jQuery 1.3.2 and jQuery UI 1.7 Released

In the woot! department, the jQuery and jQuery UI Javascript libraries have seen major updates.

jQuery’s 1.3 branch upgrade happened back in January, with two bug fix releases since then to get to 1.3.2. This is a major upgrade, including features like:

  • A new CSS selector engine that's 50% faster.
  • HTML injection into the DOM is 6x faster. I can attest to this - I do a lot of DOM injection, and it flies.
  • Browser sniffing has been replaced by capabilities detection. In other words, there isn't a "if Gecko version > 1.8 do x" sort of thing going on behind the scenes for cross browser compatibility. Instead, it's checking individual features to see if the browser supports them. It's very innovative and the first Javascript library to do it like this.
  • Live events, or events you can bind to both current and future elements.
  • Lots more.
What held me back from using it for a while was the jQuery UI, which had to change directions and split the library into jQuery 1.2.x and jQuery 1.3.x versions, delaying the release for a while (and some bugs with the Accordion control in the release candidates were killing me). But now jQuery UI 1.7 is out, and it was well worth the wait. New features include:
  • A new CSS framework and Themeroller. This is really great stuff. The new themes are fantastic, and things like rounded corners degrade nicely on crud like IE. You can select from their pre-built themes or use their Themeroller interface to build your own. The CSS frameworks are flexible and can be used with controls you build yourself. The pre-built themes, along with the library itself, is hosted on Google's CDN.
  • A new Progress Bar plugin.
  • Lots of code tweaks and improvements.
The day it was released, I updated Geospatial Portal with the latest libraries and included a couple of alternate UI themes. You can find the latest code on the projects page. Due to the new jQuery UI CSS themes I was able to simplify the page markup a good bit, and the only alterations to code I had to do were to content sizes of the dialog windows (it now calculates percentages more accurately) and to change the alwaysOpen: false accordion option to collapsible: true (alwaysOpen is depricated and will be dropped at the next release).

jQuery is usually my Javascript library of choice, and these are great new releases. If you use jQuery or you are looking for a Javascript library, the new releases of jQuery and jQuery UI definitely warrant a look.