#3: A Brief Overview of jQuery

When I saw that jQuery was a possible blog topic, I was excited because it is something that I have been curious about since I’ve been web designing on my own. I found out about it while I was working on the homepage for my personal website. I wanted to incorporate a pop out photo gallery when if you click on a thumbnail, the photo pops out and enlarges on top of the home page screen. The method for achieving this was called a jQuery Lightbox. But when I looked up on how to incorporate it onto my website, the instructions were vague and I was overwhelmed with all the obscure code I was faced with. I ended up not incorporating it at all.

Fast forward five months later, and jQuery presents itself again. Unlike when I first started web design, I have now learned a bit about it, and will share some of this information with you today.

According to jQuery.com, jQuery is a “fast, small and feature-rich Javascript library.” It is accepted across multiple browsers and helps enhance the overall look and feel of a website. It is a scripting language which means it accompanies HTML and CSS, though it is not required. It is sort of like an accessory to the webpage to make it stand out that much more. It can be written and run on any operating system as long as you have a text editor (like Notepad for PC, TextEdit for Mac) and a web browser (Chrome, Firefox, Safari, etc.)

With jQuery, you can do more than just photo galleries. Smashing Magazine lists 50 different options for incorporating jQuery on your webpage, from looping galleries to drop down menus. One of the techniques that stood out to me was creating a polaroid photo viewer. With that, your images are placed in Polaroid frames and are able to be dragged about on the screen. It creates a nice layer effect and makes the webpage interactive. At the moment, I have no use for that, but I still think it’s pretty cool.

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