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Practical JavaScript Libraries and jQuery Plugins

Quick Summary

If you have a problem and need a solution for it, chances are high that a JavaScript library or jQuery plugin exists that was created to solve this very problem. Such libraries are always great to have in your bookmarks or in your local folders, especially if you aren’t a big fan of cross-browser debugging. JavaScript Library
Image credit: Yeoman A JavaScript library isn’t always the best solution: it should never be a single point of failure for any website, and neither should a website rely on JavaScript making the content potentially inaccessible. Progressive enhancement is our friend; sometimes JavaScript won’t load properly, or won’t be supported — e.g. users of mobile devices might run into latency issues or performance issues with some JavaScript-libraries. Often large all-around JavaScript libraries such as jQuery might be an overkill, while tiny JavaScript micro-libraries could serve as good, “light” alternatives for a particular problem. We’ll present some of them today. In this two-part overview (part 1 and part 2), we feature some of the most useful JavaScript and jQuery libraries which could be just the right solutions for your common problems. You might know some of these libraries, but you probably don’t know all of them. In either case, we hope that this overview will help you find or rediscover some tools that you could use in your next projects.

Table of Contents

If you have a problem and need a solution for it, chances are high that a JavaScript library or jQuery plugin exists that was created to solve this very problem. Such libraries are always great to have in your bookmarks or in your local folders, especially if you aren’t a big fan of cross-browser debugging.

A JavaScript library isn’t always the best solution: it should never be a single point of failure for any website, and neither should a website rely on JavaScript making the content potentially inaccessible. Progressive enhancement is our friend; sometimes JavaScript won’t load properly, or won’t be supported — e.g. users of mobile devices might run into latency issues or performance issues with some JavaScript-libraries. Often large all-around JavaScript libraries such as jQuery might be an overkill, while tiny JavaScript micro-libraries could serve as good, “light” alternatives for a particular problem. We’ll present some of them today.

Further Reading on SmashingMag:

In this two-part overview, we feature some of the most useful JavaScript and jQuery libraries which could be just the right solutions for your common problems. You might know some of these libraries, but you probably don’t know all of them. In either case, we hope that this overview will help you find or rediscover some tools that you could use in your next projects.

Due to the length of this post, we’ve split it into two parts for your convenience:

Quick Overview:

Below you’ll find a brief overview and links to the libraries and tools featured in this post. They are supposed to help you find just the right tool quickly without browsing the whole page.