JavaScript vs jQuery: An In-Depth Comparison

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JavaScript vs jQuery: An In-Depth Comparison

Vinay Khatri
Last updated on August 23, 2022

    JavaScript and jQuery are front-end technologies, which means their code is executed at the client-side or inside the user's browser. Both the tools are used by web developers around the world to build interactive and dynamic web pages.

    Often, the comparison is drawn between the two technologies; JavaScript vs jQuery. Developers who have experience with both front-end tools have a good idea of the difference between JavaScript and jQuery.

    For others, here in this article, we have mentioned all the significant differences between JavaScript vs jQuery. In case if you are a beginner and confused between these two tools, this reading might help you decide which one to choose.

    What is JavaScript?

    JavaScript is a programming language that is used to make static web pages more interactive and dynamic. JS is one of the three pillars of front-end development. People who are seeking a career in web development have to learn JavaScript. It has Java in its name but has nothing to do with the Java programming language.

    The main objective of JavaScript is to control the static HTML pages and provide UI like moving objects, animations, pop-up screens, and client validation. It is a light-weighted and widely-used programming language, and to execute its code, we do not need to install a specific interpreter or compiler.

    Any web browser can execute JavaScript code. For executing JS code outside a browser, you need to use NodeJS. JavaScript follows both procedural and object-oriented programming paradigms . JavaScript is dynamic. This means the variable data type is determined at runtime. Its dynamic nature makes it one of the easiest programming languages and an ideal choice for beginners.

    JavaScript Example:

    var msg = " "Welcome to TechGeekBuzz."
    console.log(msg)

    What is jQuery?

    jQuery is one of the most popular libraries of JS. It is not a programming language but a library. A library is a collection of modules (code files) that contain pre-written code. Like jQuery, there are many other popular JavaScript libraries, such as Angular, React, and MooTools. jQuery is nothing but pre-written JavaScript code, and to learn jQuery, you need to know JavaScript.

    jQuery makes it easy for the developer to make impressive UIs with a few lines of code. The code which takes multiple lines in JavaScript can be replaced with a single line of jQuery code. It is an open-source library, which means you can use it for free and do not have to care about any license or fees. jQuery offers impressive cross-browser compatibility.

    Difference between JavaScript and jQuery

    1. Definition

    JavaScript is a programming language that makes web pages more dynamic and interactive. jQuery, on the other hand, is a JavaScript library. This means it is an extension of JavaScript.

    2. Dependency

    JS is a standalone programming language. jQuery is a library written on JavaScript. It has no existence without JavaScript.

    3. Type

    JavaScript is an interpreted, client-side programming language. It is also referred to as a web scripting language. jQuery is one of the oldest JavaScript libraries that contain predefined JavaScript functions.

    4. Code Length

    To build a UI using JavaScript, we need to write code from scratch, which is usually more. In jQuery, we get pre-written code that makes a JavaScript program concise.

    5. Use

    We can run JavaScript code within our browser, and for that, we do not need to install specific packages. jQuery code can also run on a browser, but to do so, we need to install the jQuery package in our system.

    6. Animation Programs

    To make an animation using JavaScript, we have to write many lines of code. This is not the case with jQuery. The JS library contains pre-written JavaScript code so that we do not need to write code from scratch for adding animations. Also, a simple animation that takes 100 lines in JavaScript can be made with merely 20 to 30 lines of jQuery code.

    7. Learning Curve

    JavaScript is a very easy language, and it has a low learning curve. jQuery is also easy, but to learn it, you first need to learn JavaScript.

    8. User-friendly

    It is very easy to code in JavaScript, but its advanced topics are complex. Once you are done with basic and intermediate JavaScript, you will find jQuery easy to use.

    9. Code Performance

    Pure JavaScript is faster than any of its libraries, including jQuery. The browser needs to convert jQuery code to JavaScript first, which makes jQuery slower as compared to JavaScript.

    10. Event Handling and AJAX Call

    JavaScript supports both features, but it would take many lines of code. jQuery also supports both event handling and AJAX call. Furthermore, it can perform these features with fewer lines of code.

    11. Community Support

    JavaScript has tremendous community support because every web developer has to go through this programming language. There are many JS libraries with humungous communities. jQuery is one of them. However, the jQuery community is a subset of the JavaScript community.

    JavaScript vs jQuery: A Head-to-Head Comparison

    JavaScript

    jQuery

    Basic Definition

    It is a programming language. It is a JavaScript library, i.e., it is an extension of JavaScript.

    Dependency

    JavaScript is a standalone programming language. jQuery is a library written in JavaScript.

    Type

    JS is an interpreted, client-side programming language. It is also referred to as a scripting language. It is one of the oldest JavaScript libraries.

    Code Length

    To build a UI using JavaScript, we need to write code from scratch. In jQuery, we get pre-written code.

    Use

    We can run JavaScript code within a web browser without installing specific packages. jQuery code can also run in a browser, but first, we need to install the jQuery package in our system.

    Animation programs

    To make an animation using JavaScript, we have to write many lines of code. A simple animation that takes 100 lines in JavaScript can be made with 20 to 30 lines of jQuery.

    Learning curve

    JavaScript is a very easy language, and it has a low learning curve. To learn jQuery, you first need to learn JavaScript.

    User Friendly

    It is very easy to start coding in JavaScript, but it has complex advanced topics. Once you are done with basic and intermediate JavaScript, you will find jQuery more user-friendly.

    Code Performance

    Pure JavaScript ( Vanilla JS ) is faster than any JS library. The browser needs to convert jQuery code to JavaScript first, which makes it slower as compared to JavaScript.

    Event handling and Ajax Call

    JavaScript supports both features, but it would take many lines of code. jQuery can perform these features with fewer lines of code.

    Community Support

    JS has huge community support. jQuery community is a subset of the JavaScript community.

    Conclusion

    This is the complete look into JavaScript vs jQuery. jQuery is a library, and like other JS libraries, it facilitates rapid development. It's always a good idea to use a library instead of writing code from scratch. With the library, we face fewer errors, and it enhances the development process.

    With jQuery, we can eliminate the common JavaScript errors which could fail our code during development. On the other hand, code written in JavaScript executes much faster than code written in jQuery. Moreover, there are many popular JavaScript libraries in the market that are decent alternatives to jQuery.

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    FAQs


    While JavaScript is a client-side scripting language, jQuery is a library based on JavaScript.

    Usually, plain JavaScript functions are faster than jQuery operations. The reason is that creating jQuery objects results in overhead.

    jQuery is a JavaScript-based library that makes it easy to use JavaScript for web development. There are many one-line functions in jQuery that perform tasks equivalent to JavaScript code that require multiple lines. On the flip side, JavaScript is a client-side as well as server-side (with Node.js) scripting language for creating dynamic websites and web applications.

    There is not even a single feature that jQuery can do and JavaScript cannot. As jQuery is developed in JavaScript, it performs only those functions that JavaScript supports.

    There is no option for you to use only jQuery. As jQuery is developed in JavaScript, it cannot exist without JavaScript. So, if you are using jQuery, you are definitely using JavaScript.

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