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An Interview with Dave Methvin President of jQuery

Posted 2nd February 2016

To celebrate the launch of the blog section on jQuery Cards we caught up with the President of jQuery Dave Methvin to ask him a few questions about how he first got involved with the project and what the future holds for jQuery. Dave has been part of the jQuery project for 10 years now. So without further a do let’s get to the questions.
So tell us Dave, how did you first get involved with the jQuery project?

I sent an email to John Resig (Creator of jQuery) 10 years ago, suggesting some changes to the jQuery code. He put me on a mailing list of people who were interested in the project. (Remember, this was before Twitter, StackOverflow, or Github!)

Figures suggest that jQuery is used on over half of the world’s most visited websites. This is something you must be incredibly proud to be a part of?

Absolutely! It’s been great to work on such a successful project, along with many others, for such as long period of time.

Do you have any official stats on the latest jQuery usage on the web?

The data I use is via Built With which is as good as any.

jQuery recently celebrated its 10th birthday. That’s a long time for a framework to survive in the world of the web. Going forward what can we expect the future of jQuery to look like?

The team is very committed to evolving jQuery so that it can take advantage of emerging browser features and best practices, yet still provide compatibility with the huge amount of code that developers have already written. The jQuery Migrate plugin is an important part of that because it provides a safety net.

How do you think it might look in 10 years time? Will it still be around/relevant?

jQuery is so prevalent in today’s web sites that I don’t think it will go away in the next decade. Other things will come around and some may succeed, but jQuery solves a problem that is unlikely to go away.

In recent years there’s been a number of new libraries coming on to the scene such as Angular & React. How does jQuery sit amongst these libraries?

At its core, jQuery is just a library to make it easier to modify the browser’s Document Object Model, communicate with the server via AJAX, and perform animations. Frameworks like Angular and Ember do a lot more than that, but they also are much more than is needed for web pages that are primarily delivering content. Technologies like React are great for complex web applications but again not a good fit for content pages.

What advice would you give to first timers who are just starting to look at using jQuery in their projects or starting to create their own jQuery plugins?

Try to find an existing plugin that does what you want, rather than trying to roll your own. We have so many choices for common needs like lightbox or tooltips! The community should rally behind a small number of choices and try to make them better.

And lastly what do you think of sites like jQuery Cards and other sites like it that are supporting the jQuery community?

It is great to have all the community support for jQuery, that is definitely one of the things that drove the adoption and popularity of the library initially. With the growth of the jQuery plugin ecosystem, one thing I would love to see is better guidance for developers to help them choose a plugin that is reliable, fast, and has a good chance of being supported. It’s no fun choosing a plugin and finding out you’ve bet your web site on code that the original author has abandoned!

Dave thanks for taking the time to answer the questions for us today on jQuery Cards. We really appreciate your time.

Do you have any questions for Dave or the rest of the jQuery team then please leave them in the comments below.