jQuery maintainers update and transition jQuery UI as part of overall modernization efforts

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By: Michal Golebiowski-Owczarek, Felix Nagel, and the jQuery team

Editor’s Note: the following blog post was originally published to the OpenJS Foundation Blog.

The jQuery project is actively maintained and widely implemented — it’s used by 73% of 10 million most popular websites. As part of its ongoing effort to modernize the project, jQuery maintainers have taken steps to wind down one of its projects under the jQuery umbrella through a careful transition.

Today, jQuery UI announced version 1.13 — its first release in 5 years and the project’s final planned release. Perhaps the most important update is that jQuery UI 1.13 now runs on the latest version of jQuery Core, providing a number of browser compatibility and security updates that have been missing from previous releases, in addition to community fixes and improvements. The jQuery UI Download Builder has also been restored and updated so developers can continue to download UI along with their favorite themes. The release is part of an ongoing series of updates across all jQuery projects.

jQuery UI is in maintenance-only mode. Users should not expect any new releases, though patches may be issued to resolve critical security, interoperability, or regression bugs. Trac, the project’s bug-tracking tool, has been put in read-only mode and developers are asked to file any critical issues on the project’s GitHub repository.

jQuery UI was first launched in September 2007 as a curated set of user interface interactions, effects, widgets, and themes built on top of the jQuery library. It quickly gained popularity because it was one of the best tested and most accessible UI frameworks of its time. The tool helped developers build UI components such as form controls and date pickers using the best practices back then. In its heyday, jQuery UI was adopted by a broad set of enterprises including Pinterest, PayPal, IMDB, Huffington Post, and Netflix.

Today, jQuery UI continues to be an important testbed for jQuery Core updates, helping the maintainer team spot bugs and interoperability issues that arise as the web platform evolves.

Celebrating jQuery UI’s History

With the launch of jQuery in 2006, web developers were able to access and manipulate DOM and CSS faster and easier than ever before. Thousands of open source jQuery widgets and plugins were created to handle previously tricky problems, like showing and hiding elements, rotating through image carousels, or picking dates on a calendar. The jQuery ecosystem became a playground full of tools for making new and interesting interactions possible on the web.

‘New and interesting’ doesn’t always translate to ‘good and useful’ — though there were many good plugins available, it was not always easy to tell which would be the most performant or provide the best user experience. Developers might have to go searching for the right tools or worse, spend significant time swapping through several plugins to figure out which one worked best. Further, there were few examples of best practices in user experience on the web, so visitors to one website could have vastly different (and thus confusing) interactions when they performed a similar task on another website.

Members of the jQuery Core team wanted to help developers write performant, high-quality, and reusable jQuery components for their sites and applications. After some discussion, the idea for a second library with strict standards for coding, documentation, and theming was born. The project’s vision and goals included: developing a collaborative design process; providing flexible styling and themes; creating elegant visual and interaction design; providing a robust API; and prioritizing progressive enhancement, accessibility, internationalization and localization support.

In September 2007, jQuery UI officially launched as a set of user interface interactions, effects, widgets, and themes built on top of jQuery. Soon after, the team shifted their focus to provide a full set of APIs and methods to allow developers to create flexible, full-featured widgets that met high standards of quality. CSS effects such as easing and animation were added in and helped developers create more modern, enhanced experiences. The team at Filament Group later added a ThemeRoller, allowing developers to get started quickly by providing customizable theme boilerplate. ThemeRoller is still operational today.

By the end of 2008, jQuery UI had an exploding community of users, developers, and interaction designers regularly providing updates and improvements to the project as best practices and style preferences evolved. Between 2009 and 2016, the community provided a variety of new official and unofficial themes and plugins, interoperability and other bug fixes, robust testing processes, and support for multiple versions of jQuery.

jQuery UI’s prior official release came in September 2016, nearly a decade after it started. In that timeframe, the jQuery community had helped inspire dozens of other open source projects, pattern and component libraries. But newer CSS frameworks and approaches were taking hold, and slowly the community moved on to other projects. The UI team and jQuery Mobile teams merged, and the group focused more on maintenance and compatibility with jQuery Core.

jQuery UI became an OpenJS Foundation Emeritus project in 2018, recognizing that it was winding down while noting the significance it had for the JavaScript ecosystem.

Celebrating jQuery UI Maintainers and Contributors

The scope of the project and the inclusiveness of the community was responsible for helping countless web makers develop a love and appreciation for user experience, localization, internationalization, accessibility, and clean, reusable code. Though many hours of work and contribution went into making jQuery UI a successful library, the jQuery UI core team deserves extra recognition for more than a decade of hard work shepherding the work and the community throughout the project’s lifecycle. Alex Schmitz, Jörn Zaefferer, Felix Nagel, Mike Sherov, Rafael Xavier de Souza, and Scott González led a team of many core contributors and more than 300 additional authors.

Additional gratitude is owed to Michal Golebiowski-Owczarek for preparing the 1.13 release and stewarding the repository for the past year.

OpenJS Foundation will forever be grateful for the work of these open source developers and the impact they had on the ecosystem through their work. Please join us in celebrating these developers and jQuery UI!

jQuery Foundation Project Updates

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In order to make it easier for jQuery Foundation Members and Web developers to quickly stay abreast of all our projects, we will periodically publish consolidated project updates here.

jQuery Core

Powering 2/3 of sites, jQuery is a fast, small, and feature-rich JavaScript library

Since last December’s release, the team has been hard at work on a major 3.0 release. This release – the alpha of which came out on July 8 – comes with many updates (including Promises/A+ compliant Deferreds) and bug fixes, and it finally removes some previously deprecated and underused features.

Links: download, meeting notes, full list of 3.0 changes

A big thank you to the core team and everyone who contributed – and will contribute – to the upcoming release.
Questions?  Contact Timmy Willison

globalize-mark-light (1) Globalize

JavaScript library for internationalization and localization that leverages the official Unicode CLDR JSON data.

Globalize version 1.0 was released in April and provides developers with localized number formatting and parsing, date and time formatting and parsing, relative time formatting, currency formatting, and message formatting (with pluralization and gender support) that runs in browsers and Node.js, consistently across all of them.

One exciting thing the community is focused on is the ability to compile Globalize for production. This will enable applications to generate custom runtime code that is extremely small and fast.

Links: git, mailing list,
Questions?  Contact Rafael Xavier de Souza

icn-jquerymobile-logo jQuery Mobile

Unified, HTML5-based user interface system for all popular mobile device platforms, built on the jQuery and jQuery UI foundation

The team has been heads down on version 1.5.0, which will bring numerous improvements including:

  • A new standalone enhancer module for customizable, fast declarative initialization of any javascript including jQuery widgets and plugins.
  • Improved and re-written shared with jQuery UI including button, checkboxradio, and controlgroup and the accordion widget which will replace the current collapsible and collapsible set widgets.
  • All of jQuery Mobile’s widget will now also feature the classes option for improved customizability and theming.
  • Re-written table and navbar widgets
  • Greatly improved modularity

Check out full release plans here

Links: download, meeting notes

Questions?  Contact Alexander Schmitz

Esprima

High performance, standard-compliant ECMAScript parser written in JavaScript

In March, we released Esprima 2.1.0, introducing support for several new pieces of ES6 syntax. In the mean time, a lot of work has been done to complete its ES6 support (check the roadmap). We’ve also improved the testing infrastructure and workflow to make the codebase more contributor-friendly.

Links: git, mailing list

A big thank you to all those who contributed patches to this release: Ariya Hidayat, Bei Zhang, Brandon Mills, Mike Rennie, Mike Sherov.

Questions?  Contact Ariya Hidayat

icn-ui-logo jQuery UI

Curated set of UI interactions, effects, widgets, and themes built on top of the jQuery Library.

The team released jQuery UI 1.11.4 in March, bringing bug fixes for Draggable, Resizable, Sortable, Accordion, Dialog, Slider, and Tooltip.

We are focused now on support for Pointer Events, and splitting up UI Core and old jQuery support to enable smaller builds

Links: git, meeting notes
Questions? Contact Scott González

ChassisChassis

Creating open standards for CSS libraries, JavaScript UI libraries, and web developers in general.

The team is working on its Phase One release which will involve an initial CSS Framework – this is planned for later this summer.

Work is also underway for a themeroller.

Links: git, meeting notes

Thanks to Micheal Arestad, Alexander Schmitz and Rohit Mulange

Questions?  Contact Sarah Frisk

qunitQUnit

Powerful, easy-to-use JavaScript unit testing framework

The latest release, 1.18.0, made a lot of improvements to the HTML reporter, making it more efficient to debug failures. For example, a new diff algorithm makes it easier to spot the difference in failed expected/actual assertions.

We’re currently working on the js-reporters project, which QUnit will implement, along with hopefully many other JavaScript testing frameworks and tools. The goal is to standardize an API with events and event data for test runners. A tool like Karma could then adopt a single interface instead of having to support each testing tool individually.

If you want to help moving QUnit along, check out these issues.

Links: git, meeting notes

Questions?  Contact Jörn Zaefferer

PEP

PointerEvents Polyfill: a unified event system for the web platform

PEP’s First release (0.3.0) came out in April and the the project is presently working to automate and improve the W3C test suite.

Links: git, meeting notes,

Questions?  Contact Scott González

Volunteers Wanted: Trac Enhancements

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The jQuery and jQuery UI teams use Trac to do their bug reporting and tracking. The jQuery Core bug tracker could really use a Trac expert to migrate us to Trac 1.0 and fix a few nagging issues we’ve been having. If you’re an expert Trac-meister, or just someone with good Trac setup/configuration experience who’s up to the challenge, we’d love to talk with you! Send a message to dave(at)jquery.com and we’ll be in touch.

Since some of you will inevitably ask: GitHub’s integration between issues and commits is wonderful, but it’s not anywhere near as powerful as Trac when it comes to searching and reporting. In addition, our projects have more than seven years of history comprising thousands of bug reports with important data in them. That’s a non-trivial amount of data to import into GitHub issues and groom to be useful once it’s imported. We feel that staying with Trac is the lowest-effort way for us to give us the bug tracking abilities we need.

jQuery Licensing Changes

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Some important changes have occurred in the latest releases of several jQuery projects such as core, UI, Mobile, Sizzle, and QUnit. You may not have noticed them because they didn’t really change the actual code, documentation, or functionality. Instead, these changes were designed to clarify the ownership and licensing of the software. If you’re not a lawyer, most of this won’t make a lot of difference to you, but it’s important to us.

One simplification we made was to remove the GNU General Public License (GPL), leaving only the MIT License. Having just one license option makes things easier for the Foundation to manage and eliminates confusion that existed about the Foundation’s previous dual-licensing policy. However, this doesn’t affect your ability to use any of the Foundation’s projects. You are still free to take a jQuery Foundation project, make changes, and re-license it under the GPL if your situation makes that desirable. The Free Software Foundation site confirms that the MIT License is a “lax, permissive non-copyleft free software license, compatible with the GNU GPL.”

Over time, more than 500 people have contributed to the projects currently managed by the jQuery Foundation. We’re working hard to make sure that everyone who has contributed gets the credit they deserve. Many of the projects now have an AUTHORS.txt file in their root that list all the major contributors in chronological order. Scott González did a lot of the heavy lifting to get the author lists in order, and created useful tools so that we can keep them that way. Of course, you can always see the author of a specific change to a project by looking at the commit in the git log or on GitHub.

It’s important to the jQuery Foundation that licensing of the code and documentation is clear, so the community can continue to use it without interruption. Doing so requires a “paper trail” so it is unambiguous that the Foundation has permission to use the code and the contributor had the ability to contribute that code in the first place. For an example of the latter, think about the situation where an employee works on jQuery Foundation projects at the company office; their employer might claim they own that work and the employee had no right to license it to the Foundation.

To make the licensing clear, contributors are asked to sign a Contributor License Agreement (CLA). jQuery team members will sign a Copyright Assignment Agreement (CAA) which actually assigns the copyright to the jQuery Foundation. For more discussion of what a CLA or CAA does, see this article.

All of these changes guarantee that the jQuery Foundation’s open source projects will be dependable resources for developers and businesses. They also ensure that when you contribute, you’ll get some recognition for the work that you’ve done. So with all that legal stuff out of the way, come help us build the jQuery Foundation projects!

Official Plugins: A Change in The Roadmap

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Barely six months ago, we announced that we were adopting three plugins developed chiefly at Microsoft – Templating, Data Link, and Globalization – as official plugins, to be developed in accordance with the standards of and supported by the jQuery project. Today, we’d like to take an opportunity to share what we’ve learned in the interim and announce a change in course for these and the rest of jQuery’s “Official Plugins.”

There never has been a dedicated jQuery team for supporting Official Plugins. Prior to the adoption of Microsoft’s contributions, the plugins that the jQuery project supported – Color, Easing, bgiframe, Mousewheel, Metadata, and Cookie – were dead-simple, effective plugins for achieving a particular utilitarian end. They required little maintenance, stalwartly serving with little fuss from version to version of jQuery core. In recent months, as we noticed an uptick in questions related to the three new plugins, we realized there was a disconnect. Though development on beta versions of the plugins continued at Microsoft, the planned jQuery sub-team that was meant to collaborate with and adopt Microsoft’s work never formed.

As demand has grown, based on the existence of the beta versions of the plugins as well as promises made in the posts, we’ve sensed the rumbles, the confusion, and the confused exclamations: “I thought templating was going to be in 1.5!” Because of your concerns and ours, we’ve decided to eliminate the notion of Official Plugins altogether. It’s a difference that’s both semantic and symbolic, but this is its material impact:

Many of the original supported jQuery plugins (Color, Easing, and Mousewheel) will continue to be supported and maintained by the jQuery Core Dev Team. The Metadata plugin will be deprecated, in favor of similar functionality provided by jQuery 1.4.3 and above. The Cookie plugin will continue to be maintained by Klaus Hartl.

The jQuery UI project will take ownership over plugins on which it has a current or future dependency: Templating, Globalization, and bgiframe. The jQuery UI team plans to begin work anew on templating and globalization, starting with the normal process for UI plugins: Collaborative development on a spec. While some may perceive this as a setback, given existing progress on the current jquery-tmpl plugin, it is really an opportunity for us to work in tandem with the community — Microsoft included — to develop an implementation that will be effective and flexible. The “official plugins” Microsoft has been developing have always been in a beta state, subject to change and with significant revisions planned for the Beta 2 release, but we recognize (and appreciate) those of you who have jumped in and started to experiment and use them in your applications. The UI team is still in the early planning stages for the Templating and Globalization plugins, and we invite you to visit the planning wiki and share your thoughts about development.

Microsoft will continue to develop and support the Data Link plugin independently, and will take ownership of hosting the documentation for the existing plugins.  In the short term, however, we’ll keep the documentation for these plugins on api.jquery.com, in order preserve a reference for anyone who needs it. For more on Microsoft’s plans for Data Link, please read their Official Plugins Update. We value Microsoft’s ongoing contribution to jQuery, providing developer time and financial support for a number of efforts, including the jQuery UI Grid and the jQuery conferences.

We realize that some of these details may seem in flux or merely organizational, but we know that it’s important to tell the community of changes like these as they’re happening so that you can make the best decisions for your applications as soon as possible. We hope you understand why we’ve had to make these shifts and encourage you to get involved and help us push these important projects along!

Addendum: So Why Weren’t Templates in 1.5?

Though we initially announced that the jquery-tmpl plugin would be part of jQuery Core in version 1.5, the plugin was, as it is today, still in the Beta 1 stage. Thus, when the time came last December to really evaluate new features for 1.5, it was not really considered ready for inclusion. Given what we’ve explained above, we hope it’s clear that we don’t plan to include templating directly in Core in the near future. The jQuery UI Templating plugin will be a standalone plugin with no dependencies on any other part of jQuery UI, and will become the only templating solution “officially” supported by the project, though jQuery will, of course, continue to work with any JavaScript templating engine that spits out good, old-fashioned strings of HTML.

Hotlinking to be disabled on January 31, 2011

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Lately, we have noticed a significant increase in traffic from sites that hotlink directly to files on our various properties (jquery.com, jqueryui.com, dev.jquery.com, etc.) instead of downloading and hosting them locally or taking advantage of the CDNs that we and others (Google, Microsoft, etc.) provide for this purpose. This behavior has started to negatively affect the performance of our network and is preventing legitimate users from accessing our site at peak times.

In order to improve the performance and availability of our sites for all users, we have disabled hotlinking to images across our entire network. We will be disabling hotlinking to all other types of content (such as CSS and JavaScript) at the end of January. If your site is hotlinking to jQuery domains other than code.jquery.com, please be aware that you must update your site before this deadline or it will stop functioning normally.

For information on upgrading your site to take advantage of one of the available CDNs, or to download jQuery to host on your own server, please visit:

Downloading jQuery
jQuery UI 1.8.7 Release Notes

Thank you for your cooperation!

jQuery Community Updates 10/26

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Updates From jQuery Core

I’ve got some good news today about the next version of jQuery: jQuery 1.4.4. On the heels of the 1.4.3 release, which included many fixes (and of course the introduction of jQuery Mobile), we felt it would be of most benefit to the community if we were to make a maintenance release soon after, aimed to further improve the stability of the jQuery core.

For 1.4.4, we’ve identified those bugs that were most critical for us to fix and thanks to John Resig and the bug triage team, we’ve already fixed the majority of these issues. We currently intend on releasing 1.4.4 in early November, assuming no further major bugs are targeted for this release.

Today, we would like to ask the community to assist us in ensuring this new release is as stable as possible through stress-testing it. While we already run a comprehensive suite of automated unit tests on jQuery, adding real-world user testing into our project flow allows us the opportunity to fix critical bugs sooner and will assist in 1.4.4 being a significant improvement over the last release.

If you would like to test 1.4.4, you can download an up-to-the-minute version of it (dubbed jQuery Git) here:

http://code.jquery.com/jquery-git.js

Please bear in mind that this version is not yet ready for production systems and is only made available for evaluation and testing. It is also now available on jsFiddle.net under the entry ‘jQuery 0 Git’.

We appreciate the community’s assistance in helping us make this release as stable as possible and welcome any feedback you may have on it. If you notice a bug in this release and would like to report it, please see the guidelines on bug submission.

Updates From the jQuery UI Team

The developers from the jQuery UI team stayed in Boston for three days after the conference and were able to fix quite a few bugs and do some face-to-face planning on the future of jQuery UI. jQuery UI 1.8.6 is nearing a release date very soon, so keep an eye on the jQuery UI blog for it.

Additionally, the jQuery UI team is working with Colin Snover to migrate jQuery UI’s ticket system over to a new system like jQuery Core just received. We are really excited about having a more stable and collaborative ticket tracking system and would love more contributions from the community helping in ticket triage. If you are interested in contributing, please talk to a jQuery Developer Relations team member.

The Official jQuery Podcast with Ralph Whitbeck and Rey Bango released their 37th episode last week. Their guest this week was Ben Nadel and they discussed jQuery in the ColdFusion community as well as talk about the jQuery Conference that took place in Boston last weekend. This week they’ll be interviewing John Resig about jQuery 1.4.3 and jQuery Mobile. If you have any questions you would like answered please send your question via the contact form.

Don’t forget about our forums. We have a vibrant community asking and answering questions. We would love more people contributing by helping others out in answering questions. It’s a great way to get involved in the project; being able to give your knowledge back to others is very rewarding.

jQuery Conference 2010: San Francisco Bay Area Announced

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Microsoft Silicon Valley Research CenterThe jQuery Project is very excited to announce the dates for our first-ever San Francisco Bay Area conference. The conference will be held at the Microsoft Silicon Valley Research Center in Mountain View, California on April 24th and 25th, 2010.

The San Francisco Bay Area conference is the second of four events planned by the jQuery Project in 2010. The first was the jQuery14 event, and additional conferences are being planned in Europe and on the East Coast for later this year.

This venue is the largest that the project has worked with to date (Harvard Law School in ‘07, the MIT Stata Center in ‘08 and Microsoft New England Research Center in ’09) and we expect to sell out very quickly.

Registration is currently scheduled to open on Wednesday, March 17th; tickets will be priced at $199. In addition to General Admission tickets, we’re offering a limited number of discounted student tickets priced at $99, with a valid student ID.

Watch the jQuery blog or jQuery Twitter feed for notification when registration opens.

A brief synopsis of some of the content that you’ll be able to expect:

  • jQuery
  • jQuery UI
  • jQuery Plugins
  • Complex Application Development
  • jQuery Case Studies

In addition to two days of jQuery sessions, for the first time we’ll be adding an additional day of jQuery training, prior to the main event. The training will be provided by appendTo and focused on helping you and your team get up to speed on jQuery prior to attending the conference. The training will cover the following topics:

  • Introduction to jQuery
  • Finding Something
  • Doing Something With It
  • Chaining
  • Introduction to jQuery UI
  • Implementing jQuery UI Widgets

The training will be held on April 23rd at the Microsoft San Francisco offices in downtown San Francisco; tickets will cost $299. All proceeds from training go to the jQuery Project.

Interested in speaking? Please fill out our call for speaking submissions form and watch the jQuery Blog for updates.

jQuery UI 1.7 Released: New domain, New CSS Framework & Dramatic Updates to Controls

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We’re excited to announce the release of jQuery UI v1.7, the newest version of jQuery’s effects and UI library. This release culminates many months of development in which a major overhaul of the whole library was performed and a new CSS framework introduced, all in order to provide a professional and easily extensible set of UI controls and effects for jQuery developers. The new CSS framework is especially exciting since it will not only allow for easy theming of jQuery UI controls but also allow plugin authors in general to take advantage of ThemeRoller, the dynamic theme generation application developed by the Filament Group for the jQuery UI project.

Full details of this new & exciting release can be found on the new jQuery UI blog.