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Zepto and the rise of the JavaScript Micro-Frameworks
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Zepto and the rise of the JavaScript Micro-Frameworks

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Here are my slides from JSConf 2011 in Portland, Oregon. I was talking about Zepto, my micro-framework, WebKit-only (works on Firefox too, though) clone of the jQuery API, and why I think that …

Here are my slides from JSConf 2011 in Portland, Oregon. I was talking about Zepto, my micro-framework, WebKit-only (works on Firefox too, though) clone of the jQuery API, and why I think that Micro-Frameworks and Micro-Libraries are better suited for the mobile Web than traditional, monolithic libraries, like script.aculo.us, Prototype or jQuery. (A video of the talk is forthcoming and will be announced on my blog, http://mir.aculo.us).

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  • 1. Nano? Pico? Femto? Atto?Zepto! @thomasfuchs (cc) 2011 Thomas Fuchs
  • 2. “real” computer
  • 3. Fast and stable network connectionLots of storageFast, multi-core CPUsHardware-accelerated graphics
  • 4. Slow & unstable network connectionLimited storageSlow CPUsHardware acceleration only on iOS
  • 5. All major JS libs where createdbefore phones had web browsers towrite home about.
  • 6. Don’t use something because it’s popular.Use stuff because it’s the right tool for the job.
  • 7. WebKit
  • 8. Proprietary features
  • 9. Adoption of features from JavaScript frameworks
  • 10. Proprietary features are awesome
  • 11. CSS Selectors
  • 12. document.querySelectorAll(div.awesome > p)
  • 13. full featured CSS3 selectors// select all li elements with both "just" and "testing"classnamesdocument.querySelectorAll(li.just.testing)// how many paragraphs?document.querySelectorAll(p).length// select even paragraphsdocument.querySelectorAll(p:nth-child(2n+1))
  • 14. [].slice.apply(nodelist) convert to JavaScript array document.querySelectorAll returns a NodeList, not an array
  • 15. querySelectorAllFull-featured CSS selectorsNo need for external JavaScript librariesFast, native implementationReturns a NodeList, not an array
  • 16. JSON
  • 17. JSON.stringify({ s: a string, n: 123, d: new Date})
  • 18. JSON.parse({"some":"json","test":123})
  • 19. Native JSONParsing JSON (convert to JS object)Serializing JS objects to JSONFast, native implementationNo problem with security of “eval” as insome JavaScript-basedimplementations
  • 20. Array iteration
  • 21. [1,2,3].forEach(alert);
  • 22. [1,2,3].forEach(alert);array with three numbers
  • 23. [1,2,3].forEach(alert); forEach is a native function on arrays, taking a function argument
  • 24. [1,2,3].forEach(alert); call with window.alert function
  • 25. [1,2,3].forEach(alert);
  • 26. [].slice.apply(nodelist).forEach( function(element){ alert(element.innerHTML); } );Iterate through all elements found, alerting the element’s contents
  • 27. Array Iteration
  • 28. Array IterationNo more for loops required
  • 29. Array IterationNo more for loops requiredNo more for loops required
  • 30. Array IterationNo more for loops requiredNo more for loops requiredNo more for loops required
  • 31. Array IterationNo more for loops requiredNo more for loops requiredNo more for loops requiredNo more for loops required
  • 32. Array IterationNo more for loops requiredNo more for loops requiredNo more for loops requiredNo more for loops requiredNo more for loops required
  • 33. Mobile JavaScript framework?
  • 34. Why not usePrototype, jQuery or other frameworks?
  • 35. Some functionality is notsupported or not meaningful on mobile devices. resizing & scrolling orientation fixed positioning fonts SVG
  • 36. More code causes longer download and initialization times.
  • 37. Most of the downloaded code isn’t even used.(there’s no IE 6 to support on mobile phones, lucky us)
  • 38. A lot of the rest of the code isduplicating features that are directly available as native implementations.
  • 39. Goals for a mobileJavaScript framework
  • 40. Reduce code size as much aspossible to keep download and initialization times down.
  • 41. Easy to use API—possiblyemulating jQuery becausedevelopers already know it.
  • 42. Easy to extend and customize—again, jQuery has a familiar plugin/ extension mechanism
  • 43. Ideally, have a fallback mechanism in case it’s run on non-WebKit mobile browsers.
  • 44. It’s not so important what’s there, but what’s not there.
  • 45. Meet zepto.js http://github.com/madrobby/zeptoTarget size: 5KjQuery-compatible APIUses mobile WebKit features whenever possibleEasily replaceable with jQuery proper if neededDoesn’t cover all of jQuery (but lots of it!)
  • 46. 31.33K 4.83K Zepto (master) jQuery 1.6
  • 47. Various special cases
  • 48. Main use case $(some selector)
  • 49. this saves ~6k of selector engine code
  • 50. make sure dom is a JavaScript array
  • 51. swap out the prototype, but leave “length”and other properties intact, uses the proprietary __proto__ property
  • 52. Z.prototype is pointing to $.fn which holds all methods that are used on found elements
  • 53. Reusing array methods, works because we have an array-like object
  • 54. this is an array-like of resulting nodes and a Zepto object at the same time
  • 55. insertAdjacentElement is IE-proprietary, but supported by WebKit (doesn’t work on Firefox!)
  • 56. Zepto.js http://github.com/madrobby/zeptoCSS Selectors and DOM manipulationAjax including x-domain JSONPEvents (including touch events)Polyfills and bug fixes for older WebKitsModular (can leave out events, xhr, etc.)WebKit only! (with focus on mobile)
  • 57. /
  • 58. m.checkers.com
  • 59. One more thing…
  • 60. scriptaculous
  • 61. Prototype.js
  • 62. jQuery
  • 63. mootools
  • 64. Micro-Frameworks you/users are the rebels —the ewoks are helping you achieve your goals
  • 65. Classic frameworksDo all things and do it ok-ishForce you into an APINot modular/not modular enough25k+ minified & gzippedMany extensions are now availablein the DOM or JavaScript
  • 66. Micro-Frameworks (are awesome!)
  • 67. do one thing and do it really well
  • 68. smaller than 5k, minified & gzipped
  • 69. use directly or loosely coupled
  • 70. Small is beautifuleasier to understand code & forkdownloads and runs fasterfewer bugs (less code!)…and you’ll learn howJavaScript REALLY works
  • 71. {{ mustache }} ~ 1.5k
  • 72. Lawnchair ~ 2.0k
  • 73. Backbone.js ~ 3.9k
  • 74. But how do I know what’s out there?
  • 75. microjs.com
  • 76. Add your own!github.com/madrobby/ microjs.com
  • 77. Questions? @thomasfuchs