You're Still Using jQuery?

“You’re still using jQuery?” Incredulity: the byword of a bygone era. An anachronism from the bad old days when dinosaurs ruled the earth and IE ruled the web. And running without a hint of irony in production.

It’s easy to pick on jQuery, but the reason we don’t use it any more is that its most important revelations–easy element selection, reusable transitions, array traversal, and cross-browser APIs for all of the above–have made their way into the browser.

This is how the good dinosaurs die: not beneath a fiery meteorite or the torturous winter that follows, but by assimilation. Want to extend the web forward? jQuery is how it’s done.

Five years from now, I hope that we’re picking on React. Declarative, mostly-stateless documents built up from encapsulated components–this is an insight worth having. I hope that we’re picking on whatever other hotnesses emerge from the nether, too. If they’re good tools, we’ll make them stick.

When good libraries cease being libraries they start being taken for granted. Their names may change, but yes–we’re still using jQuery.


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Hey, I'm RJ: digital entomologist and intermittent micropoet, writing from the beautiful Rose City.