Back in my day…
Seeing the light
If there’s one good thing to coming late to the party is that maybe all the crap of early versions has been taken care of. I know just from using Prototype for so long that early versions were quite dirty. I don’t doubt jQuery progressed the same way, so coming into the game several versions “late” is probably to my advantage. Of course, it means I can’t use the excuse of “it didn’t have that function when I was using it.” At the time when I was using Prototype there was also seemingly a new JS framework coming out every week. Waiting a while to let the dust settle is also a good thing because you can easily see who will survive. jQuery is a survivor.
But what makes jQuery so awesome? It’s simple and it works. It just works.
It also makes sense to anyone that has done any sort of web development. jQuery uses CSS-like conventions to make working with HTML elements pretty much intuitive. You can then chain together actions to create what you want. No messy clean-up. One challenge jQuery has presented to me is basically un-learning all the programmatic knowledge I had to use with Prototype and other languages. Using arrays, loops, and other logical processes to do simple things like switch CSS styles and events is a thing of past.
Change can be scary, but it can also be exciting