6 Things You Need to Know About jQuery

Bringing together HTML5 and CSS, the jQuery JavaScript library greatly eases the pains of Web application development. Learn how using jQuery can improve load time, SEO and multimedia on your website. And did we mention it's free?

By Richard Hein
Tue, June 19, 2012

CIO — The uber-popular JavaScript library known as jQuery makes everything from eye-catching menus to advanced effects much simpler than ever before. It's being used by some of the biggest and smallest names on the Web alike—Google, Dell, Netflix and NBC, to name a few, use jQuery to create some pretty amazing content. Why, you may ask? Well, it's free, it's open source and it lets developers do more in less time. Those seem like some pretty compelling reasons. But wait. There's more.

Based on the manipulation of the HTML Document Object Model (DOM) and designed to simplify the client-side scripting of HTML, jQuery incorporates parts of HTML and CSS. Thousands of companies are on the jQuery bandwagon—and your company should be, too.

Let's look at why jQuery is making such an impact on the enterprise level.

1. jQuery Promotes Simplicity.

Developers find jQuery intuitive and easy to learn—this library is built on shorter, simpler code, after all. With simple syntax and open coding standards, developers can shorten the time it takes to deploy an application or site.

In addition, developers don't have to be experts in programming or Web design to create great styles for your site. Any developer who has spent hours coding and testing CSS files will surely appreciate the simple implementation that jQuery brings to the table. There's also a set of robust jQuery UI components that developers can plug into their websites.

2. jQuery Elements Display Even When JavaScript is Disabled.

If Adobe Flash isn't installed on any given browser, certain parts of the page may render incorrectly, if they render at all. This is not only unpleasant for the user; it forces developers to spend extra time "coding" for the browsers that lack the Flash plug-in, which adds to development time.

Analysis: Adobe Flash vs. HTML5

Not so with jQuery. Manipulating the HTML DOM has become the most widely accepted practice of manipulating a Web page so content will be rendered even if JavaScript is disabled in the browser. Since the HTML DOM is always present, there's no more worrying about browser settings either.

Furthermore, developing using jQuery can reduce instances of HelpDesk tickets. Your helpdesk will appreciate that your developers are coding proactively to avoid dreaded "browser crashes."

3. jQuery Easily Integrates With the Visual Studio IDE.

NuGet is a Visual Studio extension that makes it easy to add, remove and update libraries and tools in Visual Studio projects that use the .NET Framework. NuGet has been around for years, and it's a trusted source for developers to exchange and develop packages for Microsoft Visual Studio.

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