Is jQuery going to die in 2019?

by Janeth Kent Date: 22-02-2019 javascript jquery

For a while, JQuery's relevance has been a topic of debate among web developers. We were curious as web developers interested in Javascript to know what others have to say about it.

So we browsed through Javascript's history along with some interesting discussions on several developer forums and a bunch of Reddit threads to know the opinion of others about JQuery's worth.

We found a staggering amount of "jQuery is outdated", "jQuery isn't relevant", "I think jQuery is dying out", "…forget about jQuery. It isn't good for anything anymore", "jQuery hasn't been relevant for years, in my opinion, it's best to avoid a "career" that requires it"!

Then we seriously thought we'd write about what we as a spectator interpreted. Before we came to a reasonable conclusion, we tried to view the topic from multiple perspectives. First of all, let's dive into this famous library's brief history and Javascript as a whole.

What is JQuery & How it became so popular?

JQuery was created by John Resig and released in August 2006 mainly as a Javascript library to facilitate DOM manipulation. It was still a time when the browser world was ruled by Internet Explorer. Google Chrome wasn't even on stage. These old browsers have implemented Javascript in various ways, leading to many compatibility problems.

JQuery was born at that time.

It filled the roads of the implementation of native Javascript by browsers and provided a consistent and reliable and smooth surface for various requests for DOM manipulation, animation, and AJAX. Because of its ease of use, nice syntax, and cross-browser compatibility, it quickly became the front-end developer's favorite tool. It has become very popular with libraries such as Mootools, Scriptaculous, and Prototype.

Developers around the world started rolling out hundreds of plugins and front - end frames depending on JQuery because of the popularity, many of them became popular.

What's changed since then?

The conditions gradually changed as time passed. Javascript has become more mature as a language. New APIs have been released that enabled developers to achieve the same vanilla Javascript result. An important example is the Selectors API that made it much easier to select DOM elements.

JQuery gradually lost its uniqueness. This can be attributed to three main things:

  • Javascript matured as a language, newer APIs came
  • Modern browsers like Google Chrome & Firefox came and they implemented JS consistently
  • Modern & advanced Javascript frameworks & libraries became a trend

Modern Javascript Libraries & Frameworks vs JQuery

Technologies such as AngularJS, React & VueJS came and JQuery looked outdated. People began to question the latter's significance. Since one is a library (function collection) and the other are frameworks (or frameworks-like), their use cases never completely overlap. A library is good at what it is supposed to do and may not be good for what it is not supposed to do, and vice versa.

Is Jquery still relevant yet? What are the current trends?

Although the library is gradually losing grounds, it is still relevant. There are many websites that use it. JQuery is still in use on a staggering 77 percent of the top 1 million websites, according to BuiltWith. So if you ever find yourself working on such a website, you should know the library. JQuery is a beautiful library apart from popularity. Its methods of chaining are crisp and elegant.

Should you use jQuery in 2019?

It is crucial to choose the right tools and technologies for the job at hand in web development.

Suppose you work with minimal user interactions on a simple WordPress website. You also need some animation or sliders, though. JQuery is very handy in that case. A full framework such as React or Vue may not need to be brought into the scene.

Another scenario is when you have to work with a popular front-end framework such as Bootstrap, which depends very much on JQuery. Some people argue, however, that using JQuery is not justified by Bootstrap. But if you already know Bootstrap and want to develop a page quickly, it's not wrong to do the job. In fact, Bootstrap 5 expected to completely replace jQuery.

Apart from Bootstrap, several popular plugins like Slick – 9.3% of the top 1 million websites use it – are dependent on this library. If you are using them, you will inevitably come across JQuery.

Basically, if you may need to use Jquery if:

  • you are working with WordPress or similar content management systems
  • the work includes legacy codes or plugins dependent on Jquery
  • your app or website targets old browsers also
  • you are used to it, and it makes development a lot easier (but don't be lazy... it's always useful to learn other languages)

Now let's see why this would not be a good choice:

  1. For User Interfaces & Single Page Apps

    One of the main advantages of modern frameworks such as Vue is that they have a data layer. In other words, you can attach or bind data to your page's elements. The view also changes automatically when these data change. So you don't always have to directly access the DOM and manipulate it as you do in JQuery. This makes it very easy to build complex user interfaces.

    So you should use a framework if you create complex user interfaces. Simply trying to use vanilla Javascript or JQuery by direct DOM manipulation can quickly go out of hand, leading to unmanageable code.

  2. Plain Javascript could be better

    Javascript has come along these days. Browsers support their APIs well. So things that JQuery once made easier are now possible without it. Why add an unwanted dependency that only blocks your app?

    The website You Might Not Need JQuery offers a complete list of functionalities in JQuery and their alternatives with plain Javascript.

    Conclusion: Is Jquery dead?

    No, it isn't. It's very alive because it still depends on many websites and plugins. But the trend is declining.

    Furthermore, in 2019, JQuery is not a necessity because Javascript browser support is more consistent than ever.

    So, if you don't know Jquery, should you try to learn it? Yes, especially if you have doubts about whether or not to learn it. It's a beautiful and simple library with no learning curve. Prefer to learn the basics of Javascript, however. In addition, learning a framework can make you more qualified if you are looking for certain dev jobs.

    Should you even use it if you know it? It's up to you. If it makes the work better, nothing is wrong.

    But it's also a wise decision not to over - depend on it.

by Janeth Kent Date: 22-02-2019 javascript jquery hits : 76852  
Janeth Kent

Janeth Kent

Licenciada en Bellas Artes y programadora por pasión. Cuando tengo un rato retoco fotos, edito vídeos y diseño cosas. El resto del tiempo escribo en MA-NO WEB DESIGN END DEVELOPMENT.


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