jQuery Mobile Project

jQuery is one of the most popular of a class of libraries originally intended to ease the pain of working with JavaScript as implemented by a variety of web browsers. I’ve used jQuery for a couple of projects and other libraries for still others. I find that the API design in jQuery is simpler and more intuitive in terms how how consistently and thoroughly the core idioms are applied. These days, when I need to do any browser work and I have a free choice, I use jQuery.

More recently a rich ecosystem of third party plugins has evolved for jQuery. The quality of design and adherence to the core library’s idioms varies pretty widely but the ability to easily drop in bits that extend jQuery’s reach is attractive, even given the necessary trade-offs that often involves.

I was pretty thrilled, then, to see the H share the announcement that the jQuery developers are looking to do for mobile browsers what they have already done for desktop browsers.

According to jQuery creator John Resig, as part of the new mobile project, the core jQuery library is being improved to work across the various major mobile platforms and their browsers. Resig says that the developers are working to release “a complete, unified, mobile UI framework”. Current expectations are that this will be completed in late 2010.

As the H goes on to explain, the idea will be to ease the creation of touch based apps that degrade gracefully across the different capabilities provided by the combination of mobile browsers with particular mobile devices. jQuery is not the first project to tackling the mobile space, specifically for touch apps on mobile browsers. If they bring the same clean, simple design to the API and the amazing code quality as the original version, they should be able to produce a compelling, competitive offering despite perhaps arriving a little late.

jQuery itself is free software, available under a dual GPL or MIT license. Presumably the new mobile version will use the same licensing scheme which makes it pretty much a no brainer in terms of freedom to use with all kinds of applications. The H links to plenty more detail if you are curious, including a detailed grid of browser support.

jQuery Mobile Project announced, the H

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