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Improving the Pointer Events Polyfill

December 17th, 2014

Today, we’re excited to announce that Google has transferred its Pointer Events polyfill to the jQuery Foundation. This polyfill was originally written by Google’s Polymer team but since Google has chosen to put their Pointer Event implementation on hold, we engaged to ensure that the polyfill is maintained and continues to be a tool developers can use as a path to the eventual native implementation in all browsers. Many thanks to Google and the Polymer Team for allowing us to build off their work and continue development.

The jQuery Foundation has been, and continues to be a strong proponent of standards and we are specifically strong proponents of the Pointer Events standard because it will simplify the way web developers handle user interactions. Today developers are saddled with two very different event models for mouse and touch, even though they share many similarities. The result is often code that has a myriad of special cases, particularly when the device itself generates “fake” mouse events from touches. The jQuery Foundation hopes to drive developer adoption of this unified event system. Our goal is to have all browsers implement this standard natively.

Just yesterday, the W3C took the Pointer Events specification to the Proposed Recommendation stage. This makes Pointer Events one step closer to a finished standard and gives browsers a solid base on which to implement these APIs. Some browsers have even begun their implementation. Unsurprisingly Internet Explorer, where the first implementation of Pointer Events began before being submitted to the W3C for standardization, has implemented Pointer Events and Firefox has a branch of their code base implementing Pointer Events which they intend to port to all version of Firefox. Both of these implementations recently passed 100% of the Pointer Events test suite so implementation is progressing nicely.

We want to thank Microsoft Open Technologies for their hard work on Pointer Events and their continued support. We also want to thank IBM, Mozilla, Google, Dojo and the many other organizations and individuals that have helped and continue to help make developers lives easier through the creation, fostering and promotion of new standards like Pointer Events. If you want to get involved or just want to start using Pointer Events in your projects, head over to the new Pointer Events repo and check it out.