JavaScript and jQuery are extremely popular in the web development world and as a beginner, a person is sure to be confused about JavaScript and jQuery. Some think that jQuery is an alternative to JavaScript while others think that jQuery is actually a replacement of JavaScript which is outdated. To clarify the confusion, one needs to understand the differences between them and their applications. Technically speaking, jQuery is a part of JavaScript and it is actually a set of JavaScript libraries.

What Is JavaScript –

Before you can understand jQuery, you need to understand what JavaScript is as jQuery is a part of JavaScript in the true sense. jQuery is designed to write less codes in JavaScript to achieve the requirements. JavaScript is a scripting language designed for creating interactive components that can run in a web browser. It is considered to be an integral part of any web development along with HTML and CSS. Apart from web development, it can be used for various other non-browser applications.

JavaScript is probably the most undervalued programming language. It can be used with the object-oriented approach as well as procedural approach. Since it is used in literally all websites, all the web browsers have inbuilt JavaScript interpreter. Even though its name is linked with Java, it has nothing to do with Java at all. You can create dynamic objects like animations, slideshows, innovative galleries, eye-catching layout and almost anything you want for your user interface. Initially, JavaScript was made for client-side coding but now, it can be used for server-side coding.

What Is jQuery –

jQuery is a set of JavaScript libraries that have been designed to simplify the codes for various interactive works for Ajax. It is a cross-platform library set suitable for client-side scripting only. The coding is as simple as it gets for animations, event handling, different HTML elements and likewise. jQuery is lightweight, faster, and developer-friendly. The idea behind jQuery is not to replace JavaScript but to make the developers use JavaScript more on the web projects by writing fewer codes.

Differences Between JavaScript And jQUery –

Fundament Difference – The basic difference between JavaScript and jQuery is that JavaScript is a scripting language while jQuery is a library. Therefore, the scope of JavaScript is unlimited while jQuery has fewer applications as per its library set. While JavaScript was developed to be an integral part of web development, jQuery was developed to popularized JavaScript and make faster development. As a matter of fact, jQuery is written in JavaScript only. It is one of the many JS files JavaScript includes. You have to know JavaScript to know jQuery effortlessly. With different inbuilt library functions, the coding has become simplified, clean, and efficient. JavaScript is a combination of DOM and ECMAScript while jQUery is a DOM only.

Developer-Friendly – jQuery is developed to make JavaScript more developer-friendly so that web developers use JavaScript more regularly and extensive rather than just for the necessities. When it takes a lot of time and space to write codes in JavaScript to achieve a purpose, jQuery will do it with minimal lines of codes and hence, the coding will be clean, readable, and efficient. There are certain in-built library functions in jQuery whose scripts already exist in the library. If a developer does not use jQuery, he has to write those background scripts all by himself which is naturally time-consuming.

Features – JavaScript has become essential for client-side web development. As a matter of fact, its role in the server-side is increasing exponentially. jQuery, on the other hand, is only applicable on the client-side and it has highlighted a few new features of JavaScript that developers were not aware of. For example, using JQuery, you can perform specific actions on specific parts of a website without needing to reload the entire website. jQuery has changed the way people used to write codes in JavaScript. Interestingly, there are various alternatives to jQuery available in the market like PJF, MooTools, YUI Library but JavaScript is irreplaceable.

Performance –

Plain JavaScript is faster than jQuery but when you start writing complex logical codes with JavaScript and jQuery, JQuery always outperforms. Furthermore, there could be an underperformance in the coding writing by the developers in JavaScript when the logic is complex as it gets lengthy. In such a scenario, incorporating jQuery will make the coding writing easier and readable boosting the performance of the developers. Using jQuery, you can avoid various browser complicacies than arise with pure JavaScript.

Final Verdict –

In true sense, JavaScript and jQuery are not different as jQuery is an extension part of JavaScript. In terms of functionality and purpose, jQuery is more developer-friendly as they have to write fewer codes in jQuery which takes a lot of lines of JavaScript code to achieve. Naturally, jQuery is lightweight, fast, and somewhat more efficient. But JavaScript can do anything that jQuery can do and jQuery cannot do everything JavaScript can do. JavaScript is independent while jQuery is dependent on JavaScript and has no identity without JavaScript.