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AngularJS x jQuery

13 May 2016

In this article I’ll be discussing the main differences between jQuery and AngularJS. And for that purpose I’ll be checking a brief overview, firstly their main characteristics, secondly their advantages and disadvantages and finally see the best way of using them. So let’s dive in!

Characteristics

According to their websites, jQuery is a fast, small, and feature-rich JavaScript library, which provides an easy-to-use document traversal and manipulation, event handling, animation, and Ajax. AngularJS is a toolset for building the framework most suited to your application development.

Straight ahead jQuery is a library while AngularJS a toolset or framework, meaning they have distinctly goals and usage. While jQuery is focused on document traversal and manipulation, angularJS goes beyond implementing not just it but also a completely MVC environment to your front-end code.

jQuery - advantages / disadvantages

Browser compatibility is the key word nowadays related with jQuery, of course that there is some secondary advantages such as performance and learning curve, which sometimes is quite hard to measure, anyway if we compare to AngularJS, mainly due to their different conceptions, jQuery has a relevant advantage on those aspects.

Document traversal has been for over years one of the greatest advantages of the library, however as time goes by, browsers support for document traversing has significantly improved. Check out this great site which shows jQuery functionalities written in pure javascript.

JQuery syntax for document traversal is considerable reduced comparing to vanilla javascript, even though native methods use to be much faster.

Angular - advantages / disadvantages

Instead of giving you APIs to work with DOM, AngularJS gives you data-binding, templating, custom components, structures and concepts that apply across various projects, like Controllers, Services and Directives.

Admittedly angularJS has a considerable learning curve, however the benefits in terms of front-end code quality justifies its required initial effort.

AngularJS is made upon software object oriented design best practices, such as design patterns, SOLID principles and so on. Thus is a great idea, before using angularJS, having in mind the core concepts of those patterns.

Usage

AngularJS is a framework for building applications; jQuery is a library for simplifying “HTML document traversal and manipulation, event handling, animation, and Ajax”. This is the fundamental difference between them.

AngularJS is about architecture of applications, not augmenting HTML pages.

Having said that, jQuery is great for building small websites, blogs and simple apps, but if your thinking about rich web app, such as single page application, or defining a front-end framework basis, then AngularJS is what you need.


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