educational

Resolving jQuery Coding Conflicts

Stephen Yagielowicz

As amazing a tool for interactive website development and compatible as the jQuery library is with other technologies, there are times when conflicts with different coding types and scripting libraries will occur; creating maddening moments for clueless coders.

For example, adding jQuery code directly or via plugins to HTML code, WordPress themes or CMS templates, may cause unexpected behaviors, including the dreaded blank white screen.

Although it can’t be considered Best Practices to be using multiple frameworks on the same site, doing so is sometimes unavoidable.

According to jQuery.com, global objects are stored inside the jQuery namespace, so they shouldn’t clash with other libraries, but conflicts can and do occur when using jQuery with applications such as Prototype, Lightbox and the MooTools framework.

Although it can’t be considered Best Practices to be using multiple frameworks on the same site, if only for the reason that it forces your website’s users to download additional files that consume bandwidth and slow loading times, doing so is sometimes unavoidable.

If you’re running into a jQuery-related stumbling block, the following considerations and solutions may save you some time, money and stress:

First off, it seems that many of the compatibility issues you’re likely to encounter stem from jQuery’s default use of the $ short code for “jQuery” — causing conflicts with other coding that relies on the $ as a function or variable name. Fortunately, jQuery only uses $ as an alias that can be changed without altering functionality, returning control of $ to the conflicting library. This is done by calling $.noConflict().

For example, $('id').function(); could be jQuery('id').function(); or something shorter, such as j('id').function();.

Check out api.jquery.com/jQuery.no-Conflict/ for several specific code examples.

Conflicts can also exist between various versions of jQuery and the scripts it enables.

Sometimes a previous version of jQuery needs to be called — an effective solution for solving certain incompatibilities, but one that leaves you without the latest security and performance features that jQuery has to offer, and is thus not an ideal remedy.

For WordPress users, the codex offers a number of specific suggestions for resolving script conflicts, etc. at codex.wordpress.org/Function_Reference/wp_enqueue_script.

Scroll down that page to see the huge collection of scripts included with WordPress — you may find that one of them is the source of your conflict, which may also be the result of unkowingly loading multiple, different versions of the same script.

There are many ways in which jQuery scripting problems can occur; hopefully these basic steps will help you to solve your jQuery issues.

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