The Year of jQuery

I hereby decree that 2007 shall be the Year of jQuery. Well, what else would you expect from a blog about jQuery? But, really, this is not just another case of wishful thinking, or even one of those lame prediction posts that have been spinning around the web lately. Admittedly, the title might suffer from a touch of hyperbole. But just a touch.

Here are a few of the reasons why I think jQuery is going to explode in 2007:

  1. Massive Speed Improvements coming our way. Remember that entry I just wrote about optimizing DOM traversal? Well, pretty soon you won't have to worry so much about that. I've run the speed tests (created by Yehuda Katz of Visual jQuery fame), and I've been blown away by the results. You will be, too.
  2. Streamlined API is nigh. While the temptation is always great for fattening up software, cramming every bell and whistle and double-cheeseburger into it, John Resig and the gang have been busily trimming jQuery, sculpting it into a lean, mean JavaScript machine. And we'll all get more for less — more performance, more power, more sense.
  3. The plugins keep rolling in: If you haven't checked out the growing list of plugins lately, you're in for a treat. Also, Jörn Zaefferer, developer extraordinaire, has been on a tear lately with plugin blog entries, including a jQuery Plugin Authoring Guide, and a "plugin parade," in which he explains how and why to use some already-made plugins.
  4. A slicker, more usable, better organized jquery.com: A group of dedicated web designers are working hard to update jQuery's online headquarters so that visitors can find what they need quickly and know where to go for additional support.
  5. High-profile adoption: The good folks at Drupal recently announced that they plan to include jQuery in the core of their next major CMS release (5.0). Many more are sure to follow. And when other open-source communities get hooked on jQuery, the smart members of those communities inevitably contribute to the overall project. We've also seen some influential sites such as Technorati, Feedster, and Intuit.com put jQuery to good use, a trend that is sure to continue. What's more, server-side technologies such as ColdFusion are embracing jQuery for its AJAX goodness.
  6. The best open-source community in the universe. I have been wowed repeatedly by how smart, thoughtful, eager, and dedicated the people who have been working on jQuery are. The many questions that come through the mailing list each day — from the mundane to the arcane — are answered promptly and respectfully. Furthermore, John Resig recently organized the project into teams to make the processes of improving jQuery, redesigning the site, and spreading the word go more smoothly and efficiently (full disclosure: John invited me to join jQuery's "evangelism" team. Big surprise, huh? Maybe I need to start eating locusts and wild honey now.)

The coolest thing about this news is that we'll be seeing most, if not all, of the improvements I've mentioned within the next couple months — some perhaps within weeks. jQuery has its first birthday coming on the 14th of this month, and it's sure to bring some nice birthday presents for all. So, stay tuned!