It’s 2014 and I’m feeling inspired to change my ways. In 2014, I want to go jQuery-free!
Before I get started, I want to clear the air and put in a big fat disclaimer about my opinions on jQuery. Here we go:
Lovely, now that’s done, this is why I want to do it. Firstly, as lotsof peopleknow, jQuery is quite a weighty library considering what it does. Coming in at 32KB for version 2.x and around 40KB for the IE-compatible (gzipped and minified), it’s a significant chunk of page weight before you’ve even started using it. There are alternatives that support the majority of its functions in the same API, such as Zepto, but even that comes in at around 15KB for the most recent version, and can grow larger. The worst thing for me, is that I don’t use half of the library, all I really do is select elements, use event handlers and delegation, show/hide things and change CSS classes. So, I want a library of utility functions that only does these things.
I’m going to write a series of posts as I attempt to separate myself from jQuery, and make my websites leaner and faster. The first of which will be on “what you think you need, and what you actually need” and give you ways to work out if this approach is for you, or if you should be sticking with jQuery. Next, I’ll cover the basics of what a minimalist jQuery library; and finally I’ll cover strategies for dealing with unsupported browsers.
Let me know if there’s anything in particular you want me to cover, and I’ll do my best to go over it for you.
Update 4th Feb 2014: I’ve successfully recruited two new developers to fill these roles, thank you to everyone who has applied. I will update this page as roles become available.
I’m looking for two very talented developers to come and join me at hibu to work on yell.com. With over 22 million users a month, Yell.com holds a prominent position in the UK’s online industries. Over the coming months, we are looking to push the boundaries of our user interface to maintain and improve our usage and user satisfaction. As part of the Technology team, with your help we will use the latest technologies to design exciting new interactions for desktop and mobile browsers. It’s a tough challenge, and to do it, I need some great people to join my team.
I’m looking for people who are adaptable and are willing to learn new technology quickly. I’m after developers who will do the right thing for the long-term, over fixing a problem quickly. I want developers who are familiar with new technology, and how it can be applied to get the absolute best performance out of the web browser, and importantly, I need someone who can appreciate the differences in browsers and know how to get the best out of them, no matter how big or small the screen size is.
In return, you will get freedom to implement features as you see fit, and access to the tools that you need to do your job. The role is based in central Reading, just by the mainline train station (25 minutes from London Paddington). The office itself is large and spacious, with a great restaurant/cafeteria on the 10th floor with some of the best views over the city, and pretty decent coffee throughout the rest of the building. There’s a whole host of other benefits (including competitive salaries, naturally) that you’ll be told about if you join us.
Hibu’s canteen, with table football table
Could this be your desk?
One Reading Central, hibu’s offices
The view from the canteen over Reading station and Caversham on the greyest day of the year
If you want to apply, or know more information, contact me, tweet me, or just apply. Please note, you have to be eligible to work in the UK or hold a valid work visa to get either of these roles.
These roles are now filled, I will update this page if more roles are available
I was lucky enough to be asked to speak at Remy Sharp’s Side View conference in Brighton this weekend, a part of the full frontal conference event. I tried to give an overview of the state of the web on TVs and how our current attitude to responsive web design works, or rather doesn’t work, on big screens. Here’s the slides and abstract.
The Responsive Web Design trend was triggered by the need to make the web presentable on small, handheld devices. Now, the Internet is encroaching on every aspect of our lives, and it won’t be long before it takes over large screens too.
How much of manufacturers’ internet TVs claims are true? Will the next generation of consoles bring the Internet to the living room, or will Chromecast be the gateway to the large screen future, and where do web developers fit in?
Lets make a web site that is suitable for the sofa
Update: The video is now online via Remy’s YouTube channel and is embedded below. I’ve also written about this topic for the 12 devs of Xmas, if you want to read through the talk rather than watch it.
The most common question I got after the talk was, “What inspired you to do the talk, did a client ask you to do some TV work or something else?” The answer is simple, I just wanted to know how it was and tell people about it. I know that members of the Opera developer relations team have done much of the research into the web TV for the opera web TV product, and I’ve always wanted to hear them talk about this subject and wondered why they didn’t do those talks – the technology to make it happen exists. So I did my own research into the problems, and now I understand why they don’t talk about it much. The whole web on TV experience is a mess, the technology promises a great user experience that doesn’t live up to expectations, and almost actively discourages the browser usage in favour of pre-loaded app experiences.
Now that the research is done, I an going to look for better answers. Luke Wroblewski is doing this, as is Ethan Marcotte, and in this industry, when heavyweights like those start to investigate, there is clearly a problem to solve, and probably a mindset change to happen to enable our industry to grow and embrace this technology.
I hope you like the talk, let me know what you think on Twitter and in the comments
It’s official, from the end of November I’m going to be working for hibu as the UI Tech Lead for yell.com
I’ve had a great start to my career – over my 6 years at PA I’ve worked for the biggest employer in Europe (twice), the world’s biggest medical charity, oil giants, financial regulators, one-man-bands, governments, utility companies, major pharmas and worldwide hotel chains. I’ve gotta say, there’s no feeling like you’re making a difference in a company, and I’ve had some great results over the year;. I’ve even managed to carry 15 iPads in my hand luggage through Istanbul airport. With all of that comes trade-offs, and a pretty long commute, and it’s time to leave that behind.