It may seem strange that the author of Prototype-based script.aculo.us would embark on creating a new jQuery-esque JavaScript library for mobile devices, but that’s exactly what Thomas Fuchs has done with zepto.js.

One reason JavaScript frameworks have become popular is because they abstract browser differences and let the developer focus on the work at hand, not on how it’s done. Since zepto.js targets only Webkit browsers, a lot of the cruft found in other frameworks can be eliminated. Modern JavaScript features such as forEach can be assumed so the framework is leaner, critical for building mobile apps.

zepto.js is under heavy development (growing by 2x since we first spotted it yesterday), but looks to deliver on its goal of being a “~2k library that handles most basic dredge work for you in a nice API so you can concentrate on getting stuff done.”

Features

zepto.js uses the familiar $ function and includes the usual suspects:

get(): return array of all elements found
get(0): return first element found
html('new html'): set the contents of the element(s)
css('css properties'): set styles of the element(s)
append, prepend: like html, but append or prepend to element contents

Ajax support

Methods you’d expect for Ajax-fied GETs and POSTs are there as well:

$.get(url, callback)
$.post(url, callback)
$.getJSON(url, callback)

Installing and using

Thomas recommends not linking to zepto.js directly in your document <head>, rather copy and paste the contents of zepto.min.js directly into a <script> tag.

Thomas knows a thing or two about mobile optimization. Be sure and catch his thoughts in how he optimized Every Time Zone for mobile devices.

[Source on GitHub]


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