A long overdue status update

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It has been a long time since the release of jQuery Mobile 1.4, and we have started to get a lot of questions about the status and future of the project. First and foremost, I would like to say that we are very much still alive and working. Looking at the master branch, it may seem like there hasn’t been much happening. That is because we moved our development to a jQuery Mobile 1.5 branch while we worked on some very big breaking changes. This work ended up taking a lot longer than expected which has delayed the release of 1.5-beta more than we would have liked.

With the beta release of jQuery UI 1.12, we are almost ready to release and have just three more widgets to finish work on (see the open Pull Requests for panel, table, and selectmenu). Here is a quick status update of what we have been doing and have coming up in future versions.

We have combined efforts with the jQuery UI team to stop duplicating widgets. We now share the rock solid and newly re-written jQuery UI core. Components from jQuery UI we now incorporate include:

  • Core (now broken up into individual micro modules)
  • Button
  • Checkboxradio
  • Controlgroup
  • Accordion
  • Tabs
  • Widget factory

We have made sure all of our widgets now support the core jQuery UI Widget factory methods and options. Included in the new features is a classes option, which allows complete control over the look of your widgets, which will open up whole new custom theming possibilities. Our work with jQuery UI will continue in future versions. In upcoming versions we will be working to incorporate the remainder of jQuery UI features and widgets (including the ever popular datepicker) into jQuery Mobile. A big step forward for jQuery Mobile will also be the incorporation of the interactions like draggable, droppable, and sortable from jQuery UI.

We have also not forgotten the widgets which are specific to jQuery Mobile. We have completely re-written the navbar and table widgets for 1.5. Continuing the work on auto-enhancement we began in 1.4, the auto-enhancement based on data-role has been completely rethought from the ground up. It is now a stand-alone module that can work with widgets as well as any function or jQuery method. It is now highly optimized for speed and page reload. In complex pages with lots of enhancement, the auto-enhancements are faster than individual selectors and function calls.

The team has been working hard behind the scenes improving our code quality, testing, and infrastructure. In 1.5 we have cleaned up a lot of our current testing infrastructure and now also share testing infrastructure we developed with jQuery UI. We have also unified our use of AMD and are finishing up sharing a download builder. In the future, we plan to also share a theme and theme roller with jQuery UI. Our plan for theme roller is to both use CSS Chassis and the theme roller they intend to build, separating the theming from the JavaScript libraries.

We have also been looking into how to provide the best possible touch screen support. To this end we have made two major decisions moving forward:

  • Looking forward, we are also working to join efforts with PEP (Pointer Events Polyfill) and Hammer.js to improve our gesture support. Hammer.js is a very popular and robust gestures library that will help to improve jQuery Mobile while lowering maintenance costs for the team.
  • We will also be removing our vmouse abstraction in favor of PEP, a pointer events polyfill.

Lastly, we would like to address browser support. We have always attempted to support as many browsers as possible, but in order to move forward in the rapidly changing landscape we will be dropping support for many older browsers. Going forward we will support:

  • IE 11+
  • Chrome Current -1
  • Firefox Current -1
  • Safari 8+
  • iOS 8+
  • Android 4+
  • Windows Phone 8.1+

We have not removed any workarounds or bug fixes in 1.5, but we will no longer be accepting bug reports against other browsers and will remove workarounds in 1.6.

There are many more changes coming both in 1.5 and future versions, but this gives you an idea of the things that we have been working on and what is coming in the future.

New Project Lead

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Today, we’re excited to announce that Alexander Schmitz is stepping up as the new jQuery Mobile Project lead. Alex, a regular speaker at the jQuery Conferences, joined the team in 2012 to become the Development lead a few months later. Alex’s involvement in jQuery UI, together with his experience as Development Lead for jQuery Mobile, make him the perfect candidate for the role, especially as we move into a new phase in the project, where we are merging Mobile and UI widgets and developing a common CSS Framework.

Former Project Lead Jasper de Groot will stay on the team together with the other team members Anne-Gaelle Colom, Gabriel Schulhof, and Ghislain Seguin. Having a great team is essential for an open source project, but the same goes for having an active community. We would like to thank all people who contributed to the project over the last four years. If you are also interested in contributing to the jQuery Mobile project, checkout the “About” page on the web site to see how you can get involved.

Project leadership

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Today we’re announcing a change to our project leadership. Since the start of the jQuery Mobile project in 2010, Todd Parker has been the project and design lead. After three years at the helm, he has decided to step aside as lead but will continue to participate as a team member with a focus on design and outreach.

We’re thrilled to announce that Jasper de Groot, a longtime team member, will be stepping in as the new jQuery Mobile project lead. Jasper is deeply knowledgeable and an all around great guy and we look forward to him leading the charge.

The most important part of any open source project is having a great team and we have that in spades with jQuery Mobile. We want to take a moment to recognize all the fantastic people on the mobile team, past and present, who have worked tirelessly over the last few years: Ghislain Seguin, John Bender, Gabriel Schulhof, Anne-Gaelle Colom, Alexander Schmitz, Scott Jehl, Mat Marquis, Kin Blas, Jason Scott, Tyler Benziger, Ralph Whitbeck, and over a hundred contributors from the community.

With this change in leadership, we’re also moving the Mobile and UI projects closer with more shared code, team members, meetings and a common destiny. We’ve been collaborating closely with Scott González, Jörn Zaefferer, and the rest of the UI team and look forward to a more unified approach going forward.

The team has been hard at work on the upcoming 1.4 release, which is nearing the alpha stage. It is focused on performance, API and code cleanup, and a new theme. Look for that release very soon.

New jQuery Mobile Logo

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The jQuery Mobile team is very excited to announce our new project logo. Up until today, we’ve been using a mobile green of the jQuery logo but we’re thrilled to now have our own unique identity.

The new logo expresses the central idea of our project: a unified UI library that adapts to all devices. The abstract, converging screens not only look cool, they represent the wide range of devices we support, from phones to tablets and desktops. The bright center point of greatest overlap is where we come in: the library that makes it possible to support this diversity with a single codebase that adapts to all sizes, input methods and capabilities.

We’d like to thank Ira F. Cummings, Ethan Marcotte, and the whole Filament Group crew for spearheading this effort.

We’ll be rolling this new logo out across the site and docs very soon.

Here are vector versions in PDF format.

jQuery Mobile: “Innovation of the Year” in the 2011 .net Awards

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We are honored to be recognized by the prestigious .net Awards awards as the “Innovation of the Year“.

This is an important achievement for the jQuery Mobile project and would like to thank the judges, community and .net Magazine for their support. We’d also like to congratulate our fellow nominees CSS3Pie and Google+, we’re honored to be in your company.

Learn more about the .net Awards

jQuery Mobile Wins a 2011 Open Source Award

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We are thrilled to announce that jQuery Mobile has been awarded the top honor in the “Open Source Mobile Toolkits and Libraries” category of the Packt 2011 Open Source Awards.

We want to thank the community for all their support of the project and look forward to using our award to keep up our momentum in our goal of creating an easy-to-use and broadly accessible user interface library for all popular mobile platforms.

The Open Source Awards is a contest that aims to encourage, support, recognize and reward Open Source projects. Formerly the Open Source CMS Award, the contest has been running since 2006 and is regarded as one of the most established platforms for recognizing excellence amongst Open Source Software.