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Ross A Hall
freelance UX designer and consultant

The scourge of JQuery

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I’ve been boosting my coding skills. Setting myself challenges based on previous projects won and lost, I’ve created a small collection of tools and utilities ready for use in the future.

As I worked my way through the challenges I’d set I admit to using places like Stack Overflow to find answers (or at least inspiration) to solving problems. No, not to copy and paste, but rather to see what I’d been doing wrong. Almost without exception when someone has posted a question asking “how to do X” the reply has been:

“Ah, with JQuery you can do it with 1 line of code.”

Don’t get me wrong, I like JQuery. It’s a great framework with some pretty useful tools. I like Basecamp and I’m starting to get to grips with Angular too. But it comes with a price: a lot of code you just don’t need. And this is code that needs to be downloaded onto the browser, costing the user time and potentially money.

I’ve stopped using JQuery as my first port of call.

Now I work out if I can code it myself. Taking this approach the dozen or so different Javascript functions on my site have cost less than 500 lines of code. That’s a fraction of the download demanded by JQuery and its ilk.

Yes, I know there is an argument to say this makes me less efficient as a coder: JQuery et al are already built, tested and ready to be used. My counter is I’ll use it where it’s the right thing to do and in the meantime diving deep into Javascript makes me more knowledgeable and my solutions more efficient.

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