I’ve mentioned in the past that jQuery is an API as much as it is a set of functions. As syntaxes go, it’s very nice — consistent, logical, readable.
What are the chances that one of the browser makers will announce “native” support for jQuery in their next version? What would this even mean?
Well, for starters, I think it would mean that the jQuery selector syntax would be understood by the browser as a DOM query language. Browsers have made incremental steps in this direction: getElementsByTagName and getElementsByClassName, for example. Still not generalized enough, IMHO.
The next step would be support for CSS transitions. Tell the browser three things: beginning state, end state and how to get there (easing). Right now, jQuery achieves animation by asking the browser to redraw the DOM a hundred times. Yikes. We can feel IE struggling in the form of less-than-smooth animations.
Today’s machines can do 60 frames/sec of 3D rendering. Shouldn’t the browser be able to smoothly fade in a paragraph of text without spiking the CPU?
Announcing these two things, while working closely with John Resig to make sure they serve the jQ community, would be a great way for Microsoft get a little cred for IE 9. Maybe even leapfrog the current jQ and go straight to Sizzle.