by Simon Email

After using a bit and feeling confused - particularly by the weird looking syntax - I've been reading about the Javascript library jQuery.

Understanding it requires both learning about some of the more obscure parts of Javascript syntax, and thinking in a kind of functional programming way.

I'm used to thinking in an "object oriented way". With jQuery you're often dealing with the result of a function, rather than an individual object.

The way you chain functions together ends up making it look a little like lisp.

Being an old-timer I can't get over how quickly jQuery has come to prominence - it was invented at the tail end of 2005.

The other strange thing is that what is an elegant bit of tricky programming syntax and concepts has come to be used for lots of visual trickery. It's fusing some serious language skills with graphic design, and brings together two quite disparate communities...