Mobile Developers Embrace jQuery

Stephen Yagielowicz
LOS ANGELES — The appeal of jQuery to developers is taking a big leap forward with the launch of the jQuery Mobile Project and imminent release of a new tool set.

According to its development team, technological refinements and expansion of its cross-platform compatibility are driving the community-based jQuery Mobile Project.

"Not only is the core jQuery library being improved to work across all of the major mobile platforms, but we're also working to release a complete, unified, mobile UI framework," jQuery founder John Resig stated. "Absolutely critical to us is that jQuery and the mobile UI framework that we're developing work across all major international mobile platforms (not just a few of the most popular platforms in North America)."

This is great news for adult webmasters seeking to leverage the latest technologies across a broad, global audience that is increasingly composed of mobile device users.

"Right now we're working hard, planning out the features that we want to land and doing testing against the devices that we want to support," Resig added.

A growing number of mobile browser vendors are also lending support to the jQuery project, including Palm, with its webOS platform; and Mozilla, with its Mobile Firefox.

"As a longtime supporter of the jQuery project and its wider community we are excited to extend our support to the jQuery Mobile project," Mozilla's Pascal Finette said. "jQuery Mobile has the potential to make cross-platform Open Web development significantly simpler."

Simplicity is nice, but on today's rapidly evolving technological landscape, stability and longevity are as important. Fortunately, the jQuery Mobile framework is designed with this forward-view in mind.

Resig says that jQuery Mobile uses the browser's native capabilities whenever possible, allowing the use of a browser's standard scrollbars, for example, rather than a JavaScript substitute — providing a performance boost for applications and sites.

While the growing number of targeted mobile devices has posed many challenges for developers, some of which have responded by limiting their focus to iPhone or Android devices, the increasing popularity of alternative platforms such as the BlackBerry deserve attention — and this is where the cross-platform power of jQuery comes into play.

"The mobile web is desperately in need of a framework that is capable of working across all browsers, allowing developers to build truly mobile web sites," Resig stated. "We're doing all we can to ensure that jQuery Mobile fills that need."

An alpha release of jQuery Mobile is expected later this month.