With smartphone penetration levels still spiralling, management technologies for the cellular market continue to proliferate in line with the market's wider growth. In what appears to be a response to this opportunity, appMobi has released the jQ.Mobi open source development framework for mobile. This mobile-optimized HTML5 rewrite of the jQuery framework promises to perform 2.5 times faster than JQuery itself. It also has a "particular focus" on delivering an identical user experience on both iOS and Android devices.
jQ.Mobi includes a query selector engine, a user interface (UI) library, and a collection of plugins. Its development team specifies that jQ.Mobi outperforms jQuery by 3X on Android and 2.2X on iOs. The JSPERF.COM test suite enables comparison of raw engine performance by testing the three most common functions: single query selector, create element, and append element — and this is the measure that has been used in this instance.
"The truth is, the single biggest issue facing mobile HTML5 developers is the lack of good user interfaces — and there is nothing more critical to the success of mobile HTML5 in general. Apple set the bar high with its Cocoa Touch mobile interface and until now, similar quality UX tools haven't existed for web-based mobile developers and that is why we've put this project into play. We've started this project with high expectations, focused around delivering speed, size advantages, and cross platform uniformity. We look forward to seeing where the open source development community takes it from here," said Sam Abadir, appMobi CTO and founder.
The jQ.Mobi engine weighs in at 3741 bytes, a mere one-tenth of jQuery and under half of Zepto. appMobi says that code size is important for user interactivity in mobile because heavier pages take longer to load and to initialize. The jQ.Mobi UI code is also fairly small, coming in at 15K gZipped. By comparison, jQueryMobile UI is 62K and SenchaTouch weighs in at 99K.
jQ.Mobi will be offered free of charge as an open source asset under the MIT X11 license starting with a short private beta testing period, which is in process now.