Why jQuery Mobile is not relevant anymore

Written by on January 26, 2016

Why jQuery Mobile is not relevant anymore

In the next few days, weeks, months next jQuery Mobile version will finally see the light of day. I’m not talking about a particular time frame mostly because version 1.5 is more than one year behind a schedule.

To celebrate this occasion, I want to share few thoughts with you. Abandon the ship, for God’s sake, leave this sinking boat. Whatever may be of this version, know one thing, this framework is not relevant anymore.

There, I said it. You heard me right; a time has come to abandon a ship called jQuery Mobile. The last few years I was a great advocate of this framework, I don’t want to do that anymore, there’s no point. I need to admit it to myself; jQuery Mobile is dead. We can debate this claim, we can call it a walking dead, but dead is still dead, and no amount of resuscitation will bring it back.

jQuery Mobile is dead, dead I tell you

Let’s get straight. The last major jQuery Mobile version was released more than two and a half years ago. From one perspective, this does not sound bad, but from the software development point of view, it was a long time ago. Both Ionic framework and Onsen UI were born in that same time frame, give or take few months. They can do everything like jQuery Mobile and they can do it better in any category you can think off.

According to the statement of one jQuery Mobile developer, this delay is attributed to jQuery Mobile + jQuery UI merger. Yes, you will be able to combine another outdated framework with jQuery Mobile. Oh, I’m feeling all warm and fuzzy inside.

For a debate sake, let’s say this is a good move. We will be able to use jQuery UI widgets with jQuery Mobile. But what would be the point? Mobile frameworks are no longer needed when we have responsive frameworks like Bootstrap and Foundation.

Some of you may say; Bootstrap and Foundation are only UI frameworks, they don’t offer advantages jQuery can provide. What advantages? jQuery is a glorified DOM manipulating library. It is probably the best DOM manipulating framework, but what about features other modern frameworks can offer out of the box, like MVC/MVVC/MV-whatever, two-way binding, or even ES6/Truescript support? It’s 2016; these features are must have.

Finally, let’s talk about communication. For some reason, jQuery Mobile developers don’t like to communicate with outside world. When was the last time you read a jQuery Mobile related article featuring any framework developer? I can’t remember, probably when a framework was still in 1.2 phase.

What about jQuery Mobile GitHub repo? It’s dead as a doornail. A large number of opened issues don’t have a single answer, and those that have are usually not covered by official developers.

Twitter? What Twitter, they don’t do Twitter.

So what can we do?

My advice, learn modern frameworks like Angular or ReactJS. They will change how you see JavaScript; and admit it, there’s more to life than jQuery. Let jQuery Mobile rest in peace and be done with it.


5 thoughts on “Why jQuery Mobile is not relevant anymore”

    • To a certain point you can have best of both worlds. OnsenUI 2 is platform agnostic so you can use it with any framework you like, including jQuery. This way you will be able to use the same knowledge but with a more advanced framework.

  1. I hate to admit it but it makes a lot of sense. I’ve been procrastinating on learning AngularJS just for the simple fact that I don’t like change and I hate to have to go back and make things better when I see how they could have been but I’ll be damned if this doesn’t make me re-think my position on it.

    • Things can still change. Funny enough, three days after this article, jQuery Mobile blog developers posted a blog article covering 1.5 status. We may see it soon and it may surprise us.

  2. Hyperbolic articles like this make me think the software community is as mature as 12 years old discussing weather Nintendo or Sega is better.

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