jQuery Pure project to zap code-bloat

Lea Verou

Lea wants a concise version of jQuery

Lea Verou is becoming a prominent figure on the web development landscape: she recently delivered well-received talks at the Web Directions @media and Standards.next conferences, and attracted particular attention for her impressive CSS3 gradients techniques (leaverou.me/css3patterns).

Now she wants to create a stripped-down version of jQuery which excludes all the code that deals with older browsers. The cumbersome extra code isn't needed for every project, and it makes it difficult for people to study the library for educational purposes, she says.

Verou is seeking co-conspirators to undertake this project with her. She told us: "jQuery Pure is going to be a fork of jQuery without all the workarounds for browser bugs and lack of support for modern APIs, leaving a small, concise abstraction that only uses the current standards. For example, instead of a 1400 line selector engine github.com/jquery/sizzle/blob/master/sizzle.js it will use the standard Selectors API www.w3.org/TR/selectors-api2. This will result in a huge reduction in filesize, maintaining the same external API that many plugins depend upon.

"We don't advocate using jQuery Pure in real-world projects, where broad browser support is still needed. However, we believe it's going to be an invaluable educational tool for those wanting to get a grasp of its architecture, before diving in the real, more complex jQuery. Also, it's going to be very useful for people developing demos for new browser features, and don't need the full-fledged jQuery library. Moreover, jQuery comes with a large set of unit tests, which in jQuery Pure could serve as a benchmark for browser compatibility with modern standards."

If you want to contribute and have strong JavaScript skills, Verou asks that you email her (the address is me [at] leaverou [dot] me), "and I'll let you know once we gather enough momentum to start working on it".

You can read Verou's jQuery blog post at leaverou.me/2011/06/jquery-pure while her CSS3 gradients tutorial is in issue 217 of .net magazine, on sale now.

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