IntelliSense for jQuery in WebMatrix

Posted: Jun 28, 2013  0 comments  

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Scripting
WebMatrix

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I recently had the opportunity to take a day-long class about jQuery from the good folks at Wintellect. The class went great, and I wrote all of my code for the class in WebMatrix. You might recall from my previous blogs that I am a big fan of WebMatrix, but at first there was one thing that was missing from WebMatrix's arsenal of cool features; in order for WebMatrix to really be useful as an editor for jQuery, I really wanted to have IntelliSense support for jQuery. Thankfully, even though IntelliSense support for jQuery is not built-in, adding IntelliSense for jQuery is extremely easy, and I thought that would make a great subject for today's blog.

To start things off, let's take a look at a jQuery sample that is little more than a Hello World sample:

<!DOCTYPE html>
<html lang="en">
    <head>
        <meta charset="utf-8" />
        <title>jQuery Test Page</title>
    </head>
    <body>
        <script src="http://ajax.microsoft.com/ajax/jQuery/jquery-2.0.0.min.js" type="text/javascript"></script>
        <script>
        $(function() {
           $("#bar").text($("#foo").text());
           $("#foo").text("This is some custom text");
        });
</script> <h1 id="foo">This is the first line</h1> <h2 id="bar">This is the second line</h2> </body> </html>

This example does very little: it loads the jQuery library from Microsoft's AJAX Content Delivery Network (CDN), and it uses jQuery to replace the text in a couple of HTML tags. (The example isn't really important - getting IntelliSense to work is the topic du jour.) This sample would look like the following illustration if you opened it in WebMatrix 3:

jQuery in WebMatrix

When you are using a JavaScript library for which there is no built-in support, Microsoft's developer tools allow you to add IntelliSense support by adding Reference Directives to your page, and the files that you would use for your reference directives are available at the same Microsoft CDN where you can get the jQuery library:

http://www.asp.net/ajaxlibrary/cdn.ashx

In order to use IntelliSense for jQuery, you need to download the appropriate jquery-n.n.n-vsdoc.js file for the version of jQuery that you are using and store that in your website. For example, if you are using jQuery version 2.0.0, you would add a script reference to the CDN path for http://ajax.aspnetcdn.com/ajax/jQuery/jquery-2.0.0.min.js, and you would download the http://ajax.aspnetcdn.com/ajax/jQuery/jquery-2.0.0-vsdoc.js file for your website.

Like many developers, I usually add a folder named scripts in the root of my website, and this is where I will typically store the jquery-n.n.n-vsdoc.js file that I am using. Once you have added the appropriate jquery-n.n.n-vsdoc.js file to your website, all that you need to do is add the appropriate reference directive to your script, as I demonstrate in the highlighted section of the following code sample:

<!DOCTYPE html>
<html lang="en">
    <head>
        <meta charset="utf-8" />
        <title>jQuery Test Page</title>
    </head>
    <body>
        <script src="http://ajax.microsoft.com/ajax/jQuery/jquery-2.0.0.min.js" type="text/javascript"></script>
        <script>
        /// <reference path="scripts/jquery-2.0.0-vsdoc.js" />
        $(function() {
           $("#bar").text($("#foo").text());
           $("#foo").text("This is some custom text");
        });
</script> <h1 id="foo">This is the first line</h1> <h2 id="bar">This is the second line</h2> </body> </html>

Once you have added the reference directive for your jquery-n.n.n-vsdoc.js file, IntelliSense will begin working for jQuery in WebMatrix, as shown in the following illustration:

jQuery IntelliSense in WebMatrix

In Closing...

One last thing that I would like to mention is that is always a good idea to load JavaScript libraries like jQuery from a CDN, and there are lots of CDNs to choose from. There are some additional steps that you can take to ensure that your website works with jQuery even if the CDN is down, but that subject is outside the scope of this blog. ;-]

(Cross-posted from http://blogs.msdn.com/robert_mcmurray/)

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