With more and more individuals accessing the web through mobile devices,
publishers will increasingly find that they need to offer satisfactory
mobile browsing experiences to attract and retain visitors to their websites.

For publishers using the jQuery JavaScript library, that may get a
little easier thanks to the jQuery Mobile Project, which was announced
last week.

jQuery, of course, is the most popular JavaScript library, and according to one report, is used by more than 30% of the top 10,000 websites globally. And for good reason: jQuery makes it easy for developers to build rich JavaScript functionality without having to reinvent the wheel.

The jQuery Mobile Project is aiming to make it just as easy for developers to build fantastic mobile experiences:

jQuery mobile framework takes the “write less, do more” mantra to the next level: Instead of writing unique apps for each mobile device or OS, the jQuery mobile framework will allow you to design a single highly branded and customized web application that will work on all popular smartphone and tablet platforms.

jQuery Mobile will incorporate a mobile-compatible jQuery core with a jQuery UI library that will include “a number of new components and sample applications to help mobile web application developers.

The jQuery Mobile Project is ambitious; it aims to “work across all major international mobile platforms (not just a few of the most popular platforms in North America).” This includes popular mobile platforms like iOS, Android and Blackberry, but also smaller and newer platforms like Bada and MeeGo.

The Project’s initial sponsors are Mozilla, Palm and The Filament Group and it is expected that jQuery Mobile will be ready for release in October 2010. If jQuery Mobile lives up to expectations, it will certainly be good news for developers already using jQuery as well as developers looking for ways to simplify the process of developing interactive websites that are just as compelling in mobile environments. It is also a sign that the people behind popular development tools, such as libraries like jQuery, will increasingly have to make sure their tools have application in mobile environments.