Microsoft Adds jQuery IntelliSense to Visual Studio

Two months after stating its intent to support the open-source jQuery JavaScript library, Microsoft announces support for jQuery IntelliSense in Visual Studio and Visual Web Developer Express for application development. IntelliSense is Microsoft's implementation of auto-completion.

Microsoft has added jQuery IntelliSense support within Visual Studio 2008 and its free Visual Web Developer 2008 Express tool.

In a blog post Nov. 21, Scott Guthrie, a corporate vice president in the Microsoft Developer Division, said, "Over the last few weeks we've been working with the jQuery team to add great jQuery IntelliSense support" to the two Microsoft tools.

In September, Guthrie announced Microsoft's intent to support the open-source jQuery JavaScript library. "jQuery is a lightweight open-source JavaScript library (only 15KB in size) that in a relatively short span of time has become one of the most popular libraries on the Web," Guthrie wrote in a Sept. 28 post.

Guthrie said in the same post:

"I'm excited today to announce that Microsoft will be shipping jQuery with Visual Studio going forward. We will distribute the jQuery JavaScript library as-is, and will not be forking or changing the source from the main jQuery branch. The files will continue to use and ship under the existing jQuery MIT license."

IntelliSense is Microsoft's implementation of auto-completion, best known for its use in the Microsoft Visual Studio IDE (integrated development environment). In addition to completing the symbol names the programmer is typing, IntelliSense serves as documentation and disambiguation for variable names, functions and methods using reflection.

The jQuery IntelliSense annotation support will be available as a free Web download.

Guthrie said a big part of the appeal of jQuery is that it allows you to elegantly and efficiently find and manipulate HTML elements with minimum lines of code.

"jQuery is a fantastic library, and something we think can really benefit ASP.NET and ASP.NET AJAX developers," Guthrie said. "We are looking forward to having it work great with Visual Studio and ASP.NET, and to help bring it to an even larger set of developers."

When Microsoft initially pledged to support jQuery, John Resig, the creator of jQuery, said, "Microsoft is looking to make jQuery part of their official development platform. Their JavaScript offering today includes the ASP.NET AJAX Framework, and they're looking to expand it with the use of jQuery. This means that jQuery will be distributed with Visual Studio (which will include jQuery IntelliSense, snippets, examples and documentation)."