What’s Different about JQuery from other Coding Languages?

JQuery may be its own language, but there are differences between JQuery and traditional yet similar programming language. Based on its syntax, it looks similar to other programming languages, but we will point out the differences that make JQuery an entirely separate language from such languages as Java and C++. Those are traditional, desktop and mobile programming languages. JQuery is built upon JavaScript, so that is what we are comparing to other languages.

JQuery is a Scripting Language

The first and most major difference is that JQuery is a scripting language. Unlike traditional programming languages, it is interpreted, not executed. In a traditional programming language, the sequence of events when you code is this:

•    Write code in the language syntax
•    Compile code using a compiler
•    Some languages then use a linker to create an executable
•    The program is then executed when needed.

JQuery has a different sequence of events. When inserted into HTML code, JQuery becomes part of the HTML document. Then,

•    The scripted document rests on the server until accessed
•    When accessed, the code is parsed by the browser and the code is interpreted
•    The appropriate JavaScript libraries are delivered to the browser for the JQuery code
•    The browser interprets the content and delivers it to the user in the HTML document.

Other major differences depend on the language that it is being compared to. There are languages that are like JQuery such as Ruby in how they function, and others that have significant differences. We will explore the major differences between JQuery and two of the most popular desktop languages, Java and C++.

JavaScript vs Java

Java Language Comparison to Javascript and its features

Java is an object-oriented, write-once-run-anywhere desktop, mobile, and sometimes Web programming language. By object-oriented, it means that each of the elements in the code (its functions) except for primitives such as integers and characters, are all referred to as objects. Each object inherits its properties from its parent class, or library of Java code that gives it those properties. In addition, it uses a runtime environment or a machine-specific program base. When you execute a Java program in that environment, the code that was compiled will run on any machine for which there is an available runtime environment. It has somewhat obtuse syntax, deriving its conventions from C and C++.

JavaScript is an object-oriented scripting language, on the other hand. JavaScript tends to be used for Web design, automation, and development while Java is traditionally a desktop programming language. Java can be run independently in the runtime environment or in a browser; however, JavaScript exclusively requires a browser to function. JavaScript language syntax tends to be tidy and easy to read by humans.

Jquery / Javascript Compilation

Java must be compiled into a class to be run; meaning, it must have its base code modified into language that is understood by the browser or runtime environment. JavaScript on the other hand is run in the browser directly, and the browser handles all of the interpretation and display. Therefore, there are no special needs for a compiler or any tools. JavaScript or JQuery code can be inserted directly into an HTML document and saved as plain text without having to do anything other than wait for a browser to access it. Compilation might matter only when it comes to a corporate Unix server vs Linux server.

Similarities to other languages

Both JavaScript and Java have language libraries available. In Java, these libraries form the API, or application programming interface which allows it to work with the runtime in either the desktop or browser. Similarly, JQuery is made up of JavaScript libraries, which are blocks of pre-written code that are interpreted by the browser as needed when referenced. The difference between them in libraries is that the inherited libraries must be compiled into the program after it is written and before it is run in Java. With JavaScript, libraries are called when needed and are downloaded from the server on the fly to replace a reference to them with a block of code to be interpreted.

JavaScript vs C++

Javascript compared to C++ programming language

C++ is used for regular and object-oriented desktop programming. It is the language of choice for most desktop-only applications as it is extremely powerful and flexible. Its object-oriented potential makes it easier for programmers to create and destroy parts of the program at runtime, making it useful for everything from creating a new document in a word processor to having an enemy disappear after being vanquished in a video game.

JavaScript is an object-oriented scripting language; C++ is not always object-oriented and is a compiled desktop language. JavaScript is used for Web development, while C++ is used almost exclusively for desktop development such as applications, and embedded development on microcontrollers and other devices.

C++ is written to optimize machine performance at the expense of syntax and simplicity for the user. JavaScript is a much easier language to write in although it sacrifices some performance to allow for this ease of writing.

C++ is more difficult to learn how to write “good” code in due to the difficulty of its syntax. And while it does have header files for the most common simple functions, all higher-level operations have to be written by hand. JavaScript is easy to write good code in, the syntax is easy, and even poorly written JavaScript may be more efficient than poorly written C++ due to the fact that libraries insert well-written code where necessary and the code remains fairly efficient even when not using all the best practices, which makes it a good language to write when deciding which programming language to learn first.

As we have seen, there are a lot of differences between JQuery and JavaScript and common desktop programming languages. However, learning JQuery syntax is a skill that does transfer over to learning the syntax of even the most difficult programming languages. Also, it means that your likelihood of success learning JQuery is high. Next, we will learn how to set up the programming environment, and later look at the code itself.

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