jQuery Under the Hood with Paul Irish

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If you’ve never poked around inside of jQuery, you should. Paul’s videos are a great way to get started

I decided to ring in the new year with two of Paul Irish’s videos that I had book-marked, but had not gotten around to viewing: 10 Things I Learned from the jQuery Source and 11 More Things I Learned from the jQuery Source.

In these two videos, you have Paul’s screen, so that you can follow his code, and a small sub-screen of his head while he talks, so that you can follow his hilarious commentary and thought pattern. My only complaint: there is so much good stuff here to dive into that it takes an hour to watch a 30 minute video because of the constant temptation to hit “pause” and then fire up JSFiddle and play around with the concepts that he discusses.

10 Things I Learned from the jQuery Source – YouTube

In general, exploring the un-minified version of jQuery is just plain ol’ good sense. There is a tendency to simply use jQuery and treat it as some magic black box that “just works, and works great…” But the fact of the matter is, there is only one thing going on inside of that giant self-executing function: JavaScript. That is it.

Everything that jQuery does for you, you could have done for yourself… but, jQuery is better, stronger and faster than the average bear. Fair enough. But, that does not mean that we should not lift up the hood, poke around and learn from the code inside… because what is going on in there is pretty dammed cool. The jQuery folks do things in some very interesting ways and there are tons (and I do mean tons) of neat stuff to learn from.

11 More Things I Learned from the jQuery Source – YouTube

Highlights of Paul’s videos include a brief discussion of jQuery’s “no conflict” feature,  his decision to hijack the .ready() method, and a hilarious discussion of how jQuery detects the presence of Internet Explorer (and the technique used is just so brilliantly creative that I had to once again pause the video, copy the code while squinting at the YouTube page, and try it in notepad myself… it just works).

If you are a JavaScript developer, you owe it to yourself to check out these videos. Paul Irish is pretty funny, and he is one of the top web developers out there. This combination makes all of his videos a pleasure to watch (and most importantly, to learn from).