When I first started 15DaysOfjQuery.com I made this comment on one of the ‘About‘ pages:

If you need super fancy effects for animation, drag and drop, and super smooth animation then you’ll probably want to use Prototype and one of the many great library created to enhance the effects.

I left my erroneous remark up to show you how quickly jQuery has been adopted by talented javascript coders willing and able to cook up plugins that give the “older” AJAX libraries a run for their money.

You see, a few days after posting the “limitations” of jQuery it came to my attention that a very talented coder was busy publishing some exciting animation plugins for jQuery that could be very useful for web apps.

For example, I had been toying with a sortable list for the admin control panel in my new content management system. I was getting very frustrated with a PHP coded version of “sortable lists” found at Scriptaculous. The code wasn’t able to handle the latest version of Prototype… but looked so promising.

Note: the PHP version on gregphoto.net now appears to be updated – but I haven’t tested it myself. So if you like Prototype better than jQuery, I’d check out his code. Also, I find it interesting that the sortable list demo on Scriptaculous doesn’t work at all in FireFox – and hasn’t for some time now. I don’t know if that’s a coding error on their site, or a bug in the code itself.

When I found the jQuery plugin for sortable lists I couldn’t believe how damn easy the code was to make it easy to sort several lists, mix and match the lists, and send the information to a database.

I was in hog heaven!

Since then, the number of interface plugins has grown steadily. I think you’d have to really try hard to come up with an interface effect that can’t be accomplished with jQuery and these wonderful plugins.

“XYZ Ajax Library Is Better”

If you have an AJAX library you like better, then please continue using it. Not that I don’t want to hear a well thought out comment about the differences between various libraries – their strengths and weaknesses – but the point of this post is to show that jQuery is more than just a lightweight javascript library for DOM manipulation with a little AJAX thrown in…

On the contrary… you can use jQuery to accomplish some very sophisticated effects.

I know there are some very smart coders that prefer YUI, or Prototype, Dojo, or fill-in-the-blank. I also know that some very influential and smart coders are giving jQuery a second look.

jQuery is maturing rapidly. Talented coders are contributing to the library and there’s an active community discussing ways to make the library even better.

[tags]jQuery, animation, javascript, AJAX, Prototype, Scriptaculous, Dojo, web app, jQuery effects, sortable lists[/tags]