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jQuery Plugin Registry Future Unclear

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The jQuery Plugin Registry has switched to read-only mode and will no longer process any new plugin releases. Instead, developers are encouraged to publish their plugins to npm. Despite this, the future of the registry is uncertain.

Visitors to the jQuery Plugin Registry are greeted with a a terse message:

The jQuery Plugin Registry is in read-only mode. New plugin releases will not be processed.

Beyond this, jQuery offered no details on the move and no roadmap for the future. The npm blog put up a post introducing plugin developers to npm and provided a quick path to register a plugin. In addition, they've released a post on how to actually use the jQuery plugins registered with npm.

The switch to npm is due to the shift in the way developers integrate third-party libraries into their projects. The jQuery Plugin Registry merely listed plugins and offered links to external project web pages and downloads. It never offered an easy way to integrate those plugins into a project and updates had to be installed manually.

npm is a package manager and can directly hook a plugin's registration to the code itself. It has versioning and updates built-in; developers can update every referenced package with a single command.

This shift to npm is sudden. In mid-January 2015, announced it was joining the jQuery Foundation and mentioned that, "There will be a new version of that we will be taking an active role in." On the jQuery Plugin Registry site, there is still a link to a "Plugin Release Event" hosted on the site that indicates they'll be launching the new at a mid-year conference.

jQuery Foundation board member and CEO Steve Newcomb said in a video:

In the past, we've all gone on Google and searched for 'lightbox' or 'carousel' or 'slider' for jQuery and we've found millions of results and ended up lost in a sea of choice; not knowing whether the jQuery project was abandoned or in use.

One advantage to turning off the current registry and asking developers to switch over to npm is that the slate is wiped clean. Projects that are actively maintained will make the switch leaving the rest behind.

The jQuery Foundation has been tight-lipped about the move. Requests for comment from the jQuery Foundation and were not returned.

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