I’m absolutely thrilled to announce the latest release candidate for the long awaited jQuery UI version 1.6. It has been a busy couple of months, and not only our team but also our processes, specifications, and codebase has been updated. This means that rc4 isn’t simply a bugfix release on top of rc2, but really a whole different level of code. Using a our new interaction design processes, we build up the foundation of many widgets from the ground up, and refactored widgets multiple times until we finally reached the look and feel we were confident with. So, let me show you quickly what has changed especially in this release!
Datepicker and slider refresh
In order to make room for the new theming, we needed to unclutter the datepicker a bit. A couple of options have been removed, changeMonth and changeYear have been changed to be disabled by default and showButtonPanel was introduced as new method. More on that soon, detailed information can also be found in the related ticket.
The slider also went through a refactor. The ‘axis’ option was changed to ‘orientation’, the ‘handle’ and ‘handles’ options were removed, ‘steps’ and ‘stepping’ were removed in favor of ‘step’, ‘startValue’ and ‘moveTo’ have been removed in favor of ‘value’ (option and method), and much more. For more detail, see the slider specification page.
We will provide detailed compatibility information and upgrade solutions with the final release, so stay tuned.
Drag & Drop logic overhaul
The positioning and intersection logic of drag and drop and sortables has been completely redone, along with more than 200 automated tests to test all different environments, i.e. scroll offsets and position values. As positive effect, at least 30 conditions where the positioning was failing (i.e. scroll not included, helper stick at top) had been fixed.
New widget designs
jQuery UI 1.6rc4 features an entirely new look and feel, designed by our new Interaction Design team and powered by the new jQuery UI CSS Framework. Each widget’s markup and CSS has been re-approached to provide our cleanest and most flexible solution yet.
jQuery UI 1.6rc4 is built upon a brand new powerful CSS framework. The new jQuery UI CSS framework is built to support not only jQuery UI’s own plugins, but also custom plugin development. It is a special kind of CSS framework that is aimed specifically at user interface development as opposed to overall page layout. The framework provides classes for commonly used UI utilities, states, containers and icons and is manipulated by jQuery UI ThemeRoller. Read more about the
framework API here: http://jqueryui.pbwiki.com/jQuery-UI-CSS-Framework
The website is currently going through some major updates, and in the first block of changes we’re happy to announce that the demos section has been completely redone from scratch. We removed the demo carousel (which was nice but not really usable), and introduced a page that both includes real world and functional demos for all widgets and interactions. The demos are directly pulled from the actual demos/ directory in our code repository, and then ajaxified. They are bookmarkable, and if you download the development bundle, you’ll see they even come as standalone!
This is only the first step of where we want to go for the final 1.6 release. If you’re interested in how it might look in the end, have a peek at our design wiki!
ThemeRoller has been completely redesigned to compliment the new CSS framework and widget designs. ThemeRoller now resides in a vertical sidebar and has loads of new features added, such as:
Toggle-able panels with previews
ThemeRoller’s levers are now grouped into collapsible panes for ease of use. Each pane shows a preview of that state’s current styles so you can still view its settings while collapsed.
New Levers! Round corners! Drop shadows!
We’ve added new levers to the application for highlight, error, corner radius, overlays, and overlay shadows. Try em out!
The jQuery UI CSS Framework comes with loads of icons for custom widget development. Icons are now packed into sprites and classes for each icon can be found in the docs.
We’ve added a bunch of cool new themes to the new gallery which can beviewed and customized in the gallery tab of ThemeRoller.
History/back button support
Every action you take in TR is now undoable/redoable through your browser’s history.
Legacy theme support
Themes designed using the older version of ThemeRoller will load just fine in ThemeRoller v2, but keep in mind that there are a number of new settings that your old theme will not have yet. This version of ThemeRoller allows you to still download any ThemeRoller theme for jQuery UI 1.5.
- PNG 8 Support in ThemeRoller
- New ThemeRoller developer tool: Pull ThemeRoller into any page on the web and design themes for custom components built using the jQuery UI CSS Framework.
- New ThemeSwitcher bookmarklet: A quick script that will allow you to bring a miniaturized Theme Gallery into your web pages to allow visitors to quickly change themes for custom components built using the jQuery UI CSS Framework.
Download and test!
Now go ahead and download from our download page, then help us test and report anything odd that looks like a bug in our bugtracker. Also note: jQuery UI 1.6 final will ship with and require jQuery 1.3, so please let us know if you find any issues when combining this release with jQuery 1.3b1.