I finally did it. I’ve been wanting to learn jQuery for a while, but haven’t had the chance to sit down and do it. So I took some time over the past week and jumped in.
Turns out, it’s just as cool as everyone says.
Here are a few things I’ve learned so far:
You don’t have to know anything to add jQuery to your site. Just add a line of code to your files and you’ve got the base for all jQuery scripts. No configuration necessary. Heck, you don’t even need to host it! Let Google do that for you.
It’s Based on Plugins
Plugins are just pre-written pieces of code that you add to your site. Once the code is added, you have the functionality. You then just need to customize the function that talks to the plugin and away you go. Pretty easy actually.
It’s Cross Platform
There must be magic in jQuery as it works just as good in IE6 as it does Firefox 4 or Chrome. Unlike CSS, it plays well with everyone!
The Latest Is Not The Greatest
Unfortunately, the latest version of jQuery (1.4.4) didn’t work in IE8. I thought it was me and went round and round trying to fix things. Turns out, version 1.4.3 worked just fine. So the latest version isn’t always the best to go with.
Not All Plugins Are Equal
I know. It’s only logical that some are better than others. When building a site, look around for the right plugin and find one that looks nice, you understand, and you like before implementing. An OK plugin is not worth sticking with.
It Works Locally
If you are looking to learn jQuery, just go to jQuery.com and start testing code. It’s actually quite easy and powerful. I’ve only touched the tip of the iceberg and I’m already hooked.
Some Nice Plugins
I don’t have a nice library of jQuery plugins yet, but here are my first additions.
- CurvyCorners for creating rounded corners that work in all browsers.
- Cycle Plugin for creating slideshows or carousels. So many options with this one and it’s so easy.
- Corner.js for creating rounded corners on images as well as other image effects.
- Simple image rollovers with only a few lines of code.
- Setting link active states to show where people have clicked if you don’t change the URL.
There are so many other cool plugins out there that I’m excited to check out new ones.
Which ones are your favorites?
Overall I’m very impressed with the ease of use, compatibility and extendability of jQuery. I know I’m a little late to the party, but I’m glad to be here!