A couple of weeks ago, a new version of jQuery was released and it seems that the change is a little bigger than most developers anticipated. The most significant improvement is the rewrite of the Ajax module, but we will get to that in a second. All in all, the 1.5 version of jQuery comes with 83 bugs fixes and a total of 460 closed tickets. Let’s take a look at some of the changes you will eventually notice if you play around with it library for a little bit. If you want to get an in-depth perspective, you can always read the full jQuery 1.5 API Documentation from their official website.
Fixing Gaps in Ajax
In the previous version, jQuery.ajax returned XMLHttpRequest, but now it will return a jXHR object, which is probably the biggest change since it will give you the possibility to create quite a few actions that you couldn’t create before in jQuery. You will also notice the addition of prefilters, converters and transports, but if you want to go into detail, you should take a look at the Ajax documentation available here.
One of the biggest improvements brought by jQuery 1.5 is speed. No matter what browser you use, the 1.5 version will perform better or much better than 1.4.4 did. The most significant differences can be noticed in Safari and Chrome, but the overall performance is much better than it was before in any type of browser. The in-depth statistics regarding the performance of jQuery 1.5 can be found here.
Should You Make the Change?
If you are currently working on a big project, you should take a look over the bug list and see if some of the bugs might affect your future work. If you are in the clear, you can continue using jQuery 1.4.4 for now, but you should definitely make the change once you start your next assignment. Those who are just getting started should make the switch as soon as possible because the new version of jQuery is not only faster, but it also offers new possibilities thanks to the Ajax modifications.
Other jQuery 1.5 Advantages
In the end, the team at jQuery managed to create a much better version than the one we’ve seen before and it seems that this library is heading in the right direction. If you stayed away from jQuery until now, you should reconsider and give it a go.