Beyond jQuery by Ray Nicholus [Leanpub PDF/iPad/Kindle]
Beyond jQuery
Beyond jQuery (The Book + 1 free "code hand" laptop sticker)


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Beyond jQuery

This book is 100% complete

Completed on 2016-08-05

About the Book

Recently published by Apress. Order a copy on Amazon.

jQuery seems to be mindlessly injected into the vast majority of web applications and libraries.  In some cases, there there may be no logical reason for pulling in jQuery as a dependency.  For example: a library that only needs to perform a few simple element selections or DOM manipulations. Many web developers don’t really know when they need to use jQuery, and when they don’t. Pulling in this dependency seems to be a standard step when setting up a new library or web application. You shouldn’t be a jQuery developer, you should be a web developer, and part of being an effective web developer is a firm grasp on the underpinnings of web development.

Surprisingly, while browsers and JavaScript have improved significantly, the use of jQuery on the web has actually grown. It is surprisingly common to learn jQuery first, and JavaScript along with the web API much later on (and sometimes not at all). Relying solely on jQuery as your window to the web leaves large gaps in your knowledge. This in turn results in frustration when the abstraction that jQuery provides “leaks” and exposes you to the native aspects of the browser. In some cases, jQuery is ill-equipped to solve problems (such as file uploading). In these instances, those insistent on working exclusively through a library struggle as they do not have the knowledge or confidence to deal directly with the native browser API.  

In addition to being unnecessary in many instances, jQuery may adversely affect the performance of your project (sometimes significantly). Even something as simple as $(element).hide() has unexpected and serious performance implications. “Beyond jQuery” aims to educate developers, reveal the magic behind jQuery, help them solve common problems without it, and give them more confidence to abandon their crutch and embrace the power of the web API and standardized JavaScript.

About the Author

Ray Nicholus
Ray Nicholus

Ray Nicholus is a software developer for Widen in Madison Wisconsin who has been heavily involved in browser-based front-end development for years. From a popular JavaScript cross-browser no-dependency file upload library, to widely used web components, he has spent quite a lot of time writing libraries and web applications.

Since 2012 he has also been the lead developer and product manager of Fine Uploader, a popular cross-browser no-dependency file upload JavaScript library with a large number of unique features. He also is heavily involved in the open source web application software community through his work on various software libraries dealing with web components, video and image manipulation, and file identification.

In addition to frequent coding outside of his day job, he spends much time speaking about web development topics. He’s presented to students at the University of Wisconsin and DePaul University regarding careers in software development. Furthermore, he has prepared and delivered presentations to many professional developers regarding the mysteries of Cross Origin Resource Sharing, the importance of automated testing, the File API web specification, and the web components specifications. He organized and taught a JavaScript 101 class targeted at interested professionals, and spoke about the usefulness of uploading files directly to Amazon’s Simple Storage Service from the browser via Fine Uploader.

His writing includes the “You Don’t Need jQuery” series of blog posts, articles on Google Glass, and a large number of articles that help developers integrate file uploading capabilities into their web application or library. He was also featured in an article in Fortune Magazine by Anne Fisher based on his experiences with Google Glass in the workplace.

You can find a complete list of his most notable articles at

Reader Testimonials

Robert DiBlasi
Robert DiBlasi

What makes Ray's approach interesting is the way he frames the discussion of "software developer" over "library integrator" or "jQuery programmer". Libraries & frameworks are just tools. Once you know the fundamentals, then you can make smart choices about why & when you might make use of such tools. You have options as a developer. "Beyond jQuery" has a very easy to read style. I like the way Ray gives confidence to the reader that they can use JavaScript instead of a library like jQuery.

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