JQUERY

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Countless developers use jQuery software tools today to build advanced Web sites and to ease the difficulties of spanning multiple browsers.

Starting in about two weeks, though, they will start being able to extend their reach to the fast-growing world of the mobile Web as well. That’s when the alpha version of jQuery Mobile is planned to be released, jQuery founder John Resig told attendees of the Future of Web Apps conference here today.

JQuery is a library of pre-written JavaScript code that browsers can download when loading a Web site. JQuery Mobile is an extra option geared to reach a range of mobile browsers.

“We’re hoping to provide easier tools for making a scalable user interface,” said Resig, a Mozilla employee, in an interview at the conference. Specifically, he hopes to release the alpha version on September 16 at a jQuery conference in Boston, he said.

One major goal of the project is to reach more than the top-tier mobile Web browsers such as those used in Apple’s iOS, Google’s Android, and Hewlett-Packard’s Web OS, he said. JQuery Mobile will also reach BlackBerry OS and mobile versions of Windows, he said.

Many Web developers, if they support any mobile devices at all, support only iPhone or Android devices, he said.

“That’s because that’s what was sitting in front of them. What’s unfortunate is that ignores the larger issue,” he said, pointing to StatCounter Web browser usage statistics that show those developers are neglecting their major market.

“Opera is the most popular [mobile] browser, followed by BlackBerry,” which has gained an impressive 10 percentage points of usage share in the last year, he said. iPhone, in contrast, is tied for third place and actually losing share when it comes to overall mobile browsing usage.


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