joeDesktop: Learning to use jQuery

Screen capture of animation at

joeDesktop is a software product and associated online service I’ve been planning for a while.  The desktop software will most likely be done for Adobe AIR.

I have been planning on learning to use jQuery for a while now though so I decided to do something today on this website.

Previously, I’ve used Clean Ajax (which is really only AJAX) and MooTools.

jQuery is a Javascript library like MooTools with a large collection of plugins that make working with Javascript SO much easier.  The best part is probably that it’s mostly browser independent — the jQuery framework does what’s necessary to complete your tasks as well as it can depending on the client’s browser.

One of the things people like about programming in Adobe Flash is how easy it is to create animations.  Well, jQuery can do some of that animation work in pure Javascript — moving things around anyway.  You can animate (or tween) any value in just about any element, or class, or whatever.

A tween is something like: Change this div’s position from HERE to THERE, do it smoothly over 1.5 seconds, and have it sort of bounce into place.. make it snappy.

Check out for an example of moving things around in jQuery, including the now infamous Jennifer and Fruit modes.  Hopefully the animation is still there when you read this.  If it isn’t, I’m sure I’ve left a link on the page for you to find.

If you work in Javascript then you might want to check out jQuery.  At the time of this posting, I’d spent about 11 hours working on that page today, which isn’t bad considering I didn’t know anything about jQuery.

As far as I can tell, more people are using jQuery than MooTools.   But you might like MooTools!  Check them out, too.


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