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jQuery 3.3.1 out, Team Preps for 4.0


jQuery has pushed out version 3.3.1, a new minor version with a new feature and several deprecations in preparation for jQuery 4.0.

In a blog post, jQuery core team lead Timmy Willison says that the focus of jQuery has started to lean towards removing features:

Generally, jQuery is not looking to add anything new. We tend to focus more on what we can remove rather than what we can add.

That being said, version 3.3 does include a single new feature which enables .addClass(), .removeClass(), and .toggleClass() to accept an array of classes. There are also a number of deprecations to prepare developers for removal in jQuery 4.0. Some methods now deprecated include .now, .isWindow, and .camelCase. Willison writes that in jQuery a deprecation does not necessarily mean guaranteed removal:

We do not consider the deprecation of a method to mean that it will be removed; it means that we encourage the use of alternatives.

To clarify, many of the deprecations will be removed, but some will remain indefinitely.

Willison mentions these deprecations in the context of jQuery 4.0, but there is not much information available on this future version. In a GitHub issue, Willison describes some of the goals for jQuery 4.0 include a "complete rewrite using next generation JavaScript" and a new jQuery 4.0 Event Design. There are numerous issues on the GitHub issue tracker labeled 4.0, though many of them are from 2016.

jQuery is still a very popular JavaScript library, yet its use is polarizing. Some say that jQuery is no longer needed and that developers can program for the modern web without it. While true, others, like Remy Sharp, say that jQuery is still relevant and worth learning in today's web:

jQuery is prolific in today's web and there's an extremely high chance that you'll use it in your career. You certainly don't need jQuery today. Nor do you need to learn jQuery. However, jQuery is far from dead, dying, outdated or irrelevant. It serves many developers from many different walks of life.

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