jQuery UI 1.6rc2

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Hey everyone,

I’m glad to announce that finally, we decided to kick out a release candidate of jQuery UI 1.6. It’s called rc2, because we pushed out a rc1 too early on Monday, and to everyone who downloaded that one or another early version of 1.6, a upgrade to 1.6rc2 is highly recommended. This is also the final version before the real deal, which can be expected to follow in the next days.

1.6rc2 is mainly a bugfix and stability release, and we made sure again you can read what has changed in our changelog for 1.6, which shows the current state.

Download multiple versions, public dev group

In addition to all the bugfixes, we also have a couple of new hot things to check out:

  • You can now decide wether you want to download the stable or unstable version in the download builder. This is a big one, because for the first time, users have the possibility to decide what to download using the convienient interface.
  • The jquery-ui-dev list has been opened to the public. This is also a big change, because it means you can now actively participate in the development of jQuery UI, by simply participating in the discussions, and we highly encourage you to do so!

New servers

Finally, we’re currently doing a transition to a new, dedicated server for jQuery UI, and all the other jQuery subdomains also receive new servers. This will give the UI homepage and the documentation major performance boosts in the next days.

Now go to http://ui.jquery.com/download and grab jQuery UI 1.6rc2!

See you,
Paul Bakaus & the jQuery UI Team

jQuery Conference 2008 Agenda

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The sold-out jQuery Conference 2008, being held in Boston at the MIT Stata Center on September 28th, is nearly upon us. With 13 sessions being delivered by the jQuery team as well as prominent industry experts such as Jonathan Snook, Aza Raskin and Cody Lindley, this is sure to be a stellar event.

The conference has been broken out into two tracks, Beginner and Advanced, to allow developers of various jQuery expertise to take full advantage of the sessions that will be suit their needs. Below you will find the agenda for the conference. In the interest of sharing information, we wanted to put up the agenda as soon as possible. We will be releasing another page shortly that will provide topic descriptions as well as bios for each of the speakers.

Featured Presenters:

John Resig

John Resig

John Resig is the creator and lead developer of the jQuery JavaScript library. He’s also a JavaScript Evangelist for the Mozilla Corporation and the author of the book Pro JavaScript Techniques.

Currently, John is located in Boston, MA. He’s hard at work on his second book, Secrets of the JavaScript Ninja, due in bookstores Late 2008.

Joern Zaefferer

Joern Zaefferer

Jörn Zaefferer is a member of the core jQuery team. Along his work on jQuery itself, he wrote and maintains several of the most popular jQuery plugins. Jörn Zaefferer works as a consultant for maxence integration technologies GmbH in Cologne, Germany, where he architects and develops Java-based web applications for maxence’s customers and maxence’s own products.

Jonathan Snook

Jonathan Snook

Web designer and developer, Jonathan Snook moves effortlessly from client-side, front-end work to hardcore server-side challenges, and his fluency in CSS, JavaScript, PHP and MySQL make make him the “turn-to” man for many high-profile clients. Coauthor of Accelerated DOM Scripting and The Art and Science of CSS, he writes regularly at his popular blog snook.ca, and for Digital Web and Sitepoint. Jonathan also works with his partners at Sidebar Creative, makers of world-class websites and innovative applications.

Richard Worth

Richard Worth

Richard D. Worth is a Web developer in the Washington, DC area. He works for Fulcrum IT on web services contracts, primarily for the government. Richard is one of the lead developers of jQuery UI, a component framework built on top of jQuery, designed to make Rich Internet Applications as simple as jQuery has made Ajax. Richard is also a contributing author on dmxzone.com, writing regular beginner and advanced jQuery UI articles, and has been selected as a Technical Reviewer for a book on jQuery UI to be published in the fall.

Paul Bakaus

Paul Bakaus

Paul Bakaus is a UI architect living in Germany. He’s the creator and lead of jQuery UI and works for the open source company Liferay in a full-time sponsored position to jQuery UI. He’s responsible for the overall direction and roadmap of jQuery UI and he enjoys speaking about his user interface work in many places of the world. He’s also a member of the jQuery core team and takes part in the discussion of the overall direction of the jQuery project. In the past, he was largely responsible for creating the jQuery dimensions plugin (which is now part of the jQuery core) and worked together with Stefan Petre on the rich effects and components library Interface.

Yehuda Katz

Yehuda Katz

In addition to being the co-author of jQuery In Action, Yehuda Katz is a contributor to Ruby in Practice and co-author of the upcoming Merb in Action. He is a core contributor to DataMapper and jQuery. Before coming to Engine Yard, he worked for on a construction management tool written in Ruby on Rails and jQuery. Yehuda is a Merb core developer, contributes to Rubinius, and is taking a lead role in the development of Engine Yard’s new Control Panel.

Aza Raskin

Aza Raskin

Aza Raskin is the founder of Humanized (now part of Mozilla), Songza, and Bloxes. The son of Apple software pioneer Jef Raskin, he brings a keen interest in human interface design to everything he does.

Karl Swedberg

Karl Swedberg

After having taught high school English, edited copy for an advertising agency, and owned a coffee house, Karl Swedberg began his career as a web developer three years ago. He now works for Fusionary Media in Grand Rapids, Michigan, where he specializes in client-side scripting and interaction design. Karl is an “Evangelist” for the jQuery JavaScript Library and the co-author of two books, Learning jQuery and jQuery Reference Guide.

Scott Jehl

Scott Jehl

Scott Jehl is a designer at Filament Group, a Boston, MA studio specializing in web application design and development. At Filament, Scott and his colleagues frequently contribute design and code to the jQuery community, and recently built ThemeRoller, a theme design application for jQuery UI. Scott leads the design team at jQuery, and runs WriteMaps, an ajax web application for building visual website sitemaps. He enjoys wake/skate/snowboarding, being outdoors, and spending time with his wife Stephanie and their two cats.

Jonathan Sharp

Jonathan Sharp

Jonathan Sharp is a standards driven freelance web designer and developer. With experience in both frontend and backend technolgoies he brings value in integration delivering a seamless user experience. Jonathan has also developed a number of jQuery plugins such as jdMenu, jdNewsScroll and positionBy. Prior to freelancing, Jonathan worked for Union Pacific Railroad, CSC and Motorola, Inc. in Chicago after helping found Imprev, Inc. in Bellevue, WA in early 2000. He lives in Nebraska with his wife, Erin, and their daughter Noel. When not working he enjoys spending time with his family, playing with their dogs, and riding off into the sunset on Micah, his draft horse.

Kevin Hoyt

Kevin Hoyt

Kevin Hoyt is a Platform Evangelist with Adobe Systems, Inc. Passionate about engaging user experiences, you’ll most often find him meeting with customers, speaking at conferences, presenting online seminars, or just enjoying the chance to share ideas and brainstorm with other developers. When not on the road, Kevin enjoys spending time with his family, photography and general aviation.

Cody Lindley

Cody Lindley

Cody Lindley is a Christian, husband, son, brother, professional web developer, and outdoor enthusiast. He spends the majority of his time sleeping and working, but who doesn’t? In between the daily routines of the average American, he desires an existence that entails a relationship with God, family, and nature. He considers himself a bookworm and a novice theologian, but truth be told, he simply enjoys watching movies and playing Xbox way too much. He is thankful for the luxury of pursuing his profession as a personal passion. More details can be found about cody on his site codylindley.com.

Mike Alsup

Mike Alsup

Mike Alsup is a Senior Developer at Click Commerce in Rochester, NY. He has been developing software solutions for 15 years with a current focus on Java, Swing, J2EE and web applictions. Involved with the jQuery project since near its inception in early 2006, Mike has authored many popular plugins including the Form Plugin, BlockUI, Taconite and Cycle.

Agenda:

Beginner Advanced
9:00 – 9:30
Registration, Breakfast
9:30 – 9:55
State of jQuery – John Resig
10:00 – 10:50 Learning jQuery – Karl Swedberg Optimizing jQuery Core – John Resig
11:00 – 11:50 jQuery Case Studies – Cody Lindley
and Jonathan Snook
Writing Scalable jQuery Applications – Yehuda Katz
12:00 – 1:00
Lunch
1:00 – 1:50 Rich Interactivity, Simplified with jQuery UI – Richard Worth An In-Depth Look at jQuery UI – Paul Bakaus
2:00 – 2:50 Designing Reusable jQuery Components – Scott Jehl Desktop Applications with jQuery and Adobe AIR – Kevin Hoyt
3:00 – 3:50 Making the Case for jQuery – Jonathan Sharp Using jQuery in Firefox Extensions – Aza Raskin
4:00 – 4:50 Your First jQuery Plugin – Mike Alsup Building Robust jQuery Plugins – Joern Zaefferer
5:00 – 6:00
Dinner
Later
Cambridge Brewing Company for drinks and socializing

Full details of the individual sessions, biographies of the speakers, and additional conference information is forthcoming.

Death to JavaScript Rock Stars!

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We’ve been listening to your feedback today, about the new jQuery site redesign and one thing has become clear:


Death to JavaScript Rock Stars!

Poor dude didn’t even last 24 hours. We wanted to have some fun with the home page, but this bordered on a little too “extreme” for most tastes.

We plan on bringing some further revisions to the homepage in the future, but in the meantime here’s a quick overhaul, put together by the always-excellent Scott Jehl, that’ll help tide everyone over:

jQuery Homepage

As a token of our appreciation for sticking with the “JavaScript Rock Star” for a day we’ve included a little Easter Egg in the new site. It would be useful if you knew the Konami Code.

Naturally, the whole redesign still has many tweaks that’ll be made over the next couple weeks, especially to individual page fonts, font sizes, and colors.

I want to, once again, thank Scott Jehl for all the hard work that he’s been putting in to the site design – and the excellent Varick Rosete (of nGenWorks and Happy Webbies) for the great illustration that he drew for us.

Here’s to many happy days of rockin’ out with jQuery!

jQuery Site Redesign – The Community Speaks

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As many of you have seen by now, the jQuery Project’s site has been redesigned. It had been a long overdue task and it was important to put a fresh new spin on the main hub, and the face, of jQuery. One of the things about the jQuery Project is that we’ve never run with the crowd or accepted the norm. By pushing boundaries and sometimes being “in your face” we’ve not only grown tremendously in popularity but we’ve pushed most of the other JS library projects to rethink their own principles and make changes to improve their products. That’s a good thing for everyone as competition is always good.

So, it should come as no surprise by the drastic change in the jQuery website. So far, the single biggest complaint has been associated with the new banner (ie: rockstar caricature & slogan). Again, we wanted to push the boundaries and come up with something that would generate a lot of buzz. Overall, we’ve succeeded in that goal with plenty of positive feedback but unfortunately, with some very negative comments as well. We actually value both types of feedback and want more as it’s the only way to determine if we’re on the right track. As with any site redesign, you can’t please everyone and we understand that. But we also want everyone to realize that this is a first cut and it doesn’t mean that it can’t be tweaked.

We’re actively reviewing all of the feedback and will certainly be looking at how to best handle some of the concerns of the community. After all, the community is what makes the jQuery Project so special and so different from other projects. In addition, the jQuery team has always listened to the needs of the community and this time is no exception. Again, I think the team is unique in that we *DO LISTEN* to the community and we’re going to work on making the site an invaluable tool for everyone. So just give us some time to go through the messages and keep an eye on this blog for updates.
Thanks for your patience and we truly appreciate your feedback.

jQuery.com Site Redesign

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We’ve just pushed out a brand new site redesign (for jQuery.com and all its sub-sites). This has been a long time coming and it feels great to get it out the door.

New Homepage

jQuery.com

Easily the most contentious part of the redesign – but absolutely the most eye-catching.

jQuery has long been driven by rock, even looking back to its original release which was heavily inspired by the always-excellent Devo. We shot for a catchy design that helped to bring JavaScript out of the cold doldrums that it frequently inhabits – giving it a serious jolt of fun.

New Site Layout

jQuery Docs

The entirety of the site has a new layout. With drastically improved multi-layer navigation and a standardized sidebar it should become much easier to navigate the individual portions of the site.

You should probably wear a hard hat while exploring the interior pages – font sizes, spacing, and colors are all in need of tweaking, which will be handled over the upcoming week (it’s fun working against Trac, WordPress, Drupal, and Mediawiki simultaneously).

New Logo

jQuery Logo

The original jQuery logo was a variation of the Devo hat – we’ve taken that concept, turned it on its ear, and made it something that we can call our own – while still being inspired by the original contours of the Devo Energy Dome.

Thanks

Site and Logo Design: Scott Jehl – he put a fantastic amount of work into this redesign, bringing it all the way from conception to final implementation.

Rockin’ Illustration: Varick Rosete from nGenWorks also of Happy Webbies fame.

Initial Logo Prototyping: Bradley Sepos.

Also want to thank Media Temple for our hosting. They’ve been helping us a lot this past week migrating our sites to some new servers – expect some speed improvements for the sub-domains very soon.

Registration Open for jQuery Conference 2008

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Registration for jQuery Conference 2008 is officially open. Register now to ensure your spot!
As announced, this one-day conference will be held in Boston on Sunday, September 28, and will feature two tracks of presentations (beginner and advanced) from jQuery project members and a few special guest speakers. A registration fee of $50 will help cover the cost of the venue, as well as food, beverages, and T-shirts for all attendees.

We’re finalizing a convenient venue, especially for those who will be attending The Ajax Experience conference the following Monday through Wednesday. We’re still firming up the agenda as well, but you can expect this to be a blow-out event.

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact us at events [at] learningjquery.com

jQuery UI 1.5.2

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About 4 days ago, many have noticed that we had uploaded another minor bugfix release to our Google Code account. While there’s, again, no new API introduced, more than 30 issues have been cleared and the codebase is growing more stable every day.

The full changelog is available here if you want to find out if a specific issue has been addressed. As with 1.5.1, updating to this version is highly recommended and likely not to break anything in your written code.

You can grab the latest release as always via the downloader or as developer package at http://ui.jquery.com/download or if you prefer, get it as latest tag from Subversion.

As a last comment, this is probably the last minor release before 1.6, which we will announce before the end of July, so watch out for a couple of awesome new components and enhancements soon!

Have a nice day,

Paul Bakaus & the jQuery UI Team

jQuery UI 1.5.1

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Soon after the release of jQuery UI 1.5, we were getting many useful feedback and issues entered in our bugtracker. Today, we’re happy to release another version of jQuery UI which takes care of many minor regressions and a lot of unsolved issues.

1.5.1 doesn’t add any new features or API changes, but fixes more than 50 found issues. A full changelog is available, if you want to know the specifics. Updating to this version is highly recommended and likely not to break anything in your written code.

Additionally, issues within ThemeRoller and the demos on our homepage also have been reported and fixed. We are now continuing to finish all unit tests and functional demos, so expect to see another release of both UI and its website soon again.

You can grab the latest release as always via the downloader or as developer package at http://ui.jquery.com/download or if you prefer, get it as latest tag from Subversion.

See you soon,

Paul Bakaus & the jQuery UI Team

jQuery Camp 2008 Announced

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The jQuery Team is pleased to announce the second annual jQuery Camp! jQuery Camp 2008 will be held on Sunday, Sept. 28, the day before The Ajax Experience, in Boston, MA (location TBA).

Last year, over 100 jQuery developers gathered for a full day of jQuery sessions, which included talks from such big names as jQuery creator John Resig and other core team members, as well as talks from expert users exploring new and exciting jQuery projects. It brought together the largest group of jQuery Core Team members ever assembled, and gave users the opportunity to pick their brains and pitch new ideas.

The event was a *clear* success, and this year’s camp promises to be even better.

jQuery Camp 2008 will offer two tracks, providing both introductory and advanced sessions, covering a variety of topics. Ajax development, mashups, security and the recently released jQuery UI component and effects library are just some of the topics already lined up.

jQuery Camp 2008 will charge a nominal fee of $50 per person, which will include lunch. Attendees need NOT be registered for The Ajax Experience to attend. Registration will open in July; keep an eye on jQuery.com for more details!

For those attending The Ajax Experience, show organizers have recently announced a half-day time slot for additional jQuery sessions, on September 29th at the conference center. The agenda is still up in the air, but we’re thinking of offering a “Dream Team Code Review” session, where users can have code reviewed by members of the jQuery team. We’re interested in your feedback; would you attend this session?

jQuery Camp 2008 is a truly fantastic opportunity to learn from the jQuery team and socialize with top jQuery developers; we’re looking forward to meeting everyone!

See you all in September.

jQuery UI v1.5 Released, Focus on Consistent API and Effects

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We recently discovered an issue with the download builder which caused it to serve cached 1.5rc1 files instead of the final package. We sincerely apologize for the inconvienience caused by this and strongly suggest to download jQuery UI 1.5 again if you downloaded it as a configured package.

Additionally, an issue has been found in ThemeRoller that causes the downloaded images to be default images in most cases. The issue was fixed now, and we also suggest you to try out downloading your theme again.

jQuery UI 1.5: Rethinking Our Approach to UI

ws_Path_of_Light_1024x768.jpg

When we first started with the UI project, we set out to build a generic, basic, and simple way of adding and extending core interaction to DOM elements. However, we soon found that our approach wasn’t working for UI. Using the “simple” approach, we were only able to serve simple interaction modules, but not full featured UI widgets. The second problem was that some plugins came from external sources making the UI suite seem disjointed and inconsistent.

All of this occurred right after we released 1.0 and we immediately realized it was time to reconsider our path. We had to find a approach that kept the simplicity of jQuery while making it possible to add full featured widgets to UI. We also already knew that something very simple to use is very challenging to develop. The first task was to build a generic API that allowed for maximum flexibility while being amazingly simple. The next task was making it similarly simple to develop plugins for that API.

One API to Rule Them All

What we came up with, was an API that removed 95% of our exposed methods, and kept only one single overloaded method per plugin. For example:

  • $(“div”).draggable() creates a draggable
  • $(“div”).draggable(“destroy”) destroys it
  • $(“div”).draggable(“method”) calls another method on the plugin.

The new API also makes all callbacks behave similarly, exposes the default options for each plugin and intelligently cleans up plugins using remove(). We also made it possible to update plugin options on the fly, and added smaller updates that make UI feel like one suite.

In order to make this happen, we removed the jquery.dimensions.js (which can now be found in jQuery core), the ui.mouse.js and the *.ext.js dependancies, introduced a ui.core.js (which includes many useful helpers) and created the jQuery UI widget factory which makes creating a new plugin for UI amazingly simple while making it very difficult to break the API.

Stability, Debugging, Testing and jquery.simulate

It was extremely important that jQuery UI v1.5 was not only feature-rich but also stable. We took several steps to greatly improve our debugging and testing including the setup of our own dedicated bugtracker with jQuery UI specific version and milestone targeting. We also invested a lot of time into new unit tests that make use of the jQuery test suite Qunit. Finally, we created jquery.simulate.js, a plugin specifically designed to fire true browser events. This means, you can actually tell the plugin to pick up your draggable, move it to a certain position and release it again, just if you’d be talking to a real testing person.

The Need for Effects: Enter Enchant

One of the great things in being able to take a step back is that it offers a totally different perspective on what a full-featured UI solution should offer. While jQuery UI v1.0 was currently offering a nice suite of UI controls, users were in need of solid effects like those offered in libraries such as script.aculo.us and jQuery UI’s former inspiration, Interface. Unfortunately, Interface was no longer being updated which left a bit of a hole in terms of effects; hence a new project called “Enchant” was born. Originally planned to be released as a complementary library to jQuery and jQuery UI, we realized that it made perfect sense to merge Enchant with jQuery UI allowing users easy access to advanced effects and UI controls from one solution.

We’re proud to announce that Enchant is now a part of jQuery UI and jQuery users now have a unified solution for their effects and UI needs. The jQuery UI effects can be used standalone or together with UI and have a separate core which extends the jQuery core to introduce advanced easing, class transitions (morphing) and color animations. All effects are tightly integrated into the main API and can be used as standalone ( $(..).effect() ) or directly from within jQuery methods you already know ( hide()/show() ).

Overall, we already have more than 15 ready-to-use effects for you to use in your projects, not only those provided by script.aculo.us (blind,bounce,drop,fold,slide …), but also fresh, new effects (transfer, explode. clip, scale) that make jQuery UI a great library enhancing your applications!

As promised in one of the last blog posts, it comes with a complete documentation and a combined demo page to let you see them in action.
themeRoller_ui_full.png

Roll Your Own Themes: ThemeRoller!

One of the first things that a user typically wants to do when using new UI controls is “skin” them to match their site’s color schemes. Obviously, when you have UI controls from varying sources, the ability to provide a consistent “theme” across all controls becomes much more difficult since most component authors have their own method of skinning their controls. We took a serious look at this and made it a priority to have a consistent default theme that users could use as a template for customizing jQuery UI’s set of widgets.
We reached out to Boston-based Filament Group for some help in this and they were all for it. Being very invested in jQuery, they saw this as a great opportunity to further help the project. Well, what went from an discussion outlining a single default theme quickly blossomed into jQuery UI’s killer app; ThemeRoller.

ThemeRoller offers a unique approach to theming UI components specifically built for jQuery UI. With ThemeRoller, you can create your very own theme for your project within minutes. It’s completely intuitive, comes wich rich controls to change the color and design of each state, and then previews your theme with the actual UI components as you work!

You now have literally millions of combinations to chose from. Any theme you create can be reached by copying the URL at any point in your progress; and after you’ve played with it enough, you can click the download button and a ZIP package is generated with the css file, the images and a demo page.

In addition, ThemeRoller also includes a theme gallery to browse for downloads and inspiration. Creating a theme for your application doesn’t get any easier than this; it’s simply that amazing.
We really want to extend our deepest gratitude to the amazingly talented folks at the Filament Group for creating this amazing application.

Oh and by the way, you can also reach ThemeRoller by direct URL at: ThemeRoller.com. If you want to know more about this great app and how it’s done, visit the excellent blog writeup by Filament Group!

Plugin Stabilization and Enhancements

The biggest improvements and changes were done on individual plugin code. Almost every plugin has been completely rewritten from scratch to optimize stability and performance and every plugin now comes with a bug changelog. We also focused heavily on enhancing options and increasing flexibility (e.g. connecting sortables to draggables) to allow our plugins to be used in almost every environment.

The best way to get a full feel for every enhancement to jQuery UI’s components is to review the changelog. It’s fairly extensive and gives an indication of the incredible effort put in by the UI team. In the near future, we’ll be creating postings and articles which outline the newest features of UI’s components. In the meantime, we suggest you read our blog post about jQuery UI 1.5b, which explains many of the mouse interaction changes (sortables, draggables, slider), and dig through the documentation and the changelog yourself.

Downloading

jQuery UI v1.5:

Final Release: http://ui.jquery.com/download

You can also checkout the full release of jQuery UI v1.5 from the Subversion repository.

There’s more to come!

coverflow.png

This has truly been an amazing effort and we’re very proud to be able to offer a comprehensive UI solution to the jQuery community.

We’re already planning the next release and have a huge roadmap that contains plugins like grid, tooltips, menus, colorpickers, autocompletes and much more. Many of them are already done and commited code-wise. We’ve also planned plugins using new technologies like Webkit’s css transforms (see the recent coverflow plugin), so stay tuned.

None of this would’ve been possible if not for the amazing efforts and dedication the jQuery UI team. They’ve dedicated so much of their personal and professional time to create this amazing library and they deserve so much credit for their hard work. We also want to thank the jQuery core team, with whom we worked closely together to integrate many needed features into the jQuery core itself.

Last but certainly not least, we want to give a VERY special thanks the Liferay staff, who invested countless hours into the development of the new UI website, and with whom we worked closely together to stabilize jQuery UI for all kinds of enterprise situations.

Thank you for all of your support,

Paul Bakaus & the jQuery UI Team