Thinking of using JQuery for your next Web Design?

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JavaScript is a programming language that enables web pages to be more dynamic or interactive. It’s development has seen web pages go from simple static pages of text and images to useful applications and interesting graphics.

JQuery is a library of JavaScipt functions collected to make coding in JavaScript easier and faster for programmers. It’s a collection of common functions that programmers originally had to code directly in JavaScript, but that were so popular or useful that standardised versions were created and stored in one document, which can be called in any webpage.

The official JQuery website www.jquery.com defines jQuery as ‘a fast and concise JavaScript Library that simplifies HTML document traversing, event handling, animating, and Ajax interactions for rapid web development.’  These are all the things that JavaScript has developed to achieve – reading and manipulating HTML and CSS, allowing databases in XML to be managed, and allowing information to be passed from the user (or client-side) to the server. The beauty and popularity of JQuery is that instead of having to write a complete function or mini-program, JQuery has these functions easily accessible with a single ‘word’.

The ‘official’ definition divides the types of functions available in JQuery into groups:

JQuery for Document traversing

Allows reading through the webpage and retrieving information about it, for use in other functions. For example:

  • A word or paragraph count function
  • Analysing a news-feed for keywords
  • Finding the elements of a page for debugging code

JQuery is used for Event handling

Performing functions when the user clicks a button or enters information in a form. This includes:

  • Simplified mouse events (such as hovering)
  • Dedicated form information processing functions
  • Mouse tracking functions
  • Filling out online forms- see our web design questionnaire that used JQuery

JQuery can create non-Flash animation

With JQuery you can manipulate the CSS of elements to create dynamic style changes. Typical functions are:

  • Fading in and out
  • Moving objects around
  • Adding or modifying the style of specific style types, for example: making all italics bold or highlighted
  • Changing all elements of one colour to another colour
  • Allowing the user to make screen theme style changes to their preference

Ajax interactions through JQuery

AJAX is a framework for exchanging information between different web languages, ie HTML, CSS, JavaScript & XML that allows parts of web pages to be altered without reloading the entire page. JQuery contains AJAX event handlers, shorthand code for common functions and data functions that manipulate information into the correct format to be sent across languages.

 

JQuery has become one of the most widely-used JavaScript libraries and is considered a standard part of JavaScript by many programmers, a testament to its versatility and incredibly useful collection of functions. A must-have for the palette of any serious web programmer.

If you’d like to read more on our ever expanding Web Design Glossary click here.

Web Design Tips - 9 Oct 2012 - by Rob Jennings

About Rob Jennings

When he found himself embroiled in a conversation with someone talking about their ‘customer-centric core competencies’ he realised it was time to create a Web Design Agency that was less about self promoting buzz-words and more about people and giving them the tools to understand the web.

The idea behind We Push Buttons was to create an environment where business owners can learn about building their organisation, whether it be with an outstanding website, SEO or any other marketing ideas. Coming from the art industry and online retail background he knows first hand the needs of growing a business in a tough environment.