A brief history of jQuery autocomplete

Early 2005, I wrote what appears to be the first ever jQuery autocompleter. Several people used it, modified it, fixed bugs, made it better. Notably Dan G. Switzer. Jörn Zaffaerer (who I met last year and is a very nice guy) did a complete rewrite, which depends on other jQuery plugins, and has a lot of added functionality. When I needed some modifications, I took Dan’s version of my original and did some slight modifications of my own.

Then a lot of stuff happened, a lot of other autocompleters sppeared, jQuery UI (which is awesome) happened, and Jörn is still adding cool stuff to his version. Why so many different autocompleters? I don’t know, apparently there are a lot of people with different needs (no dependency on other plugins, browser compatibility), and the various versions have their minute differences. Just be glad that jQuery offers such a choice, and pick the one you like best. Me, I’m just proud to be a part of this thing that somehow ended up at various weird locations (Mozilla, Barack Obama’s site during the election, and I think some of the code may have made it to the current whitehouse.gov, but I’m not sure).

A while back, I though my original project needed some work, and I cleaned up the code. I also gave this version a proper (versioned) home at Google Code. You can find it at:


Be sure to see if you really want this version. The official jQuery plugin can be found at http://docs.jquery.com/Plugins/Autocomplete.

Restored from Posterous/Tumblr archive on 2017-03-11T12:07, with minor modifications.