Badge #4 | JQuery Codecademy

A screenshot of my completed JQuery page on Codecademy.

A screenshot of my completed JQuery page on Codecademy.

JQuery is an interesting and stylish coding language meant to work with JavaScript and is mostly used to make websites more interactive and aesthetically appealing. It is a particularly handy language to have a functional knowledge of because it’s so simple and can do so much with so little. JQuery shares several elements in common with other programming languages – including HTML/CSS, JavaScript, and Scratch. Most notably it has the power to declare variables, reference and change the innerHTML, and otherwise dynamically affect content on the page. Particularly striking was how similar function declarations were to JavaScript – the syntax of the function followed by () and an open bracket is almost identical to JavaScript. This is likely because they are designed to work together. JQuery also differs in some notable ways from these other languages, however. It uses a ‘$’ as a JavaScript identifier. This is actually a “shortcut” for referencing the JQuery library of functions. This means that the code can be streamlined and shortened, making JQuery easy to learn and use. Additionally, JQuery mostly uses already created functions to carry out effects and transitions on webpages. Whereas a more broad and robust language like JavaScript is mostly used to create the user’s own unique functions, JQuery relies on built-in ones like “fadeIn” and “remove” to make elements of the page change shape and form. Once you know the basic built-in functions of JQuery and how they can affect a webpage, you can quickly make highly visible changes to a website. I

n the “real world,” JQuery is often used in aesthetic and/or interactive ways. For example, the fadeIn function could be used to make the background color of a navigation bar fade to a lighter color when the user mouses over it. And the height and width functions can easily be used to restrict all elements of a certain class or id on a page to the same height and width specifications. It allows for pages to be changed and interacted with dynamically, and is especially useful for things like user menus and navigation bars. Buttons can also be made to look more interactive and stylish with the built-in functions that JQuery supplements. W

ith so many different languages out there that all do different things in different ways, the question then becomes — when do you use which languages? JQuery and JavaScript seem to be a matched pair that can do some pretty powerful things together when combined with HTML/CSS, but there’s also a whole host of other languages out there that all have their strengths and weaknesses. If JQuery can be used to make stylish and interactive buttons, when do you need to bring out a different language? PHP, Ruby, Python, and others can all be used to perform similar functions. So which one do you use for a certain situation? More familiarly with these languages would be needed to ascertain how to make a choice like that, but it would be interesting to determine the strengths and weaknesses of each language.

Overall, however, JQuery is a relatively easy-to-learn and interesting little language that can make some powerful aesthetic/interactive changes to a website.

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