jQuery UI 1.7 is the new 1.6

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The jQuery UI team has been working for over 9 months on the 1.6 release and during this long process, we’ve deeply re-factored every plugin and introduced a very big shift in how we write markup and styles with the new jQuery UI CSS Framework. Also during that time, the jQuery core library released the new 1.3 version which incorporates a lot of improvements that we wanted to leverage.

We hear ya

We clearly have heard the confusion as these fairly large changes were made between release candidates in the 1.6 development cycle (post 1.6rc2). Based on feedback from the jQuery UI community, we want to address the confusion around compatibility between jQuery 1.2.6 and 1.3 and the jQuery UI library by creating two very distinct releases in the next few weeks:

1.6rc6 plus fixes will become 1.7 (compatible with jQuery 1.3+)

What we are currently calling jQuery UI 1.6rc6 is going to be released as jQuery UI 1.7. This code is built from the ground up to take full advantage of jQuery 1.3 and the new jQuery UI CSS Framework and is different enough to warrant a dot release. After a lot of analysis, we’ve decided that compatibility with both 1.2.6 and 1.3 is not feasible in a single UI release while still having a maintainable and lean codebase, so this version will not be compatible with jQuery 1.2.6 or earlier.

1.6rc2 plus fixes will become 1.6 (compatible with jQuery 1.2.6)

For all those folks still actively using jQuery 1.2.6, we want to provide a legacy release of the jQuery UI library based on 1.6rc2 that ports over as many bug fixes and improvements as possible from more recent code updates to provide a clear, stable foundation that will be fully compatible with jQuery 1.2.6. To avoid any confusion, this version will be called jQuery UI 1.6 final. Since this will be a legacy release, the team will not be actively developing this code once it is finalized. Also, this release will not contain any changes related to the new jQuery UI CSS Framework. It will have the same theming support as jQuery UI 1.5.3.

We understand that this is a fairly large change and welcome input from the community on how to make the upgrade as smooth as we possibly can. A complete upgrade guide will be posted shortly to guide you on a plugin-by-plugin basis to help ease the transition.

Current Release Status

We received a lot of great help testing the latest release candidate, 1.6rc6, and are fixing the final few issues, so that it can be released as soon as it’s ready. A current summary status of the release can always be found on the front page of our Dev and Planning wiki ( http://wiki.jqueryui.com/ ). We are very excited about the quality of this new jQuery UI release because it will serve as a solid foundation that will give us a stable API and let us release more frequently throughout the year with updates and new widgets.

Weekly releases coming

Starting in March we will switch to a weekly release mode. Each week we will alternate between pushing a stable bug fix release (1.7.1, 1.7.2, etc.) and a preview release (alpha, beta, rc) including new plugins and functionality. So each branch will receive an update at most every two weeks. If we need an additional release in-between or we need to add an extra beta or rc, we will do so on a week-to-week basis, adjusting the rest of the roadmap accordingly. Our goal is to work toward a 6-8 week release cycle (2-3 weeks alpha, 2-3 weeks beta, 1-2 weeks rc, then final).

Download builder update

We have pushed a complete update to the Download Builder. It is now fully integrated with ThemeRoller so that you can download a customized jQuery UI library zip including a pre-built or custom theme. We’ve also fixed up some issues that existed with downloading an invalid zip file in IE and also 1.5.3 minified files.

Thank you for your help and support

We want to thank the community for it’s support and encourage your participation in helping us to develop the best UI library on the planet. If you are a developer who is interested in helping us with bug fixing, please feel free to post a message on the ui-development group ( http://groups.google.com/group/jquery-ui-dev ) and ask how you can help out.

57 thoughts on “jQuery UI 1.7 is the new 1.6

  1. I don’t see what the need is for dual releases. UI v1.6 will only benefit someone running jQuery 1.2.6. Is it safe to make the assumption that those are previously-built apps/sites?

    It’s a nice guesture to offer an update, but why not put all efforts towards the 1.7 release? Especially considering that 1.6 won’t ever be updated again. I just don’t see a huge need for 1.6 when (IMHO) most developers are going to be updating to the 1.3/1.7 combo, or they’ve already learned to live with/work around any bugs in the previous version of UI.

  2. I can see the need for them. There are a lot of plugins built around jQuery, and a lot of custom code, too. It may not be feasible for many sites to switch to jQuery 1.3 yet. Releasing one more version of UI to work with those sites is a nice idea, and will make maintenance for those old sites a bit easier.

  3. @Bryan: As Bill mentioned, the goal with this split release it to avoid confusion over version compatibility and support all the projects and plugins in the world that can’t upgrade to jQuery 1.3 quite yet. The 1.7 release has the full focus and attention of the jQuery UI team right now and only after that launch will work begin on 1.6 so you don’t have to worry about this slowing us down. Although this will take a bit of extra work, we think it’s important to keep as many of our users happy and productive as we move forward.

  4. Adrian B on said:

    Oh, so this is why everything went dead quite for two weeks after that “1.6 will be released in two days” blog post… :)

  5. Excellent news, I was beginning to wonder was was going on with the UI project.

    So does this mean we can expect 1.7 to be released around the beginning of March?

  6. This was the right move. I think it brings a lot of clarity to a release cycle that was particularly confusing.

    Also maintaining a 1.6final for 1.2.6 compat is well warranted– we appreciate it.

    I do have a concern that the weekly release schedule feels a little aggressive, but if everyone feels its realistic then UI users certainly welcome the increased and sustained development pace.

    Cheers.

  7. “By the same token, we could substitute the last five months of RCs for dots, and then just call 1.6 final 1.7. Now *that* would be the jQuery way of doing things! :) ”

    –me, february 6th

  8. @Chris Barr,
    I get the sense that the UI team want to be very careful not to make any promises or predictions about release dates at this point. I imagine it’ll be released as soon as the critical bugs are fixed, everything has passed the test suite, and documentation is up to date.

  9. Great to see! I think this is really going to be a major release for jQuery UI. Looking forward to it, thanks for the hard work!

  10. canthonyza on said:

    Hi!

    This is great news, but I have a question. I logged a ticket regarding date picker in Adobe AIR. Response to the ticket was that 1.7 will be made compatible with AIR, does this mean the final release after 1.6rc6 will be AIR Compatible?

  11. I think that both jQuery 1.3 and UI 1.6 final (err.. 1.7) might as well both be 2.0 already. I’m not sure what constitutes as a major version change, but both jQuery and UI seems to have changed large enough that it’s not backward compatible in many ways. Since UI relies on jQuery, it would make more sense that compatibility be made based on the major version number. UI 1.x is only compatible with jQuery 1.x (1.2.x), and make UI 2.x is only compatible with jQuery 2.x. I just think that jQuery and UI should both match in version numbers to some noticeable degree, and at least appear to be a more unified project.

  12. Really really great news, especially for “Starting in March we will switch to a weekly release mode”

  13. Paul T. on said:

    Thank you. The plan that you have developed and implemented above clearly demonstrates that you are committed to quality. It also demonstrates that you are providing your users the ability to carefully plan for a migration to new code base (1.7), while insuring that you do not forget about addressing critical issues in the current embedded base. Thanks again to everyone that is contributing to this project.

  14. I think this is fine and probably a good decision. The 1.6.x releases have clearly been a bit of a debacle, with many new bugs appearing along the way. I see two keys here;

    1) Don’t overpromise — stop telling people dates this will be done so prominently, if at all. You’re just shooting yourself in the foot
    2) Get the code right. Having as bug-free a release as possible that works as well as possible trumps all other concerns by a wide margin. Make sure it works and is well tested on all browsers, and take whatever time you need to to make that happen. I’d of course like something quicker, but it’s not worth releasing broken code.

    -Adam

  15. I’d second the 2.x post, or at leas 1.5.x to clearly distinguish the new version and its incompatibility with previous versions.

  16. Jon Ronnenberg on said:

    I really like your thoughts on the 1.6 release. I guess the developers of EXT where thinking something similar about the 1.1.2 release. They never released and I had a very painful delivery because EXT 2.0 wasn’t compatible with my EXT 1.* code and the 1.1 branch bug fixes never made it to the public.

    Just saying, do NOT talk about a 1.6 release if you not 100% sure you will deliver. Somewhere someone probably built a huge RIA based on your work and s/he will get hurt, especially if it’s a freelancer.

  17. @Sugendran Yes, the CSS framework API class names will be very stable going forward. We may add classes over time or slowly depreciate classes but this will be done with great care to preserve compatibility as we move forward.

    The reason for such a large shift due to the shift to a completely new, standalone CSS framework that doesn’t hard-code themes against individual widgets and instead are completely standalone, semantic classes that can be applied to anything, even non-jQuery UI plugins. We know this was a big shift and we’re sorry if this caused a lot of headaches but the change should be worth the pain.

  18. It’s really good idea to have jquery ans UI match main version numbers (1.x.*), and have ok compartibility atleast between subversions. I’m VERY appreciate all work done for this project, and it will be very bad when version compartibility issues make impossible using jquery+ui in serious projects

  19. The bug tracker seems to crash when running a custom query:

    Trac detected an internal error:

    IntegrityError: (1062, “Duplicate entry ‘d34ddba95658ae9-0-query_time’ for key 1″)

  20. @Barry Bell – anything you heard before this announcement about ‘maybe being in 1.7′ would now be in a later release (1.8, 1.9, etc). What will be 1.7 is what (until this announcement) had been planned to be 1.6.

  21. Hi. I loved Jquery UI. We are using it for our new CMS system. Are there any plans to expand the theme roller to also include non widget elements (tables, bullets etc) as it would be nice to roll everything into a theme to completly skin a site.

    Cheers and many thanks for your hard work

    Chris

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  23. Actually, I’m glad that you are doing this. Jquery UI 1.6rc2 is so drastically different from 1.6rc6, that I would almost call it irresponsible to not deem it 1.7. I have spent the past month kicking the tires, and working with you dev’s a bit and taking part the newest things happening, and the css framework alone warrants this. I heavily criticized it at first, but after really delving in deeply, I am really impressed. It really will be a solid release. Looking forward to 1.7 final, (if nothing else on my all my sites break with the new changes!)

  24. What’s the timeframe for jQuery UI to have comparable controls like YUI? 1 year? Less? I’m evaluating both, and I like jQuery better, but my project is in development now. I don’t mind missing some stuff, as long as I know they will arrive in a few months.

    Thanks!

  25. Cool!

    But ATM what hurt’s me is that I can’t take advantage of jquery 1.3.x cause I’m locked by jquery-ui-1.5.3… :-/

  26. Richie Ryan Reyes on said:

    Finally!
    Another reason to spend in my room to test each of my most used plugins than to wander around in Tokyo streets.

    jQuery team, お疲れ様です!

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  31. Michael Ward on said:

    You really need to clarify your development process, and use terms appropriately; it seems clear to me that a lot of the ‘release candidates’ for this release were nothing of the sort.

    If it’s beta, don’t be afraid to call it so – and if significant changes are requred to an RC release, don’t be scared to fall back to beta.

    When you push out an RC you should be 95% certain that it is going to be the actual release version. If you’re not feature stable then it’s not an RC.

    At least from the outside, the development process seems muddled. Its still producing the right results, but a little more discipline could solve a lot of these issues.

  32. Arthur on said:

    It looks like downloading a theme roller theme in ie8 is failing. It was noted above that this has been fixed. It works great in firefox. Just want to give you guys a heads up if you didn’t already know.

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