jQuery took on a common problem and then grew through support

John Resig on jQuery's adoption, mobile frustrations, and the rise of JavaScript.

As part of our Velocity Profiles series, we’re highlighting interesting conversations we’ve had with web ops and performance pros.

In the following interview from Velocity 2011, jQuery creator John Resig (@jeresig) discusses the early days of jQuery, the obstacles of cross-platform mobile development, and JavaScript’s golden age.

Highlights from the interview include:

  • The initial goals for jQuery and why it caught on — Resig’s web app projects kept bumping up against cross-browser issues, so he took a step back and built a JavaScript library that addressed his frustrations. He also notes that good documentation and feedback mechanisms are big reasons why jQuery caught on so quickly. “Put yourself in the shoes of someone who’s trying to use your thing,” he says. [Discussed 22 seconds in.]
  • The challenges of developing jQuery Mobile — “It’s been a rocky adventure,” Resig says. The core issue is the same as on the desktop side — cross-browser compatibility — but Resig says there’s an extra twist: mobile has “even more browsers, and they’re weirder.” [Discussed at 2:28.]
  • Is JavaScript in a golden age? — It’s in a “prolonged golden age,” Resig says. The key shift is that many developers now acknowledge JavaScript’s importance. “You can’t build a web application without understanding JavaScript. JavaScript is a fundamental aspect of any sort of web development you do today.” [Discussed at 4:05.]

The full interview is available in the following video.

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topic: Web Perf/Ops