Back to the basics

My latest weekend project (weep for short) has two objectives: first and more important, help me forget the hideous code I’ve been forced to clean for the last two weeks (and counting). Secondly, as any weep worth of its name, force me to learn something new. And what am I learning, would you ask? Apart from a new tool, I’m learning to un-jQuery myself.

In more simply worlds, I’m coding JavaScript without any lib. Do you remember the reasons for the existence of jQuery? Do you remember the browser wars of the nineties? Do you even remember the nineties? That was the time when, if you were doing some web development, you needed to write everything twice. One for each DOM. So, when jQuery and other libs, such as Prototype, arised we were released from the chains of rewriting and retesting for that SOB browser everyone has grown to hate.

But now we’re in the HTML5 era, that happy time when there’s not a single browser that can reach more than 85% of compliance with this not-so-standard standard. But they’re trying. And browser makers are implementing DOM related functionalities that don’t compete against each other.

So, instead of relying on the tried and trusted jQuery selectors I’m using pure JavaScript methods such as document.querySelector(), or even coding some small methods for AJAXing and (gasp) XML handling.

And then you look straight into my eyes and ask “why, oh why, are you working so much without need or reward”? Because I can. Because I want to learn some new skills, such as the new DOM and File APIs available in any self-respecting A-class browser. Because I’m afraid that, when the zombycalipse arrives, all jQuery will be banned from earth’s face… Pick one reason. I have more. Seriously.

It’s important to learn how to do something without clutches. In this world where self-appointed experts cannot code without IntelliSense or a full-fledged IDE we’re forgetting that all that crap relies on code and features that we don’t know how to use. Or even understand. Keep your skills fresh, my brother. Of course it will be useless for getting you a better job or even a raise. But your soul will thank you.