The jQuery UI team made a big announcement today regarding the immediate release of jQuery UI 1.8 final, the latest release of the official user interface library for jQuery.
From the release post:
Now it’s even easier to build your own widgets or extend ours, whether you use the jQuery UI Widget Factory, the jQuery UI CSS Framework, or both. This release is a collective effort spanning more than 9 months with contributions from hundreds of developers, designers, testers and users.
Though the release signifies the completion of major milestones, optimizations and additions, two things in this release really have me the most excited:
For anyone who has tried to use one for the many autocomplete variants, they know just how annoying and/or difficult they were to work with. It seemed I always had to hack the plugin I was using just to get it to cooperate. Because of my experiences, I am super excited to see the jQuery UI team bring on, rebuild and fully support the Autocomplete plugin as one of the core UI plugins.
I love working with jQuery Plugins and I extensively structure my websites by building little (or large) plugins to handle abstracted functionality. The issue that always came up was the idea of a plugin maintaining state, and having that state able to be altered at any time. The reworked Widget Factory has been abstracted into its own file, with no dependency on the jquery.ui.core.js file. This means plugin developers now have a design pattern they can follow to build stateful plugins for their projects.
I hope the release of the updated Widget Factory pushes jQuery plugin development further in a big way!
I want to wish a big congratulations to the jQuery UI team for all their hard work in bringing 1.8 to a releasable state.
Be sure to head on over to jQuery UI to download the latest version. Remember, it requires jQuery 1.4.2!