Finding the Right Library
Case in point. Lately I've been working on a nifty little search page that's part of a much larger, comprehensive membership website. Enter in a few search criteria, and the page goes off through the magic of Ajax and an existing bundle of web services to hunt down the best option for the user from a database of thousands. I built the core page using KnockoutJS for databinding and templating duties, and jQuery for, well, everything that jQuery does so wonderfully. These choices tied my hands for what was to come, but didn't really limit me all that much, other than to eliminate a few incompatible options.
When searching on Google or Bing for available solutions, it quickly became apparent that there were three oft-recommended possibilities:
- The jQuery History plugin (Benjamin Lupton's fork, which seems to be the most recently active manifestation of various plugins with this name)
- Asual DZZD's jQuery Address plugin
I won't bore you with the details, but I tried and discarded each in turn for a variety of reasons. jQuery History held the most promise, but my client was leery of its apparent lack of activity in the last year, and that wasn't helped by the lead developer's silence in response to my request for an update or any indication of life in the project. In the end, each had shortcomings that prevented the solution from working for this particular page.
Hit and Miss Solutions