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WebGL vs jQuery: What are the differences?


WebGL and jQuery are both popular tools used in web development, but they serve different purposes and have distinct features. Understanding their key differences can help developers choose the right tool for their specific needs.

  1. Language and Purpose: WebGL is a JavaScript API that enables rendering of 2D and 3D graphics within a web browser, using a computer's GPU for high-performance graphics. It is specifically designed for creating interactive and visually-rich applications. On the other hand, jQuery is a fast, small, and feature-rich JavaScript library aimed at simplifying HTML document traversal, event handling, and animation. It provides an easy-to-use framework for DOM manipulation and AJAX.

  2. Graphics vs. DOM Manipulation: WebGL focuses primarily on graphics rendering, providing a low-level API that allows developers to work directly with the GPU. It is well-suited for creating complex visualizations, games, and virtual reality experiences. jQuery, on the other hand, is primarily used for manipulating HTML elements, traversing the document structure, and handling events. It simplifies common tasks such as DOM manipulation, animations, and AJAX requests.

  3. Performance and Rendering: WebGL leverages a computer's GPU for hardware-accelerated graphics rendering, enabling highly efficient and optimized graphics processing. It can achieve smooth animations and handle large amounts of graphical data efficiently. In contrast, jQuery relies on the browser's JavaScript engine and does not directly utilize the GPU for rendering. While jQuery can handle basic animations and interactions, it may struggle with complex graphics-intensive tasks.

  4. Learning Curve and Complexity: WebGL requires a solid understanding of graphics programming concepts and is typically used by experienced developers. It involves working with shaders, buffers, and matrices, which can introduce a steep learning curve for those new to graphics programming. On the other hand, jQuery is known for its simplicity and ease of use. Its API is designed to be intuitive and developer-friendly, making it accessible to web developers of all skill levels.

  5. Community and Ecosystem: WebGL has a dedicated community of developers, artists, and enthusiasts who actively contribute to its ecosystem. There are numerous frameworks, libraries, and resources available for WebGL development, offering a wealth of options and support. jQuery, being one of the most widely-used JavaScript libraries, also has a large and active community. It has an extensive ecosystem of plugins and resources, making it easy to find solutions and support for common web development tasks.

  6. Compatibility and Browser Support: WebGL is supported by most modern web browsers, including Chrome, Firefox, Safari, and Edge. However, it requires a capable GPU and may not work on older or less powerful devices. jQuery, on the other hand, is designed to provide consistent functionality across different browsers and platforms. It is widely supported and can be used in almost all web browsers, including older versions.

In summary, WebGL is a high-performance graphics API used for creating interactive and visually-rich applications, focusing on graphics rendering and leveraging the GPU. jQuery, on the other hand, is a JavaScript library focused on DOM manipulation, event handling, and animation, providing an easy-to-use framework for web development tasks.

Decisions about jQuery and WebGL
Malek Boubakri
Web developer at Quicktext · | 0 upvote · 213.7K views

The project is a web gadget previously made using vanilla script and JQuery, It is a part of the "Quicktext" platform and offers an in-app live & customizable messaging widget. We made that remake with React eco-system and Typescript and we're so far happy with results. We gained tons of TS features, React scaling & re-usabilities capabilities and much more!

What do you think?

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kazi shahin
CTO at Blubird Interactive Ltd. · | 3 upvotes · 103.5K views

I've an eCommerce platform building using Laravel, MySQL and jQuery. It's working good and if anyone become interested, I just deploy the entire source cod e in environment / Hosting. This is not a good model of course. Because everyone ask for small or large amount of change and I had to do this. Imagine when there will be 100 separate deploy and I had to manage 100 separate source. So How do I make my system architecture so that I'll have a core / base source code. To make any any change / update on specific deployment, it will be theme / plugin / extension based . Also if I introduce an API layer then I could handle the Web, Mobile App and POS as well ? Is the API should be part of source code or a individual single API and all the deployment will use that API ?

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Manatsawin Hanmongkolchai

When I started TipMe, I thought about using React frontend. At the end, plain, simple jQuery won.

I had to build this iteration of the site fast and by using jQuery I could keep using Django as a full stack development tool. One important point is Django form (combined with Django Bootstrap3) means that I don't have to reinvent form rendering again, which will be the case with React.

Over time, more interactivity seeped into the site and React components start making its way into the codebase.

I now wish the site is built using React so that I could add more user friendly interfaces easier (no more fuddling with server states) but I would still say jQuery helped me get past those early days.

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Pros of jQuery
Pros of WebGL
  • 1.3K
  • 957
    Dom manipulation
  • 809
  • 660
    Open source
  • 610
  • 459
  • 395
  • 350
  • 281
  • 227
    Light weight
  • 93
  • 84
    Great community
  • 79
    CSS3 Compliant
  • 69
    Mobile friendly
  • 67
  • 43
  • 42
    Swiss Army knife for webdev
  • 35
    Huge Community
  • 11
    Easy to learn
  • 4
    Clean code
  • 3
    Because of Ajax request :)
  • 2
  • 2
  • 2
    Just awesome
  • 2
    Used everywhere
  • 1
    Improves productivity
  • 1
  • 1
    Easy Setup
  • 1
    Open Source, Simple, Easy Setup
  • 1
    It Just Works
  • 1
    Industry acceptance
  • 1
    Allows great manipulation of HTML and CSS
  • 1
    Widely Used
  • 1
    I love jQuery
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    Cons of jQuery
    Cons of WebGL
    • 6
      Large size
    • 5
      Sometimes inconsistent API
    • 5
      Encourages DOM as primary data source
    • 2
      Live events is overly complex feature
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      - No public GitHub repository available -

      What is jQuery?

      jQuery is a cross-platform JavaScript library designed to simplify the client-side scripting of HTML.

      What is WebGL?

      It is integrated completely into all the web standards of the browser allowing GPU accelerated usage of physics and image processing and effects as part of the web page canvas. Its elements can be mixed with other HTML elements.

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      What companies use jQuery?
      What companies use WebGL?
      See which teams inside your own company are using jQuery or WebGL.
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      What tools integrate with jQuery?
      What tools integrate with WebGL?

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      Blog Posts

      What are some alternatives to jQuery and WebGL?
      Bootstrap is the most popular HTML, CSS, and JS framework for developing responsive, mobile first projects on the web.
      JavaScript is most known as the scripting language for Web pages, but used in many non-browser environments as well such as node.js or Apache CouchDB. It is a prototype-based, multi-paradigm scripting language that is dynamic,and supports object-oriented, imperative, and functional programming styles.
      Lots of people use React as the V in MVC. Since React makes no assumptions about the rest of your technology stack, it's easy to try it out on a small feature in an existing project.
      AngularJS lets you write client-side web applications as if you had a smarter browser. It lets you use good old HTML (or HAML, Jade and friends!) as your template language and lets you extend HTML’s syntax to express your application’s components clearly and succinctly. It automatically synchronizes data from your UI (view) with your JavaScript objects (model) through 2-way data binding.
      jQuery Mobile
      jQuery Mobile is a HTML5-based user interface system designed to make responsive web sites and apps that are accessible on all smartphone, tablet and desktop devices.
      See all alternatives