appendTo Aims To Commercialize jQuery Javascript Library

jQuery is a Javascript library that is used in a large number of web applications and is popular amongst web application developers. It was launched in 2006 by John Resig, and immediately gained a large following due to its lightweight nature and design philosophy. jQuery allows developers to build Javascript web applications easily by abstracting many of the complexities and difficulties. A developer with knowledge of CSS selectors and HTML would easily find their way around jQuery and be able to implement Ajax queries, effects and other tasks with a few lines of code.

A new commercial company called appendTo has launched recently with the goal of providing commercial support, training and development solutions exclusively around jQuery. The company was founded by members of the jQuery development team, and is lead by co-founder and CEO Mike Hostetler, who is both a jQuery core team member and previously a freelance developer/consultant. John Resig is not involved or affiliated with the company, and is employed by Mozilla as a developer.

The website for the new company does not reveal much other than the announcement press release and a contact form. What is more interesting is that the fast-paced rise in popularity of Javascript and frameworks such as jQuery has now lead to companies being setup to support them. It wasn’t too long ago, before Ajax and before the tidal wave of rich internet applications, that Javascript was considered nothing more than a hackish scripting environment for web pages. Frameworks such as jQuery solve many of the traditional pain-points with Javascript development – issues such as cross-browser support and separating code from markup and style. The growing popularity of web based applications and the rising number of web application developers owe a lot to Javascript frameworks and to jQuery. They provide an abstract layer and drastically lower the barrier of entry for developers to build rich web applications.

jQuery is well known because of its simple yet elegant approach to Javascript development. The library is small and modular, and has a very active developer community providing support, plugins and other resources online. JQuery is MIT licensed, meaning that it can be applied in commercial environments and within commercial applications with no intellectual property implications. It was for these reasons that Microsoft decided to support jQuery within the .NET MVC framework – a huge vote of confidence in both the framework and its community (Scott Guthrie, VP of the Microsoft Dev division, was full of praise for jQuery in his blog post announcing the support).

appendTo has sensed the opportunity with jQuery, and with the rising number of rich web applications being built are looking to capitalize on supporting and implementing one of the best and most popular Javascript libraries. It is the first company, that we know of, specifically setup around supporting and commercializing a single Javascript library.