jQuery 3.2.1 has just been released only a few days after 3.2.0. It raises the question of whether or not jQuery is still relevant?
One big problem with jQuery is that it can be difficult to find out exactly what its advantages are. The big up-front claim is that jQuery smooths out the differences between browsers and as far as I'm concerned this is enough justification for using it. Today many of its critics are under the impression that they only have to code for Chrome or that modern browsers have ironed out their differences - they haven't. The idea that you can code using jQuery and if it doesn't work on one of the supported browsers the jQuery team will fix it, is a huge advantage.
jQuery tends not to explain what it is doing for you and hence my guess is that many programmers use features that they assume are the way the browser works without jQuery.
So what was new in 3.2.0?
The simple answer is "not much" and this is good.
The only new notable feature is an extension to the way the css function works. It can now access CSS custom properties. In case you have missed, it you can now add CSS custom properties which all begin with two dashes --myCustomProperty. Notice that the css function already did more than you might have expected, in that it returned css computed properties.
More of a nusiance is the deprecation of holdReady, nodeName and isArray. Removal of outmoded parts of jQuery is essential to keeping the code base small, but the cost is that we have to keep on returning to our code and changing the way things are done.
There is even less that is new in 3.2.1 as it is just a bug fix for bugs introduced in 3.2.0 - unfortunate but it happens.
Ian Elliot is the author of Just jQuery: The Core UI published last month which covers jQuery 3 and is still bang up to date.
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