Ben Nadel
On User Experience (UX) Design, JavaScript, ColdFusion, Node.js, Life, and Love.
I am the chief technical officer at InVision App, Inc - a prototyping and collaboration platform for designers, built by designers. I also rock out in JavaScript and ColdFusion 24x7.
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Ben Nadel at cf.Objective() 2012 (Minneapolis, MN) with: Erik Meier and Jesse Shaffer

jQuery And Ext Partner To Deliver Integrated JavaScript And UI Features

By Ben Nadel on

Like a young boy who stumbled across his big brother's nudie magazines, my first experience with jQuery was an epiphany - a moment of realization that life was about to get a whole lot better. And while I have only just begun to scratch the surface of the vast yet simple API that is jQuery, I have already fantasized about the ease with which I will create rich, sexy internet applications.

But now, just as I am really beginning to get my feet wet, I am again filled with excitement; I have just been told that the jQuery Project and Jack Slocum's Ext Project, have partnered to integrate the jQuery framework with Ext's UI library and DomQuery DOM parser. For those of you not familiar with the Ext Project, it can be summed up as an extension to the kick-ass user interface library that creates much better and richer interfaces than anything I would ever be able to make on my own.... otherwise known as the Yahoo UI Library.

I have not worked much with this library as I have found it's API quite large and a bit daunting. As such, I have not been able to take advantage of the amazing interface opportunities. However, now that jQuery is getting a hold of it, I am more than positive that we are in for a simple and powerful API that will make creating rich user interfaces all too easy.

Check out the press release below and let the fantasies begin (view as PDF):


For immediate release

BOSTON, Massachusetts -- February 19, 2007

The most mature User Interface library for web applications will soon support jQuery, the two projects announced today.

Ext, a group of renowned User Interface components including a tree view, live grid, dual-panel layout among others, previously worked as an extension to the YUI library. Beginning with version 1.0 of Ext, it will work as an extension to jQuery as well, allowing jQuery users to leverage the power of the user interface tools available in Ext with the lightweight core library and expressive syntax of the best library for unobtrusive DOM scripting.

"We're really excited by this collaboration. Ext is a fantastic library, and being able to provide it as an official jQuery Plugin is a huge win for everyone involved," said John Resig, the creator of the jQuery JavaScript library.

The difficulty of combining functionality from multiple libraries has long forced new JavaScript developers to make difficult choices between User Interface tools and the core language itself. This collaboration will eliminate the need to make that tough choice. The jQuery library combined with Ext as an official plugin is a blockbuster combination of tools that will make rapid JavaScript and Ajax development in the context of desktop- like UIs possible.

What follows are the answers to common questions about the partnership:

- What prompted the collaboration?

Ext has some fantastic components - arguably, the best on the web.

jQuery has all the core functionality to support what Ext provides, with a far smaller core file-size than YUI. The jQuery team contacted Jack Slocum with the hopes that we could work together to make Ext work with jQuery, and Jack wholeheartedly agreed. It's a win-win situation: jQuery gets some awesome components, and Ext gets a huge influx of new users.

- What are the benefits for jQuery and Ext users?

jQuery users get a huge number of expertly-designed components that they will be able to deploy immediately. Additionally, they'll be able to use them in a manner that better suits the jQuery philosophy (e.g. leveraging jQuery's unobtrusive philosophy, being able to call Ext queries on sets of elements, chaining calls, etc.) Additionally, jQuery is also investigating the possibility of supporting the use of DomQuery, Ext's selector engine, as an alternative to jQuery's CSS Selector code.

At the same time, existing Ext users will gain the flexibility of being able to continue to use Ext's professional caliber components while leveraging the lightweight, small (~19k) and powerful jQuery framework.

- How will the two teams work together?

After the first beta release of Ext 1.0, jQuery will be providing a strike team which will work to iron out all the integration points in Ext. At the same time, Jack will be working to isolate all the remaining YUI code, making it easier for us to finish the conversion process. All of this will be in place for Ext's 1.0 release, which will support both YUI and jQuery.

- How will support be handled?

The jQuery team will be providing support for any bugs that may only exist in the jQuery version of Ext. Support for Ext will continue to be handled via the Ext forums. The Ext project will also begin offering a level of paid support for corporate users.

- What Ext features will be included in Ext 1.0 for jQuery

We expect all existing Ext features to be available in the version of Ext available as a jQuery plugin. The feature list is still being finalized.

- When will Ext 1.0 for jQuery be available?

The final release date is still being finalized and we will make a formal announcement on the jQuery blog, the jQuery mailing list, the Ext project site and the Ext forums once the its ready to go.

- Are there any changes to jQuery's license since Ext will also include a commercial version?

No. jQuery's license will remain the same since Ext 1.0 is going to be completely open source (LGPL). However, corporations can opt to purchase a Ext support license for $400/year. This will include email support and SVN access. This support license will include support for jQuery's version of the Ext components.

jQuery licensing information can be found here:
http://docs.jquery.com/Licensing

Ext licensing information can be found here:
http://www.yui-ext.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=2737

About the jQuery Project

jQuery is a fast, concise, open source JavaScript Library that simplifies how you traverse HTML documents, handle events, perform animations, and add Ajax interactions to your web pages. Led by John Resig, the jQuery project aims to provide an easy, yet powerful library for building engaging and unobtrusive web applications.

jQuery is currently in use at top organizations including MSNBC, Intuit, and SourceForge.

For more information, visit www.jquery.com



Reader Comments

I've been wanting to test out jQuery for ages... But between that and work, side projects, learning other stuff (prototype, script.aculo.us, Rails), I've not managed yet. But this is definitely another motivating factor, because Jack Slocum's stuff kicks ass. Sometimes I wonder if he's really human.

Reply to this Comment

Thomas,

Yeah, I just started working with it and its very exciting. Good luck finding time! I know it's of very short supply :)

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