What is jQuery?

jQuery is a concise JavaScript library. In simple terms, its a very lengthy script file with many predefined functions that developers can leverage to develop rich client applications. You might find lot more resources to kick-start at http://www.jquery.com .

So why learn jQuery? why is it gaining popularity?
Users expect your site to be blazing fast, easy to navigate with minimum page refreshes (AJAX), minimum round trips to the server etc. so to accomplish most of this everything has to happen at the browser level or the requests should be asynchronous. That is exactly where jQuery come into picutre. You name it; think of it; it does it for you.  Good part is, you can extend jQuery, write your own functions and reuse the code.

Difference between jQuery and JavaScript
Let us understand this vivid difference with an example. We have a scenario where alternate rows of a table should be colored.

Using plain javascript:
var table = document.getElementById(id);
var rows = table.getElementsByTagName(“tr”);
for (i = 0; i < rows.length; i++)
       //manipulate rows
        if (i % 2 == 0) {
                                rows[i].className =“even”;
               }else {
                                 rows[i].className =“odd”;

Using jQuery:
$(“table tr:nth-child(“even”)).addClass(“alternateColor”);

So you see the difference? All the above functionality  is achieved in one line. How?
jQuery has built-in functions that take the parameters and does it for you. You might wonder how it predicts what a developer would need? The authors of  jQuery have invested time and effort to create  ‘Utility Functions’ which are common and widely used. For instance charts, math functions, showing and hiding elements, event handling, styling, dynamic insertion of DOM elements etc. which the developers can utilize to develop applications.

Where can I get the jQuery Library?
You can download it free from http://www.jQuery.com

Will jQuery work in a JavaScript disabled browser?
NO! jQuery makes things easier for you and at the end of the days its still a JavaScript library and it WILL NOT work in a JavaScript disabled browser

Does jQuery slow down the rendering of webpages?
Not very much, a few milliseconds that we can afford for plethora of things it does for you. And most of the functions, as a best practise are not kicked in at ‘onLoad()’ of the page. They dive into action usually after all the DOM is completely rendered on the page.

More on JQuery… Please keep reading posts on JQuery on my blog…..