jQueryjQuery is said to be a fast and concise JavaScript Library that simplifies HTML document traversing, event handling, animating, and Ajax interactions for rapid web development. A library, in programming terms, is a collection of pre-written methods for doing specific tasks. If you are new to JavaScript, or need to develop something quickly, then using a library such as jQuery can speed up the coding process.

An example of some of the core jQuery methods in action can be found here. This utilises the jQuery methods 'fadeIn', 'delay' and 'fadeOut' to continuously cycle through a number of quotes, fading a quote in to view, leaving it visible for a short time, then fading it out, before the next one is made visible.

As well as the core jQuery library, there are also numerous plugins available, which utilise the core library and enhance its functionality to do specific tasks. Some examples of popular jQuery plugins include:

  • Slinky - Allows you to easily create a menu where there are a number of sub-menus.
  • Tabslet - This is one of a number of jQuery plugins that allows the easy creation of a tab structure.
  • nanoGALLERY - Allows for the easy creation of an image gallery, including multi-level navigation within albums, hover effects, slide shows and more.
  • Typeahead.js - If you are looking to include a search facility on a website, this plugin can be used to provide autocomplete functionality, with suggestions whilst the user types.
  • Lettering.js - For those that wish to have granular control over individual characters in type, this plugin is ideal. 

These are just a small number of the plugins available for jQuery.

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