Semi-colon mystery explained, jQuery UI released

Javascript is a very mysterious language. Its prototypical inheritance structure and its function == object == function concepts are quite different compared to standard OO languages. As I did with PHP, I try my best to learn best good practices by studying frameworks I like, and in Javascript’s case that would be jQuery.

I had believed I figured out most of the conventions used in the jQuery source code, however a recent addition has been bugging me and I could not find a reasonable explanation for it – I’m talking about the mysterious semi-colons appearing at the beginning of some of the source files in the library. What is its purpose? Does it make the closure invisible to giant robots from outer space? I had no leads to go on.

This blog post by the jQuery.rule team however, reveals the truth about the semi-colon debacle – apparently they’re used for safe file concatenation (string join). Well that’s a load off my chest. You learn something new every day.

In related news, jQuery UI 1.5 has been officially released, says the jQuery enquirer. jQuery 1.5 is an extensive UI oriented extension to jQuery, and version 1.5 bring forth many improvements such as a tighter API, an effects library called enchant, a skinning mechanism and plenty of bug fixes. I’m just excited they finally updated their documentation, as I’ve been using it for a while going only by source code.

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