jQuery and new site widgets


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Jquery

A fellow graduate of RIT, John Resig, has developed an awesome little Javascript library, called jQuery, that takes much of the chore out of client-side programming and makes it fun. Now, "fun" is not a word that I would normally associate with programming in Javascript, even though I do love the language and have used it for years here on JIG to improve usability; however, programming in Javascript can be a very hair-pulling experience especially when you factor in all the different browsers that your code must support.

But John says that jQuery was designed to change the way you write Javascript, and in just a day's work it has already changed my ways. Learning to use jQuery took just a couple of hours and I have already rolled out the first site features that make use of it.

There are now toggling widgets in the sidebar that can conveniently tuck all the game icons away. This feature will be useful to those with dial-up or slower Internet connections since all those icons will no longer have to be downloaded when tucked away. The state of each widget is saved in a cookie and remembered across pages and sessions. And to top it all off, the code appears to work flawlessly across all major browsers tested (Mac: Safari, Camino, Opera, and Firefox; PC: Firefox, Opera, and IE). Thank you, John!

I am very ecstatic about the ease with which I was able to make significant progress today, and I will therefore be incorporating more jQuery into the site moving forward, and converting my old Javascript code to use it instead.

Also, Technorati just rolled out a new site design this week and it now uses jQuery as its primary Javascript code base(!) So, if you do any client-side programming at all, do yourself a favor and head over to John's jQuery site and grab the latest release. It's free, of course, but if you use it be sure to send John a donation for his efforts. I just did. Click.

14 Comments

Glad you like it Jay! The community has been having lots of fun with it, which is just great. Just thought that you might like to know that there's a ton of extra plugins that you can use with your site. (This page is on the soon-to-be-released wiki).

Let me know if you have any problems, I'll be happy to help.

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Thanks, John, I will definitely browser through those plug-ins.

I've only run into one minor issue so far. Safari (1.3.2) doesn't seem to like the .show() method on page load. My workaround is to do a .slideup followed by .slidedown. Not elegant, but it works fine in the other browsers as well.

Other than that, almost effortless. It's a beautiful way to work with Javascript, and I luv it! =)

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Now I'm definitely interested too! Just have to find out more about jQuery if it makes you love JavaScript ;)
Jay, this new widget feature is very nice.

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Nice, I like this. I might have to have a close look at jQuery--could use it in my dhtml games.

Cheers,
Brent.

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I just thought I'd mention that on my browser, the "stylesheet switcher" text is actually below the row of "j"s, and overlapping both the dividing line and the "many links here" text. I was just wondering if it's only me or if it's everyone.

System Stats:
Firefox 1.5.0.5
XP SP2
15" Monitor (if that makes a difference)
Java, Flash, Shockwave etc enabled

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Thanks for that report, theholythom. I appreciate having all the details with which to track it down.

I've made a small change to reduce the font size of "Stylesheet", so hopefully that's better for now.

It's just a stop-gap measure, as I need to think of something better for the stylesheets. There just isn't room to add any more.

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Templating has spread to JavaScript! Fantastic, I'll take a look.

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spitefulcrow July 28, 2006 12:03 PM

Jay, it's either the changes you rolled out or my update to Firefox 1.5.0.5, but the links to spawn new windows with games in them no longer work. I added jayisgames.com to the list of allowed sites in the pop-up blocker, but it still doesn't want to open the new windows.
Help?

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spitefulcrow - if the problem you're referring to has to do with Tonypa's latest game, Geartaker, then it's not a problem with your computer at all, but with Tony's site instead. Hopefully it will be back online soon.

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What a great resource! I was worried I might actually need to *try* to leanr js, but now, this! Well, still may need to learn it, but now I can put it off a few years.

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^ or try to LEARN how to spell.

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Cool to see that John is making a use of himself after college. ;-) I took Web Client/Server with him spring quarter (with Bogaard and Vullo).

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John had aready started work on jQuery by spring quarter, as I remember my friendyn Brendyn showing off what could be done with it during a winter quarter class we took together.

But yes, I agree. It's always nice to see people actually putting their expensive RIT education to good use! ;)

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Well, unfortunately I had to disable the widgets for now. They were not actually working in all browsers as I had thought. IE continues to be the bane of my Web development existence. Bad browser, bad.

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