JQuery continues to prove its worth in simplifying HTML development. The most popular JavaScript library in use today offers unparalleled features, support and development tools for the creation of dynamic, user-friendly Web applications and services. As with any progressive technology, jQuery is still progressing. Let's take a look at some of the top developments in the world of jQuery, including two new beta releases in jQuery and a new version of jQuery mobile.

Recently, the jQuery blog announced that two new beta versions are now available. The two versions, jQuery 1.11 and 2.0, offer some intriguing changes and opportunities for users {developers?} to exercise even more of their creative juices within the library. The biggest overarching change is the increased use of the AMD developer engine. Since version 1.7, jQuery supported the loading of its library by an AMD loader. The new beta versions take it a step further, with the internal AMD replacing the modular build system that had been utilized in previous iterations.

Additionally, jQuery developers announced several new features that aim to decrease the library's startup time. API will no longer appear unless called, and the organization put a stop to several situations in which jQuery forced a page layout unnecessarily. These features are aimed especially at increasing the efficacy of jQuery development on the jQuery mobile platform. Several bug fixes also appear in the new release that will streamline the use of jQuery on Internet Explorer 11 and Chrome.

The developers also noted that the new release does away with the sourcemap comment, which had been the cause of confusion and the mistaken belief that the jQuery library was malfunctioning. The feature will still be made available, but will have to be added manually.

JQuery Mobile releases version 1.4.0
The recent unveiling of the first release candidate for jQuery Mobile 1.4.0. brought a flurry of performance enhancements and jQuery widget development. According to jQuery Mobile, the new framework will improve the functionality of the library for mobile development and use.

New widgets include ones for generic filtering and flip switching. The new version also saw the integration of the tabs widget from the jQuery UI, while popup arrow and slider tooltip offerings enhance development functionality. The framework's developers reduced document object model (DOM) manipulation in order to improve performance by removing the inner markup for button elements. A more streamlined framework stems from a reduction of the classes added to the native element. Themeing was also a major focus in development.

"One of the biggest changes is the way theme inheritance works. In previous versions, we used JavaScript to find the nearest parent element with a theme and added theme classes to all elements," jQuery Mobile programmers wrote on their blog. "This has been replaced by a pure CSS solution where the level of specificity of the selector determines what theme (swatch) is applied. In almost all cases the default for option theme has been removed and widgets get the same theme as their container or page via CSS."

As these new iterations become more widely used for HTML5 development, it's crucial that programmers experience new jQuery components firsthand.