JavaScript vs JQuery – The Good, the Bad, and the Choice

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Before even starting the discussion on this topic, it would be worthwhile to note that JavaScript and the Java programming language aren’t the same. Over time, JavaScript has emerged as one of the most popular ways of designing seamless UI and UX. Yet, the invention of JQuery initiated a long-lasting JavaScript vs. JQuery debate, as developers began weighing the usability of the two.

In this blog, we present an outline of the most crucial JavaScript vs JQuery differences, helping developers to make informed choices. We will discuss the various factors which determine the choice between JavaScript and JQuery for interactive front-end web development.

What is JavaScript?
JavaScript is one of the most commonly used server-side programming languages, which Brenden Eich created initially for Netscape. At the time of creation, the project was known as Mocha, then Live Script, and finally, JavaScript after the Netscape-Sun merger.

This dynamic and interpreted programming language is used by developers to build a wide range of desktop applications, as well as for gamification. Moreover, being a scripting language, JavaScript enables developers to build several webpage elements, such as moving objects, client-side validation, pop-ups, and more.

JavaScript was developed considering different web page languages, meaning that it is compatible with most browsers and with most of the standard browser settings. Furthermore, its popularity is based on its ability to develop and display dynamic content, which can also adapt to changing interface needs quite easily.

What is JQuery?
JQuery was developed as a library function within JavaScript in 2006, by John Resign. The most crucial point to be noted in this regard is the fact that JQuery is not a separate programming language. At best, it is one of the many libraries built using JavaScript.

Thus, JQuery is a feature-rich, cross-platform JavaScript library, which allows developers to solve a range of compatibility issues. It has to be inserted into the webpage, either by using a Content Delivery Network (CDN) or by downloading from JQuery’s website.

Some of the major purposes for which JQuery is used include document traversing, animating, event handling, and AJAX implementation in Rapid Web Development.

JavaScript vs JQuery – The Major Differences
As JQuery is primarily based on JavaScript, the two are similar in most of their functionalities and implementation. Any code written in JQuery is internally converted into JavaScript for implementation.

Yet, when it comes to practical usage, there are some crucial differences to be taken into consideration.

First, JQuery has sets of predefined functions that can be called into the JavaScript website, reducing the need for coding some of the shared elements. This significantly enhances the ease of action and makes the process less time-consuming for developers. For instance, consider the following JavaScript vs JQuery example.

Suppose we have to select every element of the ‘simple-li’ class. The codes for this would be –
JavaScript – document.getElementsByClassName(“simple-li”);
JQuery – $(‘simple-li’)

Second, JQuery libraries are not only open-source but are also supported by comprehensive documentation and tutorials available on the website. As opposed to raw JavaScript, this means that even beginner developers can develop compelling UIs with ease.

Third, JQuery allows for easier implementation of AJAX templates. Doing so opens up a range of possibilities, such as the ability to control specific sections of the website while keeping the rest as they are. Also, with the development of AJAX and the enhanced ability to use the same using JQuery, speculators now indulge in heated debates for comparing JavaScript vs JQuery vs Ajax.

JavaScript vs JQuery – The Key Parameters to Consider
When it comes to implementing any programming or web development method whatsoever, specific key parameters must be considered to arrive at a choice. The same is the case when choosing between JavaScript vs JQuery.

Type – While JavaScript is a programming language, JQuery is an Application Programming Interface or API.

Language – While JavaScript is an interpreted language written in C, JQuery works with JavaScript-based resources.

Simplicity – While JavaScript requires developers to write their own scripts, making the process time-consuming, JQuery has most of the scripting in-built.

Compatibility – Developers working with JavaScript need to write codes for multi-browser compatibility. JQuery, however, is already a multi-browser library.

Code Length – JavaScript requires significantly more lines of code than JQuery.

Speed – While JavaScript is faster in accessing the Document Object Model (DOM), JQuery is much faster when it comes to complex, browser-end developments.

Weight – Except for raw JavaScript, JQuery is lighter than other JavaScript libraries.

Library Import – Developers using JavaScript can write their codes using tags, and need not import libraries to run the code. JQuery users also write codes within these tags, but they need to import JQuery libraries.

Syntax – While JavaScript has no special symbols, JQuery uses signs such as ‘$(selector).action()’.

JavaScript vs JQuery – Which One to Choose?
The fundamental conclusion that emerges from the ongoing discussion is that JavaScript and JQuery work in collaboration with each other. Given that JQuery doesn’t exist independently of JavaScript, the fact remains that it’s not possible to use the former without relying upon the latter. Thus, the JavaScript vs JQuery debate is not about the question of replacing one with the other. Instead, it’s about their use for specific purposes and reasons.

Leveraging the benefits mentioned above of JQuery over JavaScript, most developers prefer to use it. In general, greater ease of action is the most significant advantage in this regard. Yet, despite the wide range of libraries and customizations that JQuery offers, it has some limitations which can be overcome with raw JavaScript alone.
To conclude, by using both JavaScript and JQuery, interactive front-end web development can achieve its fullest potential.


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