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The SharePoint Hillbilly Fewer Big Words... More Pretty Pictures...

So, to step back up on my soapbox for a quick moment. The buzz and the noise around jQuery and Client Side development in general is growing and at a fairly rapid pace. This of course is good and bad. It’s good because our applications are becoming more and more user friendly and the visual appeal is increasing exponentially a well.  Plus, as developers, we get to develop some pretty awesome functionality that before we would have had to crack open Visual Studio to get the same results. It’s definitely an exciting time.

However, with this mass adoption comes a lot of headaches. Users are copying and pasting random scripts they find online (and not telling their administrators and developers about it). Developers are writing bad JavaScript and jQuery because they simply don’t know any better. In addition, many less-than-well-rounded developers are making jQuery their “go-to” language because that’s what they know, and hey “it works” so, “why not”?  right?

Unfortunately, with jQuery it also becomes exponentially easier to break a page, cause bad performance, or in some instances bring down your farm. Add to that new technologies like Windows 8 and more and more applications moving to the cloud, client side development is only going to continue to grow. It becomes more critical every day that developers make the right decision as to HOW and WHEN they should be using tools like jQuery. 

To help you guys make this decision for you projects I implemented the little quiz below. If I did my job right and weighted the scores properly it should give you a fairly accurate response and let you know if jQuery is even an option for what you are considering for your environment.  And hey, it was fun to write, so even if the scoring is way off it was a nice break from my normal work routine.  Smile

Go ahead, give it a try. If you have suggestions for more questions or for changing the weighting to be more accurate, I’d love the feedback. As always, thanks for stopping by! 




Do you know JavaScript and CSS? Do you have the ability to debug your scripts and understand what they are doing? Are you NOT just copying and pasting someone else’s script you found floating around out there?

Do you need to manipulate large amounts of data? Do you need to scrape data from tables to build charts/graphs or make web service (client object model) calls to retrieve many rows of data (more than a couple hundred) and iterate through them.

Do you have a plan to maintain and deploy your scripts. Do you know where your scripts are going to live and how you are going to reference them? Do you know how you plan to update the scripts and test these updates?

Do you have to ability to deploy custom solutions (.WSP files). jQuery is a great too when you simply don’t have another choice. In SharePoint 2007 you have to have access to the server to deploy custom code, however in SharePoint 2010 you do get access to Sandbox Solutions which are great option.

Do you have Visual Studio? One of the great things about JavaScript/jQuery is that all you really need is a document library, a CEWP, and notepad.

Does the success of your project rely on quickly modifying and deploying functionality per endless user requests.. I mean.. These guys can't make up their mind.. One day they want blue text, five minutes later they want it red… oh.. And while you're at it can you make that button two pixels larger... really??

Is performance a concern? Is it okay that your page takes 8 seconds to load because the client is doing business calculations that may be done more quickly and efficiently on the server side if this were managed code?

Is this an external facing site where you have no control over what type of computer or browser the user will be using? jQuery is executed on the client computer and if you are using jQuery on an external facing site, you have no control over which browser a user is using or how old and slow it may be. Make sure to tell your external apps in every configuration known to man… twice…

Is visual appeal and usability a major concern? Do the users like animations, or changing colors, or instant feedback while clicking around? Do you get “oohs” and “ahhs” for the simple stylish things that are secretly the easiest part of the application?

Could you develop the same functionality in .NET more quickly and efficiently? Again, just because you know jQuery, doesn’t mean you should use it for everything.

Are you willing to take responsibility for the script you deploy to your site? End users should not be copying and pasting scripts they find online and then whining to their IT department when it doesn’t work right or effectively. If you are going to use jQuery, take responsibility for problems it may cause.

Have you thoroughly tested the scripts on systems similar to the ones your users will be using? Just because it works on your computer, doesn’t mean every user will have a pleasant experience. Take the effort to test and test extensively. Again, for external sites, test, test, test, test, and then test… followed by testing…

Should you be using jQuery?

Answer the questions to calculate your score.

Calculated Score:
Posted on Monday, December 12, 2011 9:20 PM | Back to top

Comments on this post: Online Quiz: Is jQuery a valid option for your project?

# re: Online Quiz: Is jQuery a valid option for your project?
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Nice quiz. I honestly answered and scored 14. The floating window however is really annoying (especially trying to read the first part of the article).
Left by Bil Simser on Dec 12, 2011 10:08 PM

# re: Online Quiz: Is jQuery a valid option for your project?
Requesting Gravatar...
Thanks Bil,

Yeah, I agree about the floating window, but I like the overall effect it gives, and it *is* a jQuery post. ;) Let me see what I can do to find something better or get it out of the way.. good thing I used jQuery.. should be simple enough to rectify.

Left by Mark Rackley on Dec 12, 2011 10:16 PM

# re: Online Quiz: Is jQuery a valid option for your project?
Requesting Gravatar...
Thanks for this. I sent a comment to your last post. Makes me feel like I'm definitely on the right track with jQuery. I got a 16. Apparently I was 'being silly'. =P
Left by David on Dec 13, 2011 9:42 AM

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