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JavaScript Cookbook, 2nd Edition by Shelley Powers

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Chapter 7. Creating and Using JavaScript Libraries

You need to know what JavaScript can do, which is why this book primarily features native JavaScript examples. For the most part, though, you’ll use libraries and/or frameworks to create your applications, because these essential tools make your job so much easier.

This chapter takes a look at finding that perfect library, as well as using libraries for tasks that are complex or mundane. It looks at incorporating the popular jQuery library into your application, as well as how to use some of the various jQuery plug-ins—libraries built on top of the jQuery framework.

But the Web does not live by jQuery alone. There are other libraries, such as Underscore.js, providing a host of useful utilities. And there are special-purpose libraries created for specific business needs. We focus so much on developing the UI (user interface) that we forget that libraries can help with basic math and date functionality, as well as provide handy UI functionality, such as managing keystrokes.

No matter how many good libraries there are, though, sometimes you can’t find what you need, or what you need is specific to your own application(s). Then you need to create your own code—from scratch, or based on existing libraries—and do so in such a way that it can be used again and again (and is easily maintained, as well as clean, and, hopefully, bug free).

Finding the Perfect Library

Problem

You need functionality in your application, and you’re pretty sure someone ...

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