jQuery Hack Attack in Seattle — Notes

Today, Amazon hosted a jQuery Hack Attack in Seattle. John Resig, jQuery creator, provided the keynote presentation and contributed one of the open talks. Below, I include notes on the keynote regarding jQuery mobile browser suppoort and the three sessions I attended.

John Resig ~ “I want to give developers the smallest toolset they need to build the best sites possible.”

jQuery Mobile: Notes from John Resig’s Talk

Mobile JavaScript gains increasing importance as more and more smartphones with JavaScript support are shipped to consumers. jQuery intends to support the most popular mobile web browsers and devices.

One difficulty when defining what browsers and devices to support is gathering data regarding mobile browser marketshare and version information. Large sites such as Yahoo! have this information, but have not released it to the public. Typically, these sites see the statistics as a competitive advantage and as a result have not released the data to the public.

Resig currently gathers data regarding mobile browsers from StatCounter (web statics gathered from over 1 billion pageviews) and Gartner (device sales statistics).

Source: StatCounter Global Stats – Mobile Browser Market Share

Resig tested, created, and presented a chart of “Graded Browser Support” for jQuery. (It’s not currently online, but I hope he’ll post it soon.)

The biggest surprise I had regarding the mobile space is Symbian device sales in 1Q2010 were 3 times as many as iOS devices. The top three mobile OS in 1Q2010 are Symbian, RIM, and iOS.

jQuery plans to support mobile devices three years back. They perform testing using simulators, TestSwarm, and physical devices.

A-Grade Mobile Browser support is roughly equivalent to the following browsers:

  • Opera 9.5/10
  • FireFox 3.5+
  • Safari 2, 3, 4
  • BlackBerry (it’s own thing)
  • IE 6/7

A-Level Devices (not all-inclusive):

  • iPhone 3GS, 4
  • iPad (iOS 3.2)
  • Nokia N97
  • Droid (missed the other variants)
  • BlackBerry’s (list included Curve, missed the others)

To ensure support, test on the physical devices as the browsers may differ between emulators and the physical device.

Mobile Essentials

Session: Data Linking

Presenter: @dharmabruce
Discussed: Microsoft’s Data Linking proposal for jQuery. Much planning has been done around the proposal, but the jQuery implementation has not yet been created.

Resig stated that absolute musts when adding this capability are the ability to create sites with progressive enhancement, and that the data linking functionality must be extensible.

Session: Templating

Presenter: Unknown (didn’t get his name)
Discussed: Using HTML templates via jQuery. Current methods, Microsoft’s proposal, and drawbacks. Microsoft has a jQuery templates proposal. John Resig has been working on iterations of the proposal with them and hopes to see a final version make it into jQuery core with a point release of 1.4 or in 1.5.

Session: DOM API Improvements

Presenter: John Resig
Discussed: Resig discussed his proposal for adding new methods to the DOM API which would provide enhanced functionality. He is working with major browser manufacturers to gain acceptance before going through the complete W3C specification approval process.

Functions to be proposed:

  • querySelectorAll
  • scopedQuerySelectorAll
  • matchesSelector (implemented in Firefox and Webkit nightly builds)
  • filterSelector

Resig is working with the W3C on this proposal and hopes to see these DOM enhancements make it into browsers from all major manufacturers within the next 1 to 1.5 years.

Final Thoughts

I’m excited to see the work being done to continue improving jQuery. The library makes my life as a web developer easier and I expect it to continue improving.

Thanks to Robert Duffy for organizing the event.