3 JavaScript libraries to replace jQuery

Ubiquitous jQuery has been outmoded by JavaScript and browser advances. These jQuery-like alternatives pick up where jQuery left off

Simplifying tasks such as HTML document traversal, animation, and event handling, the stalwart jQuery JavaScript library changed the face of web development. As of May 2019, jQuery is still being used in 74 percent of known websites, according to web technology surveyor W3Techs. Nevertheless, the jQuery library, which debuted in August 2006, is now being viewed by some developers as an older technology whose time has passed.

Alternatives to jQuery have emerged in recent years, such as the Cash library or even just modern, vanilla JavaScript, now that web browsers all handle JavaScript the same way and jQuery is no longer needed to solve compatibility issues. Arguments on Reddit and videos on YouTube make the case that jQuery has become obsolete, or at least is not as essential as it once was.

Why jQuery is no longer needed

In one YouTube presentation, “Is jQuery still relevant in 2018?,” web development educator Brad Traversy acknowledges that jQuery is probably the best generalized JavaScript library ever created. It is easy to learn, cross-browser compatible, more concise than older vanilla JavaScript, and rich in plug-ins offering specific functionality. But JavaScript has advanced far since ECMAScript 6, and jQuery is no longer needed in many situations, Traversy concludes.

In another video, coding educator Kenneth Lowrey argues that becoming fluent in jQuery is a waste of time. In the current web development landscape, modern browsers handle JavaScript the same, for the most part. In most cases, native JavaScript code is better than a “bloated legacy library like jQuery,” he says.

While jQuery had been the choice for making HTTP requests, for example, ECMAScript 6 brought forth Fetch, a promised-based API that makes HTTP requests easier. And the advancement does not stop with HTTP. Where jQuery has utilities for tasks such as manipulating arrays, vanilla JavaScript now has improved accommodations for these operations, too.

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