A modular, jQuery compatible, ultra light-weight JavaScript micro-library for modern browsers
Switch branches/tags
Nothing to show
Clone or download
Fetching latest commit…
Cannot retrieve the latest commit at this time.
Type Name Latest commit message Commit time
Failed to load latest commit information.




A truly modular, jQuery compatible, ultra-lightweight (13Kb minified, 4Kb gzipped), JavaScript micro-library for modern browsers (IE 10+) meant to simplify the interaction with the DOM in the post-jQuery world, now that there are there are less and less differences between how browsers handle various JavaScript-related aspects and offer native support for most of the things that jQuery had to tackle and take care for us, behind the scenes, since its first release back in 2006.

Nevertheless, the need for a library to handle common tasks needed when interacting with the DOM becomes obvious for anyone writing JavaScript on a daily basis, as there's quite some code to write to handle various aspects of DOM manipulation.

ZebraJS retains jQuery's intuitive and simple syntax but the code behind is largely inspired from the excellent You Don't Need jQuery GitHub repository as well as the documentation on Mozilla Developer Network, and makes use of the modern browsers' improved support for manipulating DOM elements. Also, in line with the modern age's pursuit for byte saving, ZebraJS allows you to build customized versions of the library and include just the bits you need.

Quick links

💾 Download custom build

📚 Read the awesome documentation


The most important thing this library does, similarly to jQuery, is to simplify the process of selecting DOM elements by providing a unified wrapper for JavaScript's querySelector, querySelectorAll and getElementById via a shorthand function called, by default, $ (dollar sign) and which can be renamed to whatever character or string allowed by JavaScript.

// always cache selectors
// to avoid scanning the DOM over and over again
var elements = $('selector')

As with both querySelector and querySelectorAll, the selector string may contain one or more CSS selectors separated by commas:

var elements = $('div.authentication .form-container.authentication input[type=text]');

I cannot stress enough how important it is to understand the fact that everytime you call the $ global function you will create a new object that will take up memory - ZebraJS does not cache selectors! Therefore, you should never use it in an event handler or a function that gets called multiple times over the lifetime of a page and instead cache those selectors outside those functions! Yes, this true for jQuery, also.

Once you grab hold of one or more elements (we call this wrapping elements because we wrap the ZebraJS object over the selected elements) you can call any of ZebraJS's methods.

Where to use ZebraJS

I use this to fuel my (small) pet projects where jQuery is overkill and plain JavaScript is too verbose. Also, more often than not, I just need very little from jQuery, and hence the modular approach.

Keep in mind that this library is currently in its infancy so adjust your expectations accordingly.


Download the full library from GitHub (and use either dist/zebra.min.js or /dist/zebra.src.js), or go on and get your customized version.


Make sure you have installed Node.js, npm and Grunt. Once you have those, open up a terminal in the project's folder and run npm install. Next time you'll just have to type grunt in your terminal while in the project's folder.

From this point on, when you edit the project's files in the /src folder, Grunt will automatically run tasks that will check whether you follow the project's coding standards via ESLint, will do static code analysis via JSHint, will use Uglify on the code and will generate the documentation with JSDoc (documentation follows JavaDoc standards)

You can help by writing actual code for the methods listed in the /src folder and which don't have yet been written. The methods are included in the main $.js file via comments looking like // import "methodName.js".

Alternatively, you can help improving the library's website in the /docs/download folder. This implies altering JavaScript and CSS files in the /docs/download/assets_src folder and the actual index.html in /docs/download.