As programming language enthusiasts migrate toward functional and dynamic languages, jQuery is becoming more popular because if its functional nature. jQuery is not a purely functional framework, because its usage is driven almost entirely by the side effects of calling these functions, but the way in which work gets done is by calling functions, not necessarily by creating or extending objects.
Another advantage jQuery has over other AJAX frameworks is its very extensible nature and rich library of plugins. This pluggable disposition is very popular among developers today, as seen in web frameworks like Rails and Grails.
Matt Taylor: I think you are talking about BROWSER WAR! And I say bring it on! Browser innovation stagnated after Microsoft and Internet Explorer 4 won the first browser war against Netscape back in 1997. Microsoft sat on their laurels for years while web developers lamented because web standards were ignored. Today, we have a rich browser environment with multiple competitors all attempting to create and adhere to proper web standards. With the rise in popularity of Mozilla's Firefox and Google Chrome, Microsoft is finally feeling enough pressure to work on their game as well.
Strange Loop: Thanks Matt, can't wait to see your talk!
Find out more about Strange Loop: