When I joined the ASP.NET team as the Program Manager for Ajax, the ASP.NET team was working on releasing a new version of the Microsoft Ajax Library. This new version of the Microsoft Ajax Library had several really innovative and unique features such as support for client templates, client data-binding, script dependency management, and globalization. However, we kept hearing the message that our customers wanted to use jQuery when building ASP.NET applications.
Therefore, about ten months ago, we decided to pursue a risky strategy. Scott Guthrie sent me to Cambridge to meet with John Resig – the creator of jQuery and leader of the jQuery project – to find out whether Microsoft and jQuery could work together. We wanted to find out whether the jQuery project would be open to allowing Microsoft to contribute the innovative features that we were developing for the Microsoft Ajax Library — such as client templates and client data-binding — to the jQuery library.
Fortunately, the Cambridge meeting with Resig went well. John Resig was very open to accepting contributions to the jQuery library. Over the next few months, we worked out a process for Microsoft to contribute new features to the open-source jQuery project. Resig and Guthrie appeared on stage at the MIX10 conference to announce that Microsoft would be contributing features to jQuery.
It has been a long journey, but I am happy to report success. Today, Microsoft and the jQuery project have announced that three plugins developed by developers on the ASP.NET team – the jQuery Templates, jQuery Data Link, and jQuery Globalization plugins – have been accepted as official jQuery plugins. In addition, the jQuery Templates plugin will be integrated into jQuery 1.5 which is the next major release of jQuery.
You can read Scott Guthrie’s blog announcement here:
You can read the jQuery team’s announcement here:
I wrote the original proposal for the jQuery Templates plugin. Dave Reed and Boris Moore were the ASP.NET developers responsible for actually writing the plugin (with lots of input from the jQuery team and the jQuery community). Boris has written a great set of tutorials on the Templates plugin. The first tutorial in his series is located here:
I want to thank John Resig, Richard Worth, Scott Gonzalez, Rey Bango, Jorn Zaefferer, Karl Swedberg and all of the other members of the jQuery team for working with the ASP.NET team and accepting our contributions to the jQuery project.