What is jQuery?

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Screen shot 2014-08-22 at 12.16.55 PMIf you’ve spent any amount of time looking into web design, you’ve probably heard about jQuery. But what is it? jQuery is a nimble and feature-rich cross-platform JavaScript library. It is a free and open source software licensed under the MIT License.

jQuery features a user-friendly API that works across a wide range of browsers and makes HTML document traversal and manipulation, event handling, animation and AJAX easier. jQuery is extremely versatile and extensible. As a result, it has transformed the way millions of users write JavaScript.

The popular JavaScript library was designed to streamline client-side scripting of HTML.  jQuery makes it easier to navigate a document, create animations, select DOM elements, develop AJAX applications and handle events.

Developers use jQuery to create abstractions for low-level interaction, animation, advanced effects and high-level widgets. Because it is modular, the library allows web design professionals to create dynamic web pages and web applications. It is a powerful tool for web designers.

jQuery includes the following features:

  • DOM element selections
  • DOM traversal and modification
  • DOM manipulation
  • Events
  • Effects and animations
  • AJAX
  • JSON parsing
  • Utilities
  • Compatibility methods
  • Multi-browser support (Firefox, Google Chrome, Safari and Opera)

Even though you may never learn how to use jQuery, it is helpful to know what it is when you’re talking to your web deign professional. Don’t ever hesitate to ask your web pro the meaning of a term when you’re in a meeting.

Most web designers are happy to help explain the jargon they’re using. In fact, they may not realize they’re using jargon until you let them know that they’re getting too technical. If you don’t understand something, just ask!

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