What’s Up With jQuery UI?

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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.  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.

19 thoughts on “What’s Up With jQuery UI?

  1. Glad to see that Magnifier has been removed. I assume that means the “OSX Style Dock” is out as well. There are more than a few other widgets that I’d nominate for the chopping block.

    What’s the mission of jQuery.UI? As a developer, what I’m hoping for/wanting is a base toolkit I can use to speed up development of my applications. Specialized widgets like Magnifier (and Ribbon-Style Toolbar?) seem to be more suited as stand-alone plugins.

    Overall, very happy with what the UI team has done thusfar – looking forward to v2 of ThemeRoller!

  2. Great to hear about the release. Sure am a little disappointed that the autocomplete has been pushed back though, that was a major drawcard.

  3. Wow! that progress bar looks really really nice. Though the demo link on the design & planning wiki is not functioning

    Also nice to see ui being used in wordpress (noticed in 2.7)
    Themeroller is also very special

    it is a downer about the autocomplete

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  5. Paul T. on said:

    Thank you and the entire team and community working on jQuery UI. It is a great set of tools that I have began to include into the solution I provide to my customers. As the project matures and more widgets are added, I think I will start to suggest its usage in the corporate projects I’m involved, which supports some of the world’s top Tier-1 telecommunications companies.

    Again… THANK YOU.

  6. Cool!

    I was wondering when 1.6 final would be available… December sounds good! I’ve just started as a web developer at Keytrade Bank and I’m removing all the Prototype on our secure site and jQuerifying it!

    Keep up the good work and thanks for the update!

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  8. Jonathan on said:

    Great to see such active progress! Though I would REALLY recommend making the switch from SVN to Git. Looks like there are gonna be a lot of things being added and re-factored and it will make the management of all these commits MUCH, MUCH easier.

  9. Good news.
    I hope that now we will have updates more frequently…
    I don’t know why, but I don’t wnat to use qooxdoo or extjs, nor smartclient, or yahoo ui, I am waiting for a mature jquery UI.
    In January I hope I will have more free time and I will consider to contribute somehow to jquery

  10. I love jQuery. But, I’m a bit annoyed that I can’t visit jquery.com with Internet Explorer. I’m using IE7 and it renders incorrectly. Just letting you know so you can fix it.

  11. dave: “I’m using IE7 and it renders incorrectly.”

    You’re right, IE tends to do that. Maybe you should let MS know.

  12. Thanks for the update and glad to see lots of organization and such. Trying to get up to speed so I can contribute somehow to jquery ui development, again thanks for all the hard work guys.

  13. dave: “I’m using IE7 and it renders incorrectly.”
    Jerome: “You’re right, IE tends to do that. Maybe you should let MS know.”

    Interesting. Like other JS frameworks, JQuery claims to work cross-browser, so this shouldn’t be an MS issue.

  14. Vinh: “Like other JS frameworks, jQuery claims to work cross-browser, so this shouldn’t be an MS issue.”

    It’s an interesting idea that JavaScript frameworks should not limit themselves to scripting but also fix HTML rendering bugs in all supported browsers. But, honestly, do you find it feasible?