jQuery Comes to Portland

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jQuery Conference Portland logo

jQuery Conference is back and better than ever! We’re excited to invite you to the City of Roses—Portland, Oregon on June 13 and 14, 2013 at the Oregon Convention Center. We’ve got more room (and lead time) than ever before, so if you haven’t been able to make it to a jQuery Conference in the past, this is your best opportunity yet!

We’re returning to our traditional two-track lineup, which means there’ll be lots to learn and even more chances to speak. Early-bird registration is open right now, but we only have a limited number of slots, so you definitely want to act fast.

Call For Papers

A conference is nothing without a great lineup of speakers sharing their experience, knowledge, and tools with the community. Whether you’re a regular on the conference circuit or you’ve always considered speaking but haven’t yet, we’re eager to hear from you. Our Call for Papers will be open from now through March 2nd, which gives you a month and a half (at most) to prepare your proposal. We’re also continuing our “inverted” proposal process, so if there’s someone you really want to hear from, let us know.

Training Day

If you’re looking for a bit more than the regular conference experience, perhaps a more focused opportunity to grow as a developer, we’ve partnered with Bocoup to host a two-track training day the day before the conference  (June 12). With both Front End Fundamentals and Advanced jQuery courses available, it’s a great way to make the most of your trip.

Sponsors

Sponsoring a jQuery Conference is a great way to build your company profile in the jQuery community; your best opportunity to meet (and hopefully hire) top jQuery developers, evangelize your products, and help support the jQuery Foundation. We’re still looking for partners to work with us on the largest jQuery event yet, so take a look at our prospectus and get in touch to get the ball rolling.

That’s it for now; stay tuned to the blog and @jqcon for announcements about speakers, parties and all other manner of conference goodness. We’ll see you there!

A Site To Behold: Open Content & Design Comes to jQuery

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In the past few days and weeks, you’ve probably already noticed the new theme we’ve been rolling out across our websites. In fact, unless this is your very first time looking at the jQuery blog, this very post probably looks a lot different than what you’ve been used to seeing over the past few years. Today, as this new design finally reaches jquery.com, we are very excited to pull back the curtain and explain the work we’ve been doing and how it goes above and beyond the simple “facelift” it may appear to be at first glance.

As the jQuery ecosystem has grown, it’s become increasingly difficult for the jQuery Team to keep our arms wrapped around a burgeoning balloon of documentation, design, CMS installs and wikis. Community members who’ve wanted to report and fix documentation errors have been left with nowhere to take action, and the picture wasn’t much better even for those who did have access. With all this content and design locked away in production environments behind a slew of different user accounts, and nowhere to track bugs, visibility has been low and progress incremental at best. We knew we had to make a change.

Over the past year, we’ve undertaken a massive effort to consolidate and simplify our site infrastructure and open source all of our web site content, documentation, and design. We’ve done this because it has already done wonders for our own ability to collaborate and move forward, and because we hope it will open up new avenues of participation for all of you out there who have wanted to find a way to get involved with jQuery, but have been unsure you could contribute.

So, enough with the platitudes — on to the stack!

git + grunt + WordPress

We’ve moved nearly all of our documentation and site content into static content repositories on GitHub, where they are maintained in HTML, Markdown, or XML, depending on the type of content. Now, if you notice a typo or think something needs clarification, you can file an issue and even send a pull request with a fix. Everything from the source documentation for jQuery.ajax to the front page of jquery.com to the raw Markdown of this new page that includes the full list of content repositories is open source!

The content is brought to life on our websites using WordPress and our custom theme and multi-site configuration, jquery-wp-content. Using this single WordPress instance makes it exponentially easier and more manageable for us to keep the look and feel of all our different sites in sync, and preserves our ability to easily layer on dynamic features like site search and user accounts as we need them. jquery-wp-content also contains a custom installation script that makes it easy to stand up the entire jQuery sites network for local development, opening up the doors for much less conservative experimentation with fixes and new features. Again, all this means that if you notice bugs on any jQuery website, there’s somewhere to report them, and you can even work on the fix yourself if you want!

(We’ve received an incredible amount of help creating and maintaining jquery-wp-content from WordPress developers Andrew Nacin and Daryl Koopersmith, and we’d be remiss if we didn’t thank them right here for all their hard work!)

The link between WordPress and the static content repositories is a grunt build and deployment process that processes the content files and synchronizes them into a WordPress installation using XML-RPC. That means we don’t ever use the WordPress Administration pages; all authoring and editing just happens in your favorite text editor, then grunt does the hard work.

In order to deploy to our production and staging servers, we simply use git webhooks to respond to commits on the content repositories and jquery-wp-content. Whenever a commit lands on the master branch of these repositories, the content and design is reflected immediately in the staging environment, which is just the URL of the website with a stage. subdomain prefix, e.g., stage.jquery.com. To deploy to the production sites, all that’s necessary is tagging with a semver and pushing the tag.

New Sites

In addition to today’s new look for the blog and jquery.com, we’re happy to unveil some brand new sites that are all powered by this system, which you should find especially useful if you’re looking to find ways to get involved with with jQuery.

Contribute to jQuery

URL: contribute.jquery.org | Repo: github.com/jquery/contribute.jquery.org
Our new hub for information on how to actually get started with contributing to jQuery and open source in general. It’s also full of useful resources for contributors, like our CLA form and style guides used across all of our projects.

jQuery IRC Center

URL: irc.jquery.org | Repo: github.com/jquery/irc.jquery.org
The jQuery Foundation uses Internet Relay Chat extensively for support and project communication. This is where we host the logs from our channels and keep documentation about how you can get connected and what to expect when you get there.

jQuery Brand Guidelines

URL: brand.jquery.org | Repo: github.com/jquery/brand.jquery.org
As we’ve recently freshened up a lot of the conventions we’re using for representing jQuery, we’ve also published these guidelines so that the community can have a better understanding of how they can — and can’t — use the names and marks of jQuery Foundation projects.

Sunrise, Sunset

We’ll also be saying goodbye to some subdomains in the next few weeks, and we wanted to give you a heads up, so you can prepare if necessary.

docs.jquery.com

Our original MediaWiki documentation-and-catch-all site has served admirably over the years, but it is time to put it out to pasture. We’ll continue to redirect the popular URLs on this site to their more modern counterparts.

meetups.jquery.com

Hosting our own meetup network was an interesting experiment, but the site gets almost no usage and is cumbersome for us to continue to manage, so we will be shutting it down. We recommend organizers use other, more established platforms such as meetup.com.


In addition to the new sites we’ve just launched, we’ll be continuing to roll out other new sites and integrate more of our existing sites into with the new theme over the coming days and weeks. We’re really happy with how it’s working so far, and look forward to continuing to improve the sites — perhaps with your help! As always, if you have trouble with any of this, please file issues, join us in the #jquery-content channel on freenode, or send an e-mail to content at jquery dot com.

Announcing the jQuery Plugin Registry

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They say good things come to those who wait, and today we’re happy to end the waiting and unveil the jQuery Plugin Registry. We’ve worked long and hard to put together a brand new site that will serve to reduce the fragmentation and distribution problems that can be obstacles for plugin developers and consumers. We’ve also put an emphasis on remedying a number of the issues that plagued the old jQuery plugins site, especially with respect to workflows for contribution of both plugins and enhancements to the repository itself. The goal is to make sharing and browsing quality jQuery plugins a pleasant experience for everyone!

jQuery Plugin Registry: plugins.jquery.com
Source/Documentation/Issues: github.com/jquery/plugins.jquery.com

Downloading and Using Plugins

If you’re looking to just browse and use jQuery plugins in your application or site, not a lot has changed. Plugins each have basic pages that provide a link to the plugin download, as well as past versions, documentation, issue tracker, and source code repository. Download links may serve you a zip file with the plugin assets, or link to the best resource to download the build of the plugin you’re looking for.

Registering Your Plugin

Registering your plugin and having it listed on the site is not a complicated process; however, it assumes a number of aspects of the plugin development process, including using version control (git) and providing documentation on how to use it. You also have to include a plugin.jquery.json package manifest file, which provides all the information used to describe your plugin on the registry, including the version number, as well as the locations of the files and the documenation.

To register and publish your plugin, you’ll need to push your code to a public repository on GitHub, and add our post-recieve webhook URL (http://plugins.jquery.com/postreceive-hook) to your repository. The next time you push a semver tag, we’ll take care of registering the plugin name and updating its page on the site. When you’re ready to release the next version of your plugin, just tag and push again!

Users can download your plugin however you’d like them to. You can link directly to a JavaScript file for your users to save into their project, take advantage of the GitHub’s built-in zip file distribution, or even link to a custom build tool you may have online for further configuration.

That’s it — no uploading files to us, no wading through forms, and no manual updates for new versions.

(We plan to support other sites in the future! However, we’ve only been able to implement integration with GitHub at this point. If you’d like to assist with adding services, read on!)

Contributing to the Plugin Registry

Our work building the registry has informed and overlapped with a major initiative we’ve taken to open-source all of the content and design of all jQuery web sites. You’ve already seen part of this launch with the new api.jquery.com and jqueryui.com, and we’ll be talking more about this initiative later this week. As it relates to the Plugin Registry, it means that everything from the site documentation to the styles and templates to the post-receive hook itself is open source. So if you notice bugs or have ideas, you can raise and track issues and file your fixes as pull requests. You can even run a local instance of the site to iterate and test your changes.

Of course, if you’re a plugin author, you can also contribute by publishing your plugins to the registry. Even if you haven’t written plugins of your own, you can help out the authors of your favorite plugins by submitting pull requests that add a plugin.jquery.json manifest to their plugin’s repository.

Be Excellent To Each Other

We know this site has been long in the making, and we’re excited to finally be able to open it up for you to use, whether you’re looking for plugins to use in your app or you want to share your work with other developers. We’re looking forward to seeing lots of new plugins and old favorites make their way into the registry, so if you’re a plugin developer, we encourage you to get started as soon as you can with the registration process.

Name registration is on a first-come, first-served basis, and you can’t reserve a name prior to releasing a plugin. However, we recognize there is a huge ecosystem of jQuery plugins already out there, so especially in these early days of the registry’s existence, we do ask that authors reserve judgment and respect for other popular, widely-adopted plugins that may already have a reasonable historical claim to a particular name, even if it has not yet been registered. By and large, we hope that this will discourage “land grab” registrations, but we may step in to manually resolve a situation, should a particularly egregious case arise. “Squatting” on a plugin name is similarly disallowed, and may result in removal without warning!

(Translation: Ben Alman’s BBQ (Back Button & Query) plugin has long been a popular tool for working with the location.hash for navigation. Now is NOT a good time to create and register a sweet plugin for marking up quotations and call it the jQuery BBQ (<bold>,<blockquote>, & <q> plugin!)

That’s All, Folks

Thanks for your patience. Now go forth and publish! Should you encounter any trouble, please file issues, join us in the #jquery-content channel on freenode, or send an e-mail to plugins at jquery dot com

jQuery Developer Summit Recap

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With much of the East Coast bracing for the impact of Hurricane Sandy, now’s certainly a good time to take a look back on some sunnier times. Two weeks ago today, the jQuery Foundation held the first-ever jQuery Developer Summit at the Aol Campus in Dulles, Va. After a brief morning overview of our major tools and processes, over 120 team and community members set to work on nearly every aspect of our projects. We divided into 18 teams and focused on everything from triaging and fixing bugs and documentation for jQuery Core, UI, and Mobile, to working on design, implementation and deployment of our entire network of sites, to improving our automated testing and gathering and analysis of metrics on how people use our libraries and websites.

In addition to closing (and opening) hundreds of issues and tickets, and making hundreds of commits to repositories across our entire organization, it seemed that everyone in attendance, from grizzled old hands to greenhorn contributors, learned a lot. We were happy to celebrate a lot of firsts, whether it was somebody’s first commit on a jQuery repository, or their first git commit, period. Of course, not everything went off without a hitch, and we’ve been gathering feedback and figuring out how we can do even better next time.

What that means, of course, is that there will be a next time!  With such an incredible energy in the room for the two days, and a new group of contributors digging in on all of our projects, we’re certainly looking forward to another go-round. Watch this space and follow @jqcon for updates on the Developer Summit and all our other events. In the meantime, check out these recaps from Andy Couch and Carl Danley, and photos from Bowling for jQuery!

And finally, we’d like to extend a hearty thanks to each and every one of you who joined us for two days to help out and participate, we could not have done it without you! Thank you!

jQuery UK 2013

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jQuery UK is back for 2013!

The jQuery Foundation is pleased to announce that White October are organising another jQuery UK  conference in Oxford, UK on the 19th of April 2013.

There is a call for papers and suggestions for speakers are also welcome. So if you want to take part, or want to see someone at jQuery UK you know what to do.

A very small number of tickets are on sale until the call for papers finishes on the 11th of October for a “blind bird” price of £130 + VAT.

The full speaker lineup should be announced winter 2012 and the early bird tickets will go on sale at the same time for £160 + VAT.

We’ve also listed it on Lanyrd.com if you’d like to follow along there!

Help Us Money-ify UglifyJS 2.0

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In nature, an ecosystem consists of the organisms, raw materials, and all of the complex interactions that shape their shared environment. The open source ecosystem is no different. Each project has its niche, and any package that is a dependency of course has dependencies of its own. jQuery is used on millions of websites, but we wouldn’t be there without the excellent tools on which we rely to build, test, and distribute our code.

One such tool is Mihai Bazon’s excellent UglifyJS. We’ve been using Uglify to compress jQuery, jQuery UI, and jQuery Mobile for nearly two years now, so if you’ve used any of our minified builds recently, you’ve benefited from Mihai’s work. Recently, he began work on UglifyJS 2.0, which will feature even better compression, support for source maps, and a command line utility. He also announced a Pledgie campaign to support his efforts.

Here at the Foundation, our goal is not just to improve libraries that start with “jQuery,” but rather the entire JavaScript ecosystem in which we all participate. That’s why we’re happy today to announce some exciting news – and to issue a challenge!

Help build UglifyJS 2.0!
Click here to lend your support to: Funding development of UglifyJS 2.0 and make a donation at www.pledgie.com !

We’ve just kicked in 500€ to the campaign to recognize his work so far, but there’s more we all can do. If the community can help us to help Mihai reach his goal of 3,000€  by the end of September, we’ll donate an additional 500€ to the UglifyJS 2.0 project!

We’re looking forward to keeping you posted on the progress here, and participating in similar endeavors in the future to help improve the tools we use each day. In the meantime, thanks for considering a donation (even a small one), and if we haven’t convinced you yet, perhaps this final exhortation will: THINK OF THE BYTES!

Update (5:30): Awesome! The Dojo Foundation has matched our donation!

jQuery Developer Summit 2012

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Over the last eight months at the Foundation, we have been working to expand both the reach and breadth of our events, and we’re excited today to announce the inaugural jQuery Developer Summit, to be held October 15th and 16th, 2012 at the Aol Campus in Dulles, VA.

The Developer Summit will be a departure from our traditional events. Instead of two days of speakers and slide decks, we’re going to spend a morning giving you a rundown of how jQuery works, from internals of jQuery Core, to how we build and test the libraries, to how we manage our websites. Then we’ll break apart into teams, and spend the rest of our time working together to collaborate on the projects and tools we all use every day.

As this is a more intimate event (and because it’s our first time trying it), we can only accomodate about 150 people. In order to get the right mix of skills and experiences into the room, it won’t be a simple first-come, first-served process. Instead, we’ll be accepting and reviewing submissions to this application on a rolling basis from August 31st until September 7th. In other words, we have a lot of different bases we’d want to cover, so we can’t have 100 people showing up who just want to fix edge case bugs in Quirks mode!

The focus here is on collaboration, growing as an open-source developer, and having fun! If this sounds like your cup of tea, read more about the Developer Summmit now, and consider applying! And of course, if you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to ask!

Announcing the jQuery Foundation

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(BOSTON) — The jQuery Board, in conjunction with Software Freedom Conservancy, is proud to announce the formation of the jQuery Foundation, Inc., an independent organization that will manage jQuery, the Internet’s number one JavaScript library, and its constituent projects.

The jQuery Board previously administered jQuery under the aegis of the Conservancy, a public charity that acts as a non-profit home for free software projects.

The new jQuery Foundation is a non-profit trade association dedicated to supporting development of the jQuery Core, UI, and Mobile projects; providing jQuery documentation and support; and fostering the jQuery community.

Dave Methvin, who recently took over as the head of the jQuery Core development team, will also serve as the Foundation’s President. “jQuery is the most popular JavaScript library, and creating an autonomous organization is the next step in ensuring its future development and benefiting everyone who uses jQuery,” said Methvin. “We’ll be announcing several initiatives shortly, including the next jQuery Conference and other efforts driven by needs within the community and the project.”

“I’m extremely excited to see the jQuery Foundation springing to life. I’m glad that Dave Methvin is leading the foundation and the direction of the core library. He’s a good friend and exceedingly capable of moving jQuery forward,” said John Resig, who created the library in 2005. “Meanwhile, I’ve been spending more time focusing on improving the state of JavaScript and programming education at Khan Academy. I’m psyched to be a part of the jQuery core team and Foundation and can’t wait to see how jQuery grows in the upcoming years.”

“We are proud that the jQuery Board has built jQuery into a vibrant and successful Open Source community under Conservancy’s mentorship,” said Bradley Kuhn, Executive Director of the Software Freedom Conservancy. “Our mission includes helping member projects determine whether to form their own organization, and we’re pleased jQuery is the first Conservancy project to take that step.”

The jQuery Foundation would like to thank Joel G. Kinney of Fort Point Legal, whose generous pro-bono counsel has been invaluable in transitioning to an independent organization. The Foundation is also proud to accept an honorary first donation from the Linux Fund, which has chosen to continue its tradition of supporting the open source community with a contribution to the Foundation’s inaugural operating expense budget.

About jQuery
Created in 2005 by John Resig as a JavaScript library to provide an intuitive approach for working with the DOM and Ajax, jQuery has steadily gained popularity among the development community and is the most widely-adopted JavaScript library in use today.

About the jQuery Foundation
The jQuery Foundation is a non-profit trade association and the home of jQuery, the Internet’s number one JavaScript library.  Founded by a group of leading JavaScript developers and architects, the jQuery Foundation is dedicated to three goals:  supporting development of the jQuery Core, UI, and Mobile projects; providing jQuery documentation and support; and fostering the jQuery community.

jQuery Foundation, Inc. is a Delaware non-profit currently seeking IRS 501(c)(6) status.  Donations to the jQuery Foundation will be used to further the goals of the Foundation.  For more information, visit http://jquery.org.

About Software Freedom Conservancy
Software Freedom Conservancy is a non-profit organization that helps promote, improve, develop and defend Free, Libre and Open Source software projects.  Conservancy is a home to twenty-eight software projects, each supported by a dedicated community of volunteers, developers, and users.  Conservancy’s projects include some of the most widely used software systems in the world across many application areas, including educational software deployed in schools around the globe, embedded software systems deployed in most consumer electronic devices, distributed version control developer tools, integrated library services systems, and widely used graphics and art programs.  A full list of Conservancy’s projects can be found at http://sfconservancy.org/members/current/.  Conservancy provides to these projects the necessary infrastructure and not-for-profit support services to enable the project’s communities to focus on what they do best: creating innovative software and advancing computing for the public’s benefit.

Plugins Site Update: The Old Is New Again

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We’ve gotten a lot of feedback since last week’s announcement about the plugins site’s unfortunate tumble into oblivion, and I’d like to address a few of the most important concerns that have surfaced since.

“Could you make the old backup available for posterity?”

Yes. We can — and have. Over the weekend, we restored the most recent backup we had, and the original site is now living at archive.plugins.jquery.com; you should be able to browse through everything that’s there to your heart’s content. We also applied the most recent user information we had, so if you had an account on the old site at any point in the last year, it should still work. However, the site is closed to new user registrations. If you really need a new account, please get in touch with me personally and I can get that straightened out for you. We’ve also set up a redirect, so that if you should encounter any links to plugins.jquery.com in your browsing, you’ll (hopefully) end up at the corresponding page in the archive.

Just get a backup from the Wayback Machine!

While the Internet Archive has cached versions of content that was updated more recently than last October, we just don’t have the people-power to re-create the lost posts manually in the new archive site. If you have an account, you can feel free to add “new” or old plugins, or update existing ones, should you desire to. However, this archive will not be indexed by search engines.

If you hate CMS-es so much, what’s with WordPress?

We’re in the middle of a network-wide redesign, and WordPress offers us a valuable set of tools when it comes to theming, searching, and serving a group of sites. Our new motto, however, is pull requests, not passwords; we’re implementing theming, documentation, plugins, and more in such a way that contribution will not actually require an account on our CMS at all. As I outlined in the initial post, the plugin submission process will only involve adding a post-receive hook to your repository. In the event of a similar catastrophe, we’re made sure we’ll be able to replay the entire plugin contribution history and get the site back up to speed right away. Our goal is to leverage the WordPress features we find useful without it serving as a barrier to entry or as the canonical warehouse of content. If you are of the mind that WordPress is always a bad idea, no matter what, no matter how, you’re certainly entitled to that opinion, but at this point, it’s not particularly beneficial to the conversation.

Git(Hub) is hard

The new plugins site will serve as an index of plugins, with a simple “download” button right on each plugin’s page. You will not have to just browse around GitHub looking for jQuery plugins. If you don’t know git and only ever want to download jQuery plugins, you don’t have to learn it. However, if you want to submit plugins, you’ll have to be using some sort of source control that you can at least mirror in git. This is by design: it can be really easy to build a jQuery plugin, but that doesn’t mean it’s necessarily fit for public consumption. Requiring the use of source control and package.json are passive mechanisms that will help ensure that plugins which proliferate are authored by developers who have met a reasonable baseline (and aren’t selling batteries). We’re only targeting GitHub support for launch, but we’d like to add support for other services as well. We are actively avoiding the use of GitHub-specific features that would force us to limit the site to GithHub users permanently.

It’s A Conspiracy!

Some have called into question the veracity of my account, and that’s understandable, given the timing and circumstances. But believe me, the last thing I wanted to do after spending a day manually pruning spam from the directory was turn around and cause a gigantic headache for thousands of people, including myself and my colleagues. I hope the re-launching of the last backup at least partially allays these concerns. Additionally, we’re starting off with GitHub simply because it has a very broad user base already, and it has been incredibly positive for us since we shifted to it for development of jQuery Core, UI, and Mobile.

Thanks again for bearing with us during this transition.

What Is Happening To The jQuery Plugins Site?

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For about a week, instead of hosting several hundred jQuery plugins and several thousand advertisements for laptop batteries, our plugins repository has been serving up a pretty pathetic message about spam and an allusion to some “new submission process.” This happened very suddenly, and we’re sorry to everyone who’s been inconvenienced. Please allow me a few minutes to explain what happened, where we’re headed, and how it impacts you. If you’re in a rush, here’s the short version.

The Backstory

A White Elephant Though the plugins site you’ve known and loved was a valuable tool when it was first set up, it gradually became something of a white elephant for the project. While powerful distribution tools like GitHub and npm have come to the fore, we’ve been stuck in an aging, CMS-oriented paradigm that frustrated developers and consumers of plugins alike. Many people moved onto alternative sources for finding and vetting plugins. Furthermore, the sites’s original implementors and maintainers had since moved on from active involvement within the jQuery project. While the team faced a steady stream of complaints about usability and a general lack of features, the site itself faced a veritable barrage of (several flavors of) spam. There was your standard, keyword-rich SEO garbage, but there was also something slightly more insidious: the batch posting of under-documented, demo-free plugins with links to paid download sites by third parties trawling for affiliate cash. While this wasn’t explcitly disallowed, it led to a terrible, confusing experience for users and gave the site the distinct sense that all was not on the up and up.

The Best Laid Plans…

Sensitive to all these problems, the team began drawing up requirements for a complete overhaul. We knew we wanted to get out of the business of accepting uploads, serving downloads, and generally legislating the plugin “release” process on our own servers. With our official projects already on GitHub, we knew we wanted to leverage the many wheels they’d already invented for distribution, versioning, and facilitating open, collaborative development. Another requirement was to create a standard schema for authors to clearly delineate dependencies, like which version(s) of jQuery a plugin supports, as well as other plugins and CSS assets it requires to be functional. We also wanted to introduce some quality control, with both passive mechanisms like requiring GitHub and a manifest file for distribution, as well as active ones like user ratings. Finally, we wanted a clean slate; with stricter requirements for submission, there could be no mass import of all the old plugins. We made a lot of progress preparing specifications, but hampered by a lack of resources and a number of other projects, we never were able to get too deep into the implementation phase. After all, the old site “worked!”

…Often Go Awry

Throwing the baby out with the bathwater

As the glut of spam grew worse and multiple reports started showing up on the jQuery Core bug tracker, I wanted to at least take some steps to wipe a bit of the spam and egg off our face. With newly provisioned access to the administrative tools on the site, I teamed up with the Drupal Views Bulk Operations module and set out to identify and delete spammers and their posts. Within a day or two, nearly 90% of the alleged “content” was gone from the site. I continued to monitor the situation over the ensuing days, and deleted spam as it came in. Unfortunately, I likely cast too wide of a net, and threw out several perfectly good babies with the bathwater. Even more unfortunately, I didn’t back up the database before I began this process. At this point, you can probably see where this story is headed. Later in the week, while I was attempting to delete four spam items, I was left completely horrified when the results of the operation reported that the remaining 10% — every single plugin remaining in the database — had been purged. All that remained was a year-old backup. Of course, I realize that this is a dreadful outcome, and I take full responsibility for it. If it helps, I am very receptive to hate mail and tweets reprimanding me for being irresponsible, unprofessional, or just stupid.

At this juncture, we were left with two choices.

  • Keep on kicking the can down the road: Restore from the old backup, losing a lot of data anyway, and have authors go through the painstaking process of re-uploading their plugins, even though the site was slated to be deprecated entirely anyway.
  • Use this glaring mistake as the impetus to hunker down, cleave from the past, and finally implement the site we’ve talked about for so long.

We’ve chosen the latter.

Nuts And Bolts

Over the past few days, we’ve started converting our plans into action, building out an infrastructure that’s backed by GitHub. There are two requirements for listing a plugin on the new site:
Success Kid is helping out as well

  • A valid package.json file
    We’ve followed the lead of CommonJS and npm and created a schema for specifying dependencies, delivery, and other metadata of jQuery plugins. While the format is largely similar to those other projects, we’ve had to make some minor tweaks to account for some plugin-specific details.
  • At least one versioned release
    This means having tagged your release point(s) with a valid semantic version number (semver) string.

We’ve pared down the submission and maintenance process to a single, one-time step: adding a post-receive hook to your plugin’s GitHub repository. Assuming your plugin meets the guidelines, a page will be created on the plugins site to present your usage and download information. We’ll keep track of new releases as you push them.

In The Interim

We recognize that the old site was still serving as an regular resource for a lot of people, especially newer jQuery users, who simply valued the existence of a central browsing location, despite its flaws. Though many experienced users had moved on to other sites, or relied on relationships with trusted authors and word of mouth, these can take time to develop. Until we’re able to launch the new system, we’re happy to direct you to several other directories and people who can help pick up the slack:

If, in the process of searching these or any other directories, you are directed back to the current site at plugins.jquery.com, typically a quick search for the author’s name and the plugin name will yield an alternative site where it was hosted. In addition, DailyJS just did a useful roundup of alternatives that goes into more detail.

Next Steps For Plugin Authors

If you’re a plugin developer who wants to make sure your plugins will be ready to go on day one (or even beforehand), you’ll want to make sure your plugins are up on GitHub, and then you’ll want to get started on creating your package.json files and making sure your versions are appropriately tagged. If you aren’t already familiar with Git and GitHub, then this is probably a very good time for you to take the plunge and get started. If you prefer another SCM system, you can look into setting up a mirror to git from svn or hg, or other project hosting sites, like bitbucket or gitorious. If you don’t develop your plugins as open source, or you don’t use any source control at all, we will not be able to accomodate you at this time.

How Can I Help?

Though the site is still a work in progress, you can track progress and even set up your own local development right now at github.com/jquery/plugins.jquery.com/. We’re still working on getting a public staging environment together.

Though the site is essentially “powered by” GitHub, there are obviously a number of moving parts in play. The site will actually be served from inside of WordPress, which is populated with the contents of the indexed plugins using a node.js tool. There are still many kinks to be ironed out, so if that sounds like a stack you want to jump on, please join us over at the repo. We’ll be using GitHub Issues for all feature requests, bugs, and discussion.

While we’ve put a great deal of thought into putting together our package.json schema, it’s still a living document, and if you have questions or comments on why it is the way that it is, head on over to this issue.

Errata

In an ideal world, this certainly wouldn’t have happened exactly as it did. Sadly, it did. We hope you’ll accept our apologies for the many ways this transition might make your job harder, give you some extra work you weren’t expecting, or just plain leave a bad taste in your mouth. If you are able to forgive us, bear with us, and maybe even lend a hand, we’re confident we’ll be able to deliver the modern, useful plugins site the community deserves.

TL;DR

So that was a lot of words, here’s the takeaway.

  • We’d been planning on replacing the original, spam-ridden plugin site for quite some time
  • In the process of deleting on the spam, all the plugins were deleted and we didn’t have a recent backup
  • Instead of burning cycles keeping the old site on life support, we decided to make a clean break and kick development on the new site into high gear.
  • The new site is powered by GitHub and a package manifest for plugins
  • Plugins from the old site were never going to be automatically imported into the new one.
  • The repo is at github.com/jquery/plugins.jquery.com
  • We are very sorry, but also very excited!