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What is jQuery?

From: jQuery Essential Training

Video: What is jQuery?

Okay so, if you are ready as I am to write less and do more, then let's just dive right in and get started with jQuery Essential Training. Let's start by talking about what jQuery is. jQuery is a freely available Open Source JavaScript Library and its purpose in life is essentially to simplify the task of creating modern web pages that are highly interactive and responsive, essentially full of all the Web 2.0 goodness that you see all over the internet today.

What is jQuery?

Okay so, if you are ready as I am to write less and do more, then let's just dive right in and get started with jQuery Essential Training. Let's start by talking about what jQuery is. jQuery is a freely available Open Source JavaScript Library and its purpose in life is essentially to simplify the task of creating modern web pages that are highly interactive and responsive, essentially full of all the Web 2.0 goodness that you see all over the internet today.

It works across all the modern browsers. One of the great things about jQuery is that it abstracts away a lot of the browser-specific features, which allows you to concentrate on the design and finished result that you are trying to achieve rather than spending all your time trying to figure out how to achieve various effects and features within individuals browsers. So jQuery focuses on doing a few things very well. For example, jQuery makes it really easy to get and manipulate page content.

Now normally you do this using the Document Object Model or the DOM. If you are not familiar with the DOM, then lynda.com has a great title known as JavaScript Essential Training by Dori Smith, and you can go check that out to learn more about the DOM. jQuery makes that really simple. jQuery also makes it really simple to work with the modern browser event model, and again this is a key part of building modern Web 2.0 applications. Finally, jQuery adds a pretty sophisticated effects library that you can use to achieve a lot of sophisticated transitions and effects that you see in modern websites today, things like image fades and animations and events and that kind of stuff.

If you take a look at how most modern web development is done today, there are a couple of scenarios that seems to pop up over and over again. They typically follow a couple of very common patterns. The first pattern is usually when the page loads in the browser, there is a bunch of setup that you have to do, and this is usually in response to the window load event, and jQuery provides a really efficient way of handling this. The second scenario that pops up a lot looks something like this. There is an event that happens on the browser. The user clicks on something or they type a key or they move the mouse over something, and that sets off a reaction, something along the lines of, you retrieve the content from the page, then you do some kind of manipulation on it.

Maybe you animate it somehow and then you put the content back in the page. Now this may not be followed exactly, but the pattern is essentially along these lines where the user does something, and in response to that event you have to somehow get content and manipulate it. And jQuery makes these scenarios really, really easy. Some of the benefits of using jQuery are first, jQuery leverages your existing knowledge of CSS. So if you are already familiar with CSS, then you will see this throughout the course.

You'll find yourself writing syntax that looks a lot like CSS code, which makes it really easy to pick up some of the jQuery's best features. jQuery is also built from the ground up to work with sets of elements. This is something that Document Object Model in JavaScript is not designed to do very well. jQuery makes it second nature. In fact, many times you won't even realize that you are writing code that just by default works across sets of elements. jQuery also allows you to perform multiple operations on a set of elements with just one line of code, and this is a very powerful feature known as Statement Chaining.

You'll see this again and again throughout the course. It really simplifies the way that you work with JavaScript and elements in the page and it's one of the jQuery's best features and we'll see that throughout the course. Now as I mention before, jQuery hides away a lot of the various browser quirks and this allows you to concentrate on your end result. So you don't spend a lot of time trying to figure out how to achieve each effect within each individual browser. You simply write to the jQuery interface and jQuery handles all of the individual browser features behind the scenes.

Finally jQuery is really extensible. There are a lot of plug-ins available that perform all kinds of web development tasks. In fact, it's pretty easy to learn how to write your own, but in many cases you won't have to. The jQuery website contains hundreds of plug-ins that have written by other people, that you can just freely download and use in your own pages. jQuery is currently compatible with modern versions of all the main browsers that are in use today. So you can use jQuery across Internet Explorer, Safari, Chrome, Firefox and Opera.

You can see that it works with all the current versions going back in some cases pretty far. So you can see jQuery works with IE 6 and later. But there are some known issues with some of the browsers and I have listed those here in the table. So you can see which browsers work well with jQuery and which ones don't. But the main point here is that all the main browsers that are being used today, this should cover the vast majority of all the browsers that your code is going to encounter. Okay, so now that we have seen what jQuery is, let's jump over the jQuery site and take a look at some of the features and see how to download and install it.

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This video is part of

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jQuery Essential Training

49 video lessons · 98573 viewers

Joe Marini
Author

 
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  1. 2m 52s
    1. Welcome
      1m 9s
    2. Using the exercise files
      1m 43s
  2. 17m 37s
    1. What is jQuery?
      5m 19s
    2. Downloading and installing jQuery
      2m 20s
    3. Creating a simple jQuery-enabled page
      7m 12s
    4. Overview of features in jQuery
      2m 46s
  3. 59m 57s
    1. Overview of selectors and filters
      2m 9s
    2. Using basic jQuery selectors
      9m 6s
    3. Using basic jQuery filters
      8m 35s
    4. Using jQuery attribute filters
      6m 7s
    5. Child, visibility, and content filters
      9m 59s
    6. Form selectors and filters
      9m 3s
    7. Traversing documents
      9m 1s
    8. Understanding jQuery statement chaining
      1m 42s
    9. Practical example 1: Annotating page links
      4m 15s
  4. 47m 16s
    1. Creating, getting, and setting content
      5m 53s
    2. Manipulating attributes
      5m 43s
    3. Inserting content
      4m 57s
    4. Wrapping, replacing, and removing content
      5m 27s
    5. Working with CSS
      6m 19s
    6. Associating data with page elements
      9m 30s
    7. Practical example 2: Automatic TOC generator
      9m 27s
  5. 33m 6s
    1. Understanding the jQuery event handling features
      2m 4s
    2. Binding and unbinding events
      6m 23s
    3. Convenient event helper methods
      4m 40s
    4. Using the jQuery event object
      6m 21s
    5. Using miscellaneous event features
      4m 38s
    6. Practical example 3: Table striping and highlighting
      9m 0s
  6. 28m 45s
    1. Hiding and showing elements
      5m 23s
    2. Fading elements in and out
      4m 2s
    3. Sliding elements
      4m 3s
    4. Creating custom animations
      5m 58s
    5. Practical example 4: Image rotator
      9m 19s
  7. 25m 30s
    1. Introduction to jQuery UI
      3m 40s
    2. Exploring the jQuery UI widgets
      5m 24s
    3. Exploring the jQuery UI effects
      3m 58s
    4. Using the jQuery UI ThemeRoller
      4m 11s
    5. Downloading and installing jQuery UI
      8m 17s
  8. 47m 49s
    1. Overview of the sample web site
      3m 50s
    2. Using the accordion widget
      9m 14s
    3. Creating an image rotator
      10m 22s
    4. Building hover tooltips
      7m 26s
    5. Making an image selector
      9m 30s
    6. Using the Resizable effect
      7m 27s
  9. 30m 2s
    1. Working with Asynchronous JavaScript and XML (AJAX)
      10m 8s
    2. Using AJAX helpers
      4m 34s
    3. Understanding AJAX data types
      10m 14s
    4. Using global AJAX event handlers
      5m 6s
  10. 20s
    1. Goodbye
      20s

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