The jQuery UI team has had a busy and productive fall and wanted to give everyone an update on what we’ve been up to.Â First off, we’re happy to announce that our team of contributors has grown significantly in the past few months and want to thank everyone for their support. To round out the great group of developers on the core team, new sub teams and team roles have been created, to focus on areas such as evangelism, design, builds, testing, website, and documentation. Most noticeable is the recent activity of the Interaction Design sub team focusing on UI design, widget planning, and theming. To learn more about who’s on the team and what we all like to do, check out the jQuery UI team page. Also, we are pleased to announce that Filament Group is now an official sponsor of jQuery UI, making up most of our Interaction Design team. Thank you.
When’s 1.6 coming?
The 1.6rc3 release is being wrapped up and will be out within a week. Our goal is to have 1.6 final out still in December. We’ve decided to cut back the number of new additions in order to re-factor the existing plugins for improved accessibility, performance, and theming. In this release, the only new plugin will be the determinate progress bar. The autocomplete, colorpicker, and spinner plugins have been moved into a future release (to allow time for further refactoring, not delaying 1.6 any further), while magnifier has been moved into experimental again, soon to be released as external plugin at Paul Bakaus’ homepage (more on that in the next final release announcement). With a better planning process in place now (see below), we’re confident removing plugins from a release candidate won’t happen in the future, and we apologize for any trouble it might have introduced for you.
What’s 1.6 all about?
One of the most exciting changes arriving with the final version of 1.6 is a complete re-factor of the CSS class framework used across all the jQuery UI widgets. This will build on the ideas of the original ThemeRoller tool, but extend the system to be a rich UI class framework that can be used across all plugins, both internal and external. Here is just a partial list of what’s in the works:
- New classes for error, highlight and disabled states
- Extended, sprite-based ThemeRoller icon set
- Class system for adding rounded corners via CSS (Firefox and Webkit, gracefully degrades)
- New ThemeRoller tool with inspector style view
- Theme gallery with voting and user-generated themes
- Improved documentation for generating custom themes and using the class framework
You can learn more about the new ThemeRoller app and class framework on our new wiki.
What are y’all working on?
To keep us organized and make the planning process more transparent to the community, we’ve created a new design and planning wiki at http://jqueryui.pbwiki.com/. On the wiki, we’ve been refining and detailing our processes for growing the team and the project, accepting and reviewing contributions, and prioritizing new plugins into a roadmap. By channeling ideas and decisions made on the jQuery UI Dev google group conversations into the wiki, we hope to provide a single, unified view of our current thinking, so we’re all in sync. To see what we’re up to, a summary of the current development status can always be found at the top of the wiki homepage. (Note: http://docs.jquery.com/UI will continue as the end-user documentation/production wiki for jQuery UI)
How can I help?
One big part of the wiki is collecting a long list of ideas for future plugins that we might want to include in the jQuery UI library. So far, we’ve created a sortable table on the wiki homepage with over 50 plugins with planning information for the highest priority items. Each plugin has a detail page where we can collect best practices, visual designs, sample markup and style, accessibility considerations and track the status of the development. We hope to have a vibrant conversation with the community and engage as many designers and developers in the process, so please feel free to add comments, edit pages, and link to examples on the wiki. We’ve just started the plugin design and specification process so this is a great time to get involved and help us shape the future of jQuery UI.