Spotlight 2: Recommended Reading & Viewing For jQuery Developers (21/22 Jan)

Hey guys. Welcome to another issue of Spotlight – a weekly post where I’ll be highlighting some of the articles and videos posted by the community lately which you might find beneficial.

Before we get started, I’d just like to remind everyone that jQuery 1.5 beta is currently out and the team are hoping to finalize an RC in the next few days/week. If you have a chance to spend some time testing it out we would appreciate any feedback or bug reports. These always help the team ensure the release is as stable as possible. Look out for new features coming to the RC like the final version of Deferreds which we summarized here (and which Rebecca Murphy discusses here) as well as subclassing.

On to this week’s recommended reading and viewing!

Community Thoughts & Comments on Large-Scale jQuery Development (via @neutralthoughts)

If you’ve been recently considering whether to use Backbone, SproutCore, JavaScriptMVC or Knockout for your large-scale projects, you’ll find these comments quite useful. I very rarely link people up to the comments section of posts, but in this case I think you’ll find quite a few of the stories and opinions on large-scale app development very insightful – not only do quite a few of the posters explain their justification for opting for solution X but also where they thought the alternatives fell short for particular development scenarios. I covered my own thoughts on this a few weeks ago here.

"11 More Things I Learned from the jQuery Source" by @paul_irish

If you missed Paul’s excellent talk on the jQuery source from a few months ago, you’ll be happy to know that he’s recorded a new update which now covers operator precedence, cssHooks (which you can learn more about over at Brandon Aaron’s github repo) and a few other nicities. I was pleasantly surprised to hear that Ben Alman’s Immediately-Invoked Function Expressions (IIFE)’s got a mention too but the video is certainly worth a watch if you can spare a half hour.

PS: Paul also recently did a talk with the SitePoint podcast team about the ‘undetectables’ – it’s got some interesting insights into Modernzir and comes with both the audio and a transcription. Check it out here

"Learning From Twitter" a look at jQuery Performance by @jeresig

You may have read some tweets that mentioned the Twitter UI was performing significantly slower than usual over the past week. The reason for this could be narrowed down to two things: 1) They had upgraded to jQuery 1.4.4 and 2) They were approaching how they handled attaching handlers to the window scroll event poorly. At it’s core there was nothing really wrong with jQuery 1.4.4 however, a performance regression linked to some improvements we made in 1.4.3 caused a particular selector to slow down. Twitter were using this and John goes into detail on how we’re tackling this problem as well as mentioning some recommendations that you might also find helpful.

jQuery 1.8.9 with fixes to Datepicker, Draggable, Tabs and more by @jqueryui

I’ll be taking you through lots of exciting news about jQuery UI over on in a week or two, but today the jQuery UI team are happy to announce the ninth maintenance release for 1.8 which features a number of bug fixes. Language support has improved for Datepicker but on the whole the team’s efforts with this version have been focused on stability. If you’re interested in trying out some in-dev work, I’d just like to remind everyone that the jQuery UI 1.9 milestones releases are also available for testing. You probably wouldn’t use these in production just yet but they’re a great way to find out whats coming next.

Writing jQuery That Doesn’t Suck – a @webstandards talk by Ross Bruniges

Web scene contributor Ross Bruniges shares his passion for best practices with jQuery and JavaScript in this recording of a London Web Standards talk from a few days ago. It’s a fairly well rounded talk with some decent tips and he (rather welcomingly) also recommends my JavaScript & jQuery Patterns book for anyone wishing to learn more on that side of things. Christian Heillman first mentioned this talk a few days ago but now that its online in all its glory do feel free to check it out – the tips are in many cases applicable to both JS and jQuery but that doesn’t make them any less valid!

Exciting New HTML5 & JavaScript Projects by EdTechDev (via @elijahmanor)

We live in exciting times where each week there are new OSS projects on GitHub springing to life. EdTechDev compiled a pretty decent list of the ones that were recently announced including new JavaScript canvas, gesture and game libraries. Worth a look if you’re currently searching for resources to use on future projects.

jQuery View – a class and inheritance system for templates by syntacticx

jQuery View is a new project that comfortably works with routing and Backbone to provide a neat class and inheritance system for templates which some developers might find useful. It supports subclassing along with a few other features but if you decide to use it do check out the annotated examples as these will save you some time figuring out the setup.

Beautiful Element Creation using jQuery by Kenny Meyers 

In some ways parallel to the myriad of ways you can play around with JavaScript’s syntax, jQuery too has a few little-known tricks you may not be familiar with. Kenny Meyer’s post takes you through a small subset of the lesser knowns which may come in handy.

jQuery Mobile Framework – A Complete Forms Tutorial (via @nettuts)

A lot of people have been speaking to me about jQuery Mobile tutorials lately and (love em or hate em) NetTuts have had some quite detailed rundowns of building mobile apps from scratch. This new tutorial from Konur Unyelioglu covers everything from initial design considerations to building/fleshing out the fully functional app and also shows you one of the key advantages jQ Mobile has to offer – consistant user experiences across different devices. Definitely recommended for anyone venturing into creating mobile apps soon.

Fundamentals for jQuery Development – a terrific intro for beginners by Damian Edwards

If you have friends who are web developers trying to break into jQuery there are a number of good video tutorials that can help get them started. I often used to recommend Ben Nadel’s extensive exploration of jQuery (which is still good), but as it’s 2011 you’ll want something a little more up to date. Damian Edwards gives a well paced talk that begins with JavaScript fundamentals before diving into jQuery directly – clocking in at under an hour it doesn’t try to be a complete ‘course’ but your colleagues will get the basic idea of what its all about.

 Other Posts Of Interest



  1. Pingback: Spotlight 2: Recommended Reading & Viewing For jQuery Developers (21/22 Jan)

    • Thanks for the heads up, Thomas!. I definitely +1 checking out the comments on hacker news. They definitely further contribute to the backbone/knockout/sproutcore discussion.

  2. Hey Addy, thanks for adding jShould to your other posts of interest. I hope it starts to take off as a simple way for JavaScript and jQuery developers to write assertions and test cases against their code.

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