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Study shows half of all websites use jQuery

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The jQuery open source JavaScript development library is now running on 50 per cent of all websites, according to the latest data from web technology surveyor W3Techs.

That's nearly a 40 per cent gain from a year ago, over which time W3Techs says one of the top 1 million websites started using jQuery every four minutes.

Among the top 10,000 sites, the data shows jQuery's adoption rate is actually even higher, with 58.8 per cent of sites using the library.

Even many websites that are using other JavaScript libraries, such as MooTools or Prototype, are also using jQuery, despite the fact that the tools may have overlapping functionality, the study found.

Much of this growth can likely be attributed to the fact that jQuery comes bundled with a number of popular open source blogging and content management software systems, including DotNetNuke, Drupal, and WordPress. Sysadmins who are running these systems might not be aware that they are using the library.

On the other hand, the fact that these numbers are so high can also be seen as proof of how rapidly web developers are now adopting modern user interface techniques that rely on JavaScript, such as asynchronous interactions and UI animations, which are easier to program with the help of prebuilt libraries.

Although there are several other JavaScript libraries that offer many of the same capabilities, jQuery is far and away the most popular, with an 88.3 per cent market share.

A number of commercial software vendors have also lent their support to the project, giving it a further boost. Microsoft has been working with the jQuery development team for many years and has included support for the library in Visual Studio. More recently, Adobe has used jQuery animations and transitions in its experimental Edge tool for rich HTML5 content creation. ®

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The latest version of the library, jQuery 1.8, was released last Thursday. The new revision fixes bugs, improves performance, and includes reworked animation code. It also adds a preliminary modularization feature, which allows developers to strip out the parts of the library they don't need.

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