jQuery and Visual Studio

Did you get the chance to read that Visual Studio will be shipping with jQuery support included in the future? This news just made my day, more or less. If you aren’t in the know, jQuery is a really well developed JavaScript framework library. It includes support for things like making AJAX requests, easy DOM manipulation, and effects. There are a significant amount of controls written on top of jQuery that provide rich web experiences, and are as simple to use as integrating a plugin and adding markup to your HTML. The best part is that the use of a JavaScript framework has huge beneficial aspects on your cross-browser capabilities – all the framework methods are more or less guaranteed to work on everything from IE6 to Chrome!

Visual Studio ships with ASP.NET AJAX, which is kind of like the Microsoft bastardized attempt at a JavaScript framework. It’s been lagging behind jQuery and most other modern JavaScript frameworks since it’s introduction. Now, with full jQuery support, including intellisense, there’s little reason to have to use ASP.NET AJAX, in my opinion.

The one unfortunate aspect of official jQuery support in Visual Studio is that there are a lot of other competing frameworks, many of which are on par with jQuery, but whose market share will inevitably erode. Either way, a choice had to be made in this regard, and the right one was, in my opinion.

JavaScript can provide such a rich user experience nowadays that it rivals Flash/Air and Silverlight in many areas. It’s also getting faster (on a daily basis, seemingly), which bodes well for it’s future. If you haven’t checked out jQuery up to this point, it’s well worth a minute of your time.