You’re trying to build something with jQuery that requires functionality that doesn’texist in the jQuery core. The problem is one that other developers have likely run into before, and you think a plugin may exist. Where should you start looking to find plugins,and how should you evaluate the plugins that you find?
Search through the following repositories for jQuery plugins:
jQuery Plugin Repository
Google with special queries
There are a few places around the Web that jQuery plugins may be found. Because of the nature of jQuery plugins, there are certain open source hosting sites that tend to attract jQuery plugins more than others. Additionally, the jQuery project hosts a central repository for jQuery plugins at http://plugins.jquery.com.
It’s best to look through all of the available resources and collect several potential plugins, if they are available, for your review. Plugins that are built to solve the same problem often take very different approaches or were built for alternate versions of the jQuery core library.
When looking for a jQuery plugin, the following are the best steps to find the most updated and recent versions of plugins.
Search through the jQuery Plugin Repository
The jQuery Project hosts a plugin repository that currently boasts more than 1,200 plugins at the time of this writing. Most authors who host their own plugins will post their plugins here.Plugins hosted in the jQuery Plugin Repository are organized into a number of categories, which can assist with narrowing your search. Plugins may be organized into multiple categories. Plugins are also required to be listed by API compatibility, ensuring that any plugins you find are likely to work with a particular version of the jQuery corelibrary. Lastly, you may also browse plugins by release date, allowing you to keep up with your favorite plugins as new versions are released.
Search through Google Code
Google Code hosting offers a very rich repository of jQuery plugins. More often than not, if you can’t find a plugin hosted on the main Plugin Repository, there’s a good chance it could be on Google Code.
Search through GitHub
GitHub is a rising star in the code hosting world that many jQuery plugin authors are turning toward. More and more plugins end up here, and it is certainly a site that warrants a search when looking for a specific plugin. One of the most compelling features of GitHub is the ability to “fork” a repository in a friendly way by utilizing the features of the Git source code management system. In the event that you need to modify an existing plugin, utilizing the features of GitHub are a compelling way to keep track with upstream updates.
Perform a Google search
While the previous suggestions are known sources of plugins, searching throughout the entire Web via Google is useful as well. Because the body of search material tends to be larger, so does the number of potential results to sift through. Using a few of the suggested searches can result in finding plugins quicker:
Search through SourceForge
There tends to be very few actual jQuery plugins hosted on SourceForge. However, a number of projects on this site offer jQuery support tools, such as IDE code completionextensions. If you’re out of options, or are looking for some thing unique, Source Forge is a good place to do a quick search.
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