Why jQuery is so popular?

About five years ago, no one had heard about jQuery. Today, we can say for sure, it is the most popular Javascript library in the world. The statistics clearly says for that fact: in the year 2012 jQuery was used by more than 50% of the top 10,000 websites in the world. That’s a massive endorsement by the world’s web developers 🙂 This kind of widespread adoption is rare for JavaScript libraries, even unprecedented. And the question is: what makes jQuery better than using one of the other (also excellent) JavaScript libraries? There certainly should be reasons for this. Let`s take a look at several of them:

– jQuery has vibrant and helpful community and it is easy to learn. jQuery has very good documentation, in addition there is a great number of tutorials on the web demonstrating jQuery usage. If you encounter a problem, you can ask a question on any web development forum and there will be a large development community waiting to help you :). Lots of people not only use it but also write tutorials, share their code, make plugins. Also jQuery has a very low learning curve.

– Widespread adoption. Countless big players on the Web are using jQuery: IBM, Netflix, Google (which both uses and hosts the jQuery library), and Microsoft, which now includes jQuery with its MVC framework and works with the open-source jQuery project to contribute new features to the jQuery library. Also there are thousands of big sites that use jQuery: among them are WordPress.com, Pinterest, Reddit, MSN.com, Amazon, Yandex, Microsoft.com, Instagram, Slideshare, the list can go further and further

– Cross-browser Compatibility. Cross-browser compatibility of jQuery is very successful. Most of the code you write will run exactly the same on all the major browsers. In fact, one of the biggest challenges in Ajax/JavaScript programming is cross-browser inconsistencies – it may drive the developer mad. For example, a design that renders perfectly on Internet Explorer , may not run that well on Mozilla Firefox,. So JQuery “fixed” this issue

– JQuery is simple. jQuery objects are chainable. JQuery objects return other jQuery objects and it is possible to perform additional operations in a chain. There is no need to iterate every object one by one.

– Small and clever core library. The jQuery core library is only about 24KB in size (Minified and Gzipped) so it can be easily included into your application and it`s very fast as well. That is due to the fact that a lot of fairly common functionality has been omitted from the jQuery core library, and relegated to the realm of the plugin. Also developers have even a smaller alternative: Sizzle. Sizzle library is 4 KB and it’s simplified just to be used for css selection.

– Great number of plug-ins. The reason of why there are so much jQuery plugins is that jQuery is designed to be pluggable. By including only a core set of features while providing a framework for extending the library, jQuery team made it easy to create plugins that can be reused in all jQuery projects as well as can be shared with other developers.

– CSS3 Selectors Compliant: jQuery fully supports the CSS3 selector specification.

– jQuery UI. jQuery User Interface separates out higher-level constructs and is packaged into a neat library that sits on top of jQuery. UI capabilities might not be stronger than some other libraries such as ExtJs but it’s getting better.

Hope these facts will be of use to you. Of course, the things I listed here might not include all the good points about jQuery and you may add your own points to the list 🙂
Thanks in advance!

Anna Kozik

Business Development Manager