At Libero Net we create rich, interactive website applications for our clients on a daily basis. Whilst there is nothing we love more than beautifully crafted semantic HTML5 and CSS3 code (seriously we do, it’s our bread and butter), sometimes it just isn’t enough. Sometimes you just need that little extra something that makes your website ‘pop’.
That is were the magic of jQuery comes in.
We live by the DRY coding principle ( Don’t Repeat Yourself ) – we are master recyclers and super efficient. And… thanks to the massive popularity of jQuery and the overwhelming amount of high quality jQuery plugins, you too could be a super efficient web scientist!
To make your life easier, we have compiled a list of five awesome jQuery plugins. These plug-ins will not only save you time and energy, they will make you an internet rockstar*.
- Lightbox 2
Lightbox is a simple, unobtrusive script used to overlay images on top of the current page. It’s a snap to setup and works on all modern browsers.
Author: Lokesh Dhakar
Use: Gallery and Image
noty is a jQuery plugin that makes it easy to create alert – success – error – warning – information – confirmation messages as an alternative the standard alert dialog.
Author: Nedim Arabacı
Use: Fancy up the boring standard alert boxes.
Timeago is a jQuery plugin that makes it easy to support automatically updating fuzzy timestamps (e.g. “4 minutes ago” or “about 1 day ago”).
Author: Ryan McGeary
Use: Converts your microformat timestamps to the more popular human readable time stamps.
- jQuery Validate
The jQuery Validation Plugin provides drop-in validation for your existing forms, while making all kinds of customizations to fit your application really easy.
Author: Jörn Zaefferer
Use: Validate the input of your forms with ease.
- Motion CAPTCHA
MotionCAPTCHA is a jQuery CAPTCHA plugin, based on the HTML5 Canvas Harmony procedural drawing tool by Mr Doob and the $1 Unistroke Gesture Regonizer algorithm (and the more recent Protractor algorithm improvement), requiring users to sketch the shape they see in the canvas in order to submit a form.
Author: Joss Crowcroft
Use: Easily the coolest plug-in on the list. You know those forms that require you to enter the messed up text to prove that you are not a robot from the future hell bent on destroying the world? Well now you can protect yourself against those robots by using a motion gesture instead of a cryptic puzzle. Sweet!
That concludes our list of five useful jQuery plugins to streamline your development. If you know of any other plug-ins that deserve to be mentioned, let us know in the comment section below.
*we cannot guarantee that using the above jQuery plugins will make you an internet rockstar!