Chapter 14. User Interfaces with jQuery UI

Richard D. Worth

Introduction

A couple years back, there was a set of quite popular jQuery plugins bundled in a package called Interface, written by Stefan Petre. These offered really great interactions, such as dragging-and-dropping, selecting, sorting, and resizing, and great widgets such as a tool tip, an autocomplete, and an accordion. The 1.2 release of jQuery had some API changes that would’ve required changes to Interface for it to be compatible, but Interface was never updated.

jQuery UI, started by Paul Bakaus, picked up where Interface left off. jQuery UI is a suite of plugins with a consistent API and complete documentation that has been tested in all major browsers. With it, you can create rich web interfaces and rich Internet applications (RIAs). Oh yeah, and the plugins work well together and are easy to use, accessible, extensible, and “themeable.”

jQuery UI is a sister project of jQuery. Version 1.0 of jQuery UI was released in September 2007. Version 1.5 was released in June 2008. About halfway through the development of 1.6, the team changed directions and ended up releasing 1.7 with some major changes, most specifically the introduction of the jQuery UI CSS Framework. jQuery UI 1.6 was released later for legacy compatibility. The latest stable release is 1.7.2 and includes the following interactions, widgets, and effects.

Interactions

  • Draggable (drag)

  • Droppable (and drop)

  • Resizable

  • Selectable

  • Sortable

Widgets

  • Accordion

  • Datepicker ...

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