I have been using jQueryMobile for a bit now, and there are some things I like about it and others I do not.

First I will give a bit of background.

I have a light weight mobile application that has a few configurations and 6 pages. Ideally I Would like to load all pages into the DOM (they interact with each other quite often and pages will be switched in the same frequency). The application will post for some JSON every n seconds and refresh the values on the page (yes it is primarily a information display app).

with the jQuery Mobile framework the only real thing I like is how easy it is to have a standardized UI a crossed all devices and browsers, I'm really not using too much else out of the framework other than the basic page navigation (if you are familiar with the framework; a bare-bone multi-page design is all i need).

Why I want to step away from jQueryMobile is how weighty it is. Not only do you need to include the mobile library, but also the base jQuery libraries. This I do not like because I'm not using jQuery anywhere else on the site.

Any suggestions on light-weight mobile frameworks that have a similar rendering as jQueryMobile?

  • 2
    jQuery libraries + jQuery mobile are, together, less than 100k last time I checked. Is that truly too weighty? Sep 26, 2011 at 21:37
  • The short answer is no, however if only a very limited set of functionality is required why include a heavier library.
    – rlemon
    Sep 26, 2011 at 21:43
  • I could just develop the site from scratch, but I have only one device (Android) to test on
    – rlemon
    Sep 26, 2011 at 21:43
  • 1
    Premature optimization is a waste of time :) Optimize your optimization process Sep 26, 2011 at 21:47
  • 3
    this is not premature... changing a framework half way through development because you are using 2% of it's available functionality is a waste of time.
    – rlemon
    Sep 26, 2011 at 21:54

4 Answers 4


Have you tried Zepto.js? It's a 2-5k mobile JavaScript library for modern browsers with a largely jQuery-compatible API, so you can use it with the rest jquery code you have.

Regards, Tom


I would suggest keeping whatever javascript you might already have and moving to HTML5. Most phone browsers are very compatable (about the same as desktop browsers or better) at using CSS3 and HTML5 elements. Plus, if the feature you are trying to add isn't supported the browser will just ignore it and fall back to default values allowing older phones to still work but without the flashy animations.


Try the customizable download builder for jQuery Mobile. You can get very specific about which pieces you want included, and it generates a package with just the JS and CSS that you need, based on your selections.

There's also a similar thing for jQuery UI.


Here is a great (but slightly out of date) break-down of mobile development frameworks.

You should remember that "weight" is just one variable impacting your goal--that goal is almost certainly an app that "feels responsive." So you have other variables, such as "touch response," "transition fluidity," and "impact on other code." If you use a framework that takes an extra second to download on a 3G network but the app responds 20% faster you're going to be way ahead. Also, if you're considering deploying with PhoneGap, you should probably choose something that's developed to take advantage of PhoneGap (jQuery Mobile is, as is Sencha Touch. I don't know for certain on others)

(In my personal opinion, jQuery Mobile does NOT respond as well as some of its competitors.)


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