Microsoft To Bundle jQuery Into Development Platform

It's been a very long while since I've posted.  But this news is fairly momentous for web-developers who use Microsoft's web development platform.  According to John Resig, founding author of the very amazing jQuery Javascript library, Microsoft is seeking to incorporate jQuery into their development platform (presumably ASP.NET, ASP.NET AJAX and ASP.NET MVC). 

For many ASP.NET developers, their first foray into AJAX is using the ASP.NET AJAX Update Panel.  The update panel lowers the barrier for entry into the AJAX world by eliminating the need for developers to learn and employ Javascript.  Basically, Update Panels abstract out the Javascript code and the the server-side request/response mechanism, and manage to integrate the whole thing in way that fits into the ASP.NET page lifecycle (more or less).

Update Panels have their limitations, however, and are nowhere near as efficient, bandwidth-wise, as more surgically targeted, "hand-coded" AJAX behaviors.  The ASP.NET AJAX library provides functionality intended to ease the development of such surgical AJAX behaviors.  But with respect to the great coders at Microsoft, the ASP.NET AJAX library is simply not that easy to learn and use, and carries a lot of baggage of dubious value to many AJAX/Javascript scenarios.

Enter jQuery, a pure Javascript library that actually lives up to it's goal of making Javascript coding both easier to learn, easier to read and yes, even fun to work with.  This library is very elegantly designed; simplicity reigns supreme.  Functions have simple, understandable names ("remove" removes, "append" appends - sounds obvious, but ASP.NET AJAX gets this wrong with its heavy-handed name-spacing approach).

That Microsoft is integrating (or even considering integrating) jQuery with it's web development platform is truly good news for Microsoft-shops doing web development (and/or website design).  I've only just now heard this (at the 2008 jQuery Conference being held today in Boston at MIT).  But it's been confirmed on Scott Guthrie's blog (within the past 30 minutes or so).