lately i’ve seen a lot of people Tweet of Facebook about http://youmightnotneedjquery.com/, infact, right now the github repository used to maintain that site is place three in the most trending repositories.
Now i’m a bit surprised on how many people that i know are jumping on that train. I looked into what the website says, and i disagree with the basic idea of it.
First of all it asks you “What’s the oldest version of IE you need to support?”, and lets you chose between 8, 9 and 10. I was a bit surprised since it didn’t seem that long ago to me that people where requiring stuff to still run with IE6. Should that glorious implication be true, and the abominations named IE6 & IE7 have been purged from the net? Reality sais no. I went to Google Analytics and checked the stats for some sites i run, and while i have mostly users (Games, Coders and other Nerds) on those sites that are prone to use a proper Browser (read: not IE), or at least have the latest version of it, i still found that more than 9% of the IE users on my site are using a pre-8 Version.
jQuery 1.* handles this fine for me, i don’t need to think about it. Now obviously i could say “i don’t care about those users” (and frankly, i don’t), but then i’m just running some small scale private sites there. If i was looking at it from a commercial aspect, especially with a target audience that is less tech-savvy than my users, i might not want to keep those customers out.
With literally thousands of extensions and plugins to jQuery you also have an amazing resource of Code, where you can save effort that you’d have to put into reinventing the wheel, and focus on those things that you need to get done. I personally don’t see a reason to build yet another solution for auto-complete, tooltips etc.
jQuery is less than 100kb in size which with modern broadband is nothing (not even on a mobile device), and you can load it through several CDN’s which make sure it will reach your user as fast as possible. You can use large browser-side cache times easy with it (in fact when you are using a CDN for it, chances are that your user is already having it in his cache), and if you use a gzip handler the size transfered shrinks to even less. So this can’t be the reason why the authors of that website don’t want us to us jQuery – which leads me to another thing the site doesn’t talk about: