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Is jQuery still relevant?

vanessafinn_989 profile image Vanessa Finn ・1 min read

Hello, community!

I'm hoping someone can help me with a burning question I have. Most of what I'm reading online is turns into a mud-slinging debate which I'd like to avoid since I'm a newbie and not interested in arguments — just trying to learn here!

Ok, on to my question...

Is jQuery still relevant today?

It seems like it's taken a bit of a backburner position and it also appears that there's a more modern and standardized alternative for every jQuery feature I'd otherwise want to use/understand/mess about with.

Should spend any time on jQuery as a hopeful developer who's teaching herself to code? Or is it irrelevant and outdated?

Thanks so much!

Discussion (9)

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msarit profile image
Arit Amana

Great question!

Are you quite firm on basic javascript concepts, and would like to learn jQuery as part of your dev toolbelt? You're right that there are more modern libraries, but if you enjoy learning and using jQuery, then go for it!

However, I caution against learning jQuery as a "shortcut" for not needing to learn vanilla JS. When I was learning to code, some learning resources would say "learn jQuery so you don't have to worry about straight JS". This is a mistake in my opinion.

A firm grasp of vanilla JS principles and approaches will only serve to strengthen your understanding and use of libraries and frameworks built with JS (jQuery, React, etc).

Hope this helps! 😄

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vanessafinn_989 profile image
Vanessa Finn Author

Thanks, Arit!! Appreciate your balanced answer so much :)

Based on this alone, I want to revisit jQuery down the line once I've had time to get up to speed with vanilla JS. Really good advice.

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ben profile image
Ben Halpern

jQuery has been supplanted by improved browser APIs, so it is definitely not relevant like it used to be, but there are plenty of reasons why it is not a total gonner:

  • It's still a convenience API. For certain projects, just grab whatever makes your life simplest, and jQuery can do that.
  • It's still all over the web as a legacy library. Removing it probably not practical outside of system-wide rewrites.
  • It certainly hasn't been supplanted by React etc. They do different things.
  • jQuery may change over time. Sometimes software evolves dramatically but keeps the name.

This last point begs some philosophical questions along the lines of The Ship of Theseus...

If jQuery continues to get new versions for the next many years, responding to new community requirements, is it still jQuery we're talking about once all the old code is flushed?

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vanessafinn_989 profile image
Vanessa Finn Author

Thanks a bunch, Ben! Great video/analogy. Definitely a more philosophical situation than I even considered.

This is just one reason why I'm invested in programming — every question that appears simple has so many fascinating implications.

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rhymes profile image
rhymes

As everything, it depends and I agree with what the others have said :)

Worth noting that jQuery is still the dominant JS library out there, I'd imagine for two reasons: "legacy" and Wordpress which bundles it.

According to the the WebAlmanac by HTTPArchive, jQuery is used in more than 83% of the websites:

jQuery usage is still 83% of the web

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roseysong profile image
Rosey-Song

This question, I think, depends a lot on 1.) How familiar with JS / HTML you are, and 2.) how you define relevant.

jQuery, despite losing a market share to newer libraries like React/Vue/Angular, is still larger and more widespread than all 3 combined. So in that sense it's still very relevant.

If you're just starting out with JavaScript, and especially if you're teaching yourself, I do recommend starting out with jQuery as it's documentation is some of the best in any library, which helps it be very easy to learn for someone teaching themselves, and having done that myself, I started with jQuery before going on and adopting React as my main library.

That said, after you're comfortable with JS and consider yourself intermediate slowing encroaching on advanced, I think learning one of the other libraries is a great idea because they're very powerful in what they can do compared to jQuery.

Good luck with your journey in self-taught coding!

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andrewbaisden profile image
Andrew Baisden

I don't think it's as relevant anymore because browser API's have improved so much and the JavaScript language is more modern. Back in the day jQuery was very useful and sought after as the bar was not very high. These days the bar for learning is high so better to be using the most modern tools and technologies to make yourself future proof.

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sigfualt profile image
Cameron Young

There is so mush jQuery code floating in legacy its going to be around for a while. People here have said cooler things but as a software contractor, clients don't like to hear "we need to remove all this jQuery" you typically just add to it.

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zakiazfar profile image
zakiAzfar

JS is improved so much, every feature you need in jQuery is available in ES6+, and it adds 200kb to your project