29th May, 2018 | Blog |

Create and Stay Lean with Zepto.js

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Zepto.js is the lean and agile JavaScript library designed for fast-paced developers on modern browsers. The syntax and APIs used in Zepto are identical to the ones on jQuery. This means that if you understand how to use jQuery, you shouldn't have a problem with Zepto either. What differentiates Zepto from its bulkier contender, is the fact that it comes with a truly optimised library for a mobile, and a lightweight package.

Zepto.js is agile because it gets rid of the cross-browser stuff and focuses on simple creation. When the system was first established, it was designed to focus Webkit's mobile version. Now, it's expanded to support modern desktop browsers too. Another area where Zepto keeps its lean architecture is in features. The core library doesn't come with any unnecessary functionality. Even the animation and AJAX functions come as separate modules.

Can You Simply Swap jQuery with Zepto?

Type a quick search for Zepto into Google, and you'll find plenty of people asking whether they can simply swap jQuery for it's smaller brother. In some ways, the two solutions are interchangeable. For instance, Zepto's API mimics jQuery to a large degree. This helps to reduce the learning curve of getting used to Zepto for many developers. Additionally, most of the often-used methodologies like Dom manipulation follow the same strategies.

Of course, it's not an exact match. Zepto does forgo some of the methods in jQuery that might break a code. Since Zepto is a subset of jQuery, there's also a chance that using this tool alone could mean that you miss out on specific functionalities. You can't necessarily swap jQuery with Zepto and expect everything to work in the same way. However, if you're looking for a simpler and more minimalist version of jQuery then this could be the solution for you.

Exploring the Core and API Experience with Zepto

To give you a quick insight into what working with Zepto is like, let's take a look at the code. As mentioned above, jQuery and Zepto are very similar, so if you're already used to working with jQuery, then you shouldn't have a problem working with Zepto.

For instance, if you want to change the HTML contents of a container in your creation, then all you need to do is call out the HTML method on the container. For animations, Zepto uses the "animate" method that should handle most of the engaging content you want to create for your application or website. Additionally, if you want to Append or Prepend an element in a container, then you can use the same strategy as you would with jQuery. Zepto uses the prepend and append methods and the invocation is the same for both frameworks.

From an "Event" perspective, Zepto provides today's developers with a range of simple methods to use to get their events in place. Most of your work will be done through the "on" coding method. Zepto also comes with a few functionalities specifically for mobile creations like the "swipe" motion feature, the "tap" trigger, and the "Double tap" option. You can also enter "long taps" for elements touched for more than 750ms.

Remember, while Zepto comes ready to use, you can also add modules into the mix too. Running the build system that comes with the Zepto source code means that you'll be able to select specific modules, run tests on your projects and minify your custom build.

Should You Start Using Zepto?

As a simple and lightweight version of the jQuery coding experience, Zepto has a lot to offer. It's easy to use, accessible, and the learning curve is practically non-existent. Of course, as with all coding and developer decisions, the tools that you use will be dependent on the projects you're working on and the clients you're trying to support.

At its core, Zepto was designed as a clutter-free and lean version of jQuery that could help you to make the most of creation on mobile devices. As time has passed by and developer needs have evolved, Zepto.js has transformed into a lean library that helps to create simple and engaging experiences with as little complexity as possible.

If you're locked into using specific plugins in jQuery to help you serve your clients, then you might not be able to enjoy Zepto in the same way. However, if you are looking for something a little more simple and lightweight then it might be worth giving Zepto a try. You can check out some of the modules and support information at the Zepto.js website here.

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