Undergraduate research in a data-mining group was another memorable
experience. “It made computer science
seem like a real, live, interesting field.”
Classes were rewarding in their way,
but solving hard problems made the
experience much more visceral.
Like many figures in programming
languages and libraries, Resig doesn’t
have, or feel the need for, an advanced
In many ways, open source
development has been Resig’s laboratory.
“More than anything else, it’s a matter of
becoming involved and actually looking
beyond your own private projects. I
don’t think people realize how much
of an accelerating force open-source
development can be,” he says.
Additional Q&A With the jQuery Creator
straightfor ward to write. Are those two ever in contention?
John Resig: API design has come up a lot. At the time I built
jQuery, I was primarily coding in Perl, and Perl is all about
brevity. When I was working on the initial jQuery API, I focused
a lot of brevity, what was the syntactically shortest way to
bind an event, for example. As a result, a brief API arose that
was also incidentally usable.
When I talk with other people about API design, many designers
worry more about clarity than usability. They tend to confuse
those points—if I make it very clear what this is going to do, it’s
going to be usable. But then you end up with Java-style APIs,
factories and factory builders, and worse. I find brevity and
simplicity so much more attractive. Developers enjoy it more.
imperative natures. What’s your take on this programming
JR: I think it’s great. I hugely enjoy functional programming
have its head in the functional sand, so to speak. Look at
languages like Haskell. Obviously, you can code with it, but
functional programming provided there. I’m especially a
fan of the bizarre prototypal inheritance that you see in
style inheritance, but in the end, it works.
web sites. Considering how hard it is to just upgrade the
world in which we are able to transition out of using it. Since
around forever. Whether we like it or not at this point, we have
the hand we’ve been dealt.