, and smarter. Need to support IE6/7/8? Keep using 1.9. The API's will be identical, so you can simply conditionally load 1.9 or 2.0.
  • thanks to shorter codepaths to querySelectorAll and matchesSelector, the Sizzle selector engine has made a 5-10% improvement in overall speed, which is great, because that's where most time is spent.
  • Sizzle's find('#byId') function has achieved a 300% improvement in speed!
  • might be wrong here, but I think that it's the node.js grunt build system that is used to slim down the jQuery.js file so you can removed modules that you don't use; anyways, documentation is in the README
  • on that note, there's some improved support for hand-rolling customized versions of jQuery so you can weed out what you don't need. Be sure to check out the alpha at to hand-roll your own jQueryMoble.js file. Modularity!
  • jQueryMobile has faster listviews, and a new highly flexible popup data-role
  • jQuery-ui 1.9 will have an accordion, autocomplete, tabs, better menu items, tooltips, and a spinner (numerical chooser)

Finally, consider joining the jQuery Foundation. As we all know, free software isn't really free, and a buck or two from each of us 7,000,000 developers who visit each month surely get a boost in their daily productivity at work, so why not give back a bit?

Or, better yet, convince your boss to pay for it and plant a cool jQuery sponsor icon on your website.

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