Development Update – Week of July 4th, 2011

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Improvements on deck for beta 2

We have a bunch of improvements that we’re working to land for beta 2 which is slated for release in about 2 weeks. Here are a few key features that we’re excited about adding. Each of these is in a branch for testing so let us know what you think:

  • Expanded browser support for animated page transitions – we’re working now on switching over to CSS transitions (from Webkit-only keyframe animations) and adding vendor-prefixed CSS rules for Opera and Firefox. View issue page and preview the “transitions” branch to test drive them now.
  • DOM size management feature – We’re working on adding a feature that will remove pages loaded in into the DOM via Ajax when the page is hidden (transitioned out). If you want to return to this page, the browser may be able to retrieved the cached version and load that in instead of re-requesting it so we’re leveraging the native browser’s capabilities to manage memory use. View the commit for this feature and give it a preview the “disable-ajax-dom-caching” branch.
  • Pre-fetch page feature – Another very cool feature we’re working on is the ability to flag pages that should be pre-fetched by Ajax. For example, if you’re building a photo gallery with each photo on a separate HTML page, you can pre-fetch the previous and next pages in the slideshow sequence so they will display immediately without the Ajax loader. By adding a data-prefetch attribute to any anchor element in the page and the framework will lazy load the pages into the DOM in the background. View the commit for this feature and preview in the “prefetch” branch.

We hope to land these in master next week after we complete testing. After beta 2 is out, we have a even more improvements in the pipeline: pushstate support, more extensible navigation model, self-initializing widgets and more.

IE9/WP7 Mango: Removing gradient support

The jQuery Mobile framework uses CSS-based gradients to reduce our need for images to make pages load faster. We support the various vendor-prefixed gradient syntaxes for Webkit and Firefox and will soon be adding Opera prefixed rules too. In addition, we currently include the -ms-filter syntax to support gradients in IE 8/9.

In preparation for the upcoming WP7 Mango update (based on the IE9 rendering engine), we were doing gradient testing and found some disappointing results: In both IE 9 and Mango, the -ms-filter gradient rules have serious rendering issues when combined with rounded corners, causing the background color of the element to break out of the corner radius (see screenshot). We’ve discussed this with Microsoft and the browser team won’t be fixing this rendering issue because the filter syntax is deprecated as they are moving to the standard CSS gradient syntax for IE 10.

So we’re left with a tough choice: if we leave the -ms-filter gradient rules in our CSS so gradients look good in IE 8, it will seriously degrade the experience in IE 9/Mango with rounded corners. At this time, we are planning on removing -ms-filter gradient rules so IE 8/9 and Mango will display flat background colors throughout the UI. This will enable rounded corners to display cleanly in IE 9/Mango (IE 7/8 don’t support border-radius). We think this is the best course of action and places us in a better position for the future.

Plugin developers: Widget template

If you are creating jQuery Mobile plugins, you can make it easy on users by following similar patterns to the core widgets: use the UI widget factory and auto-initialize your widget by data- attributes on page creation. To help everyone out, we created a simple gist showing how to set up a jQuery Mobile widget.

Help support the project

We’re always looking for help and support since we’re a very small team with limited resources.

  • Donate test devices – we’re looking to expand out test lab so we’re looking for more smartphones and tablets. We especially need Nokia, Samsung Bada, new Palm WebOS 3.0 devices, and Android devices. If you have contacts at manufacturers you can connect us with, we’d appreciate that too
  • Donate developer time – we are looking for dedicated developers that can help us fix bugs, write unit tests and documentation.
  • Donate funds – individuals can donate to the jQuery project and we’re looking for corporate sponsorship to support the project.

Please contact Todd Parker to start up a conversation on how you can help the project. We appreciate your support!

Thanks to Group.Mobi: New test device donations

We’d like to thank Terence Reis and the rest of the Grupo.Mobi team for their generous donation this week of a new Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 and Android 2.3 phone for our test lab. Grupo.Mobi specializes in mobile app, game and site development, advertising and marketing for a broad range of top-tier companies. We really appreciate their help and support!


Notable Commits this week

XSS risk with XHR level2 cross domain request (issue #1990) – jQuery mobile can load other domain’s html so there is a security risk, as it can XSS or display fake contents. Created new option for $.mobile.ajaxCrossDomainEnabled and set the default to false

Updated latest build to use 1.6.2 – In the demos & docs pages.

Get the latest builds on the jQuery CDN

To take advantage of the daily improvements happening in jQuery Mobile, be sure to check out out the new daily and latest builds that are now available on the jQuery CDN for hotlinking. This allows you to upgrade to the latest code without waiting for the next official release.

Here are the three files to include in the head of your page to always be viewing the latest in Git:

<link href="" rel="stylesheet" type="text/css" />
<script src=""></script>
<script src=""></script>


Please keep in mind that this the unstable, development version so we don’t recommend linking to the latest in a production site or app but it’s great for development and testing.


Development Update – Week of June 27th, 2011

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The overall response to the Beta 1 release has been very positive and we appreciate all the words of encouragement we’ve heard on our progress to date. As with any major release, there are bound to a be a few snags so let’s start off with the one major problem we’ve seen: click handling on links.

Beta 1: Issues with vclick for handling links

In Beta 1, we switched to using our custom vclick event for handling Ajax links to improve responsiveness and this change seemed to help hide the URL bar consistently on the iPhone and Android phones. The vclick feature is a custom synthetic event that normalizes events by listening for touch and click events. It works at the document level and looks for duplicate events on the same target and will go with the one that bubbles up first and cancels the duplicate event.

Even though we did quite a bit of testing before landing this for Beta 1, we began to hear feedback that this change was causing some significant issues out in the wild including:

  • Multiple click events causing navigation and form element issue – In certain situations, when tapping an element, tap/click events seem to fire twice on links and is due to edge cases where the target of the touch event and mouse event don’t match due to how the browsers calculate tolerances for these events. This is most pronounced on Android  2.1 but affects most WebKit-based browsers when you tap near the edge of an element.
  • Click handlers in custom scripts didn’t “work” anymore – if a script binds only to click events on the document, the vclick feature could interfere because the touch events may supercede these click events so it won’t appear to trigger.
  • Disabling vclick globally didn’t work – To compound the issue, we had recommended using a new $.mobile.useFastClick option to disable the vclick feature globally but there was an issue with this option in Beta 1 that prevented this from working as designed.

Our solution: Roll back from vclick to click globally

Based on a lot of detailed testing and analysis, we’ve decided to roll back to using standard click events on links instead of vclick because it’s the only reliable way to support all our target browsers. If you test on the latest builds with this change integrated, things should work reliably again. There are two important things to note in this change:

  • URL bar hiding isn’t quite as slick as in Beta 1, but link handling is obviously much more important. The good news is that there is still a significant improvement from Alpha 4.1: although URL bar may appear briefly it overlays the page in iOS instead of pushing down content and causing a re-draw blink. We methodically tried every technique we could to keep the URL bar hidden but there is unfortunately a Safari bug (even in the latest Beta 2 of iOS 5) that makes it impossible to hide the bar reliably.
  • The useFastClick option is now removed in the latest code because we’re not using vclick globally anymore on links and don’t recommend doing this going forward. We hardly knew ye…

Checkboxes and Radio buttons: New, Simpler design

Now onto fun fun stuff: the previous design for checkboxes or radio buttons highlighted the entire button background to the active state. We’ve wanted to tweak this for some time because having the full button switch tothe active state could be a bit overwhelming visually, especially on a check list with multiple items selected.

To make these controls a bit simpler visually and also fall in-line with standard UI conventions, now just the check or radio form element flips to the active state instead of the whole button. Note that the horizontal, grouped check and radio groups still flip the while label to the active state color because we hide the form element in these cases.

All code formatting: Cleaned up & JSlint-ready

Thanks to an intense 24 hour sprint by Rick Waldron of Bocoup, all our code formatting now conforms with with the jQuery core styleguide for whitespace and organization. This also makes the library work with JSLint and other validation tools.

Next major release: Beta 2

We’re working on some exciting additions to the library including broader transition support, pushState and more. For the near term, we’re going to target the Beta 2 release within the next 2 weeks to get these click changes and other improvements into the stable release so the pace of releases will start being much more frequent.

Notable Commits this week

Switch back to processing link clicks on the “click” event because it really is the only reliable way across all the devices we support. Fixes any of the double click events, missed clicks or click event not being processed. Also, removed the useFastClick option and documentation references since using vclick isn’t a workable solution for links.

mobile.changePage not working on BB5 (issue #1907)- multi-page docs don’t work, and clicking a link cause a “page is too large” error. The fix for this was to tweak the regex related.

Fix for the mysterious “page is too large” error on Blackberry 5 prior to beta 1. Turns out this little code was enough to invoke the error: “/dir1/dir2”.replace(/\/?/, “”); Rewrote the regexp in path.makePathAbsolute() that was stripping leading slash, and trailing filename/slash. This gets around the problem. Special thanks to @adambiggs for helping us test 33 iterations when trying to narrow down the cause!

Fixed form buttons no longer submit forms in Internet Explorer 8

Corrected corner styling issue with listview refresh on growing lists (issue #1470) – If list items were appended and the refresh() method called, the correct corners were not being assigned.

Fixed incorrectly calculated path of forms (issue #1923)- Added code to calculate whether to choose the documentUrl or the page Url in the case where an action is not specified on a form element. Fixed bug in the navigation “submit” handler where an error was being thrown if “type” was not specified.

Hitting enter in search filter now doesn’t not submit the form – Since this is a client-side filter, we want to prevent submitting the form. Thanks adamvaughan

Remove unnecessary ajax call and duplicate DOM nodes when refreshing a page with a dialog visible (issue #1913) – This was causing duplicate dialog elements inthe DOM. Thanks Sunpig!

Controlgroup now filters on visible buttons when adding first and last classes for rounded corners. If you hide the first or last button in a controlgroup and then call refresh on it, it won’t add the right classes to the newly promoted first/last button.

Removed param “refresh” sent to .controlgroup since it’s not a $.widget

Tweaked styles for select menu text running off side of list – Seen when using the custom select menus only

Updated Valencia theme for the updated check and radio styles

Fixed swatch letter typo for E button in theme CSS (Issue #1894)- it said ui-bar-d instead of ui-bar-e. . Thanks app42!

Moved collapsible sets (accordions) in docs into a standalone page for better visibility, updated section nav on other pages and index page to link to it.

Moved our form binding into the _registerInternalEvents callback, to ensure it’s not bound until after mobilinit.

Removed vclick + click combined event binding (issue #1870), which was in there as a workaround for a not-consistently-occurring bug in Android 2.1. I think the real issue is related to lack of dynamic base tag support, and that occasionally, a relative href click will use default handling in 2.1 and go where it shouldn’t (ignoring the base href). Either way, this double binding causes history problems in Safari, so I’m removing it while we search for a better 2.1 workaround. Tutorial Videos

For a good intro on using jQuery Mobile, check out these video tutorials on Examples include:

O’Reilly book on jQuery Mobile released

jQuery Mobile Book

A new book on jQuery Mobile from O’Reilly written by Jon Reid is now available for purchase. View book details. Description from the site:

The future belongs to mobile web apps that function on a broad range of smartphones and tablets. Get started with jQuery Mobile, the touch-optimized web framework for creating apps that look and behave consistently across many devices. This concise book provides HTML5, CSS3, and JavaScript code examples, screen shots, and step-by-step guidance to help you build a complete working app with jQuery Mobile.

Get the latest builds on the jQuery CDN

To take advantage of the daily improvements happening in jQuery Mobile, be sure to check out out the new daily and latest builds that are now available on the jQuery CDN for hotlinking. This allows you to upgrade to the latest code without waiting for the next official release.

Here are the three files to include in the head of your page to always be viewing the latest in Git:

<link href="" rel="stylesheet" type="text/css" />
<script src=""></script>
<script src=""></script>


Please keep in mind that this the unstable, development version so we don’t recommend linking to the latest in a production site or app but it’s great for development and testing.


Development Update – Week of June 13, 2011

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We slipped a bit on on our weekly updates so sorry for the lack of updates recently. We’ve been busy prepping for Beta 1 and fixing bugs so there is a lot of activity. Here’s what we’ve been up to on the jQuery Mobile project.

Over the last few weeks, we’ve been deeply re-factoring our Ajax navigation system to make it more extensible and robust. This week, we’re happy to announce that we just landed a batch of improvements to URL handling and base tag manipulation.

Continue reading

Development Update – Week of May 23, 2011

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Blackberry 5: Now officially supported!

We’ve been working hard to support the Blackberry 5 platform and we’re happy to announce that jQuery Mobile now works great on our test Blackberry 5 devices. This platform has B grade support which means that all the enhanced styles and widgets work well within the CSS capabilities of the device, but Ajax navigation and page transitions aren’t supported so links and form submits result in a full page refresh.

Ajax navigation was problematic on BB5 because it lacks hashchange support for the history stack whcih essentially broke the back button behavior so disabling this feature resolves that issue and also speeds up the user experience. These devices tend to be fairly under-powered so very complex pages can take a bit longer to render but overlaly it works very well. There are of a few style improvements we need to tidy up, but sites built with jQuery Mobile should now work well on this platform. View the latest build to see it in action.

Opera mini: Ajax-free and faster

We’ve had support for Opera Mobile and Mini for a few releases now, but Opera Mini had a few issues with handling the Ajax navigation system which resulted in pages that were either scrolled to the wrong position, clipped off just plain blank in some cases. After a bit of research, we determined that the majority of issues were to due to timing issues with Mini’s proxy-based browser and our Ajax-based page creation and animation system.

After a lot of debate, we decided to exclude Opera Mini from the Ajax navigation system and mark it as Grade B, just like Blackberry 5. We landed this change landed this week and not only did this fix all the major rendering issues we were experiencing, it also significantly improved the overall speed and responsiveness of the user experience. As a bonus, Opera Mini seems to apply a slide page animation natively so you actually get smoother animated page transitions with Ajax transitions turned off!

jQuery Mobile works great in both Opera Mini 5 and the brand new version 6 that was just released. We tested Opera Mini 6 for both the iPhone, iPad and Android and the rendering quality is much better than 5 so it’s a significant upgrade. Opera’s full-blown browser, Opera Mobile is unaffected by this change to Mini and will continue to see a Grade A experience with Ajax navigation and animated transitions. View the latest build to see it in action.

This week, we landed a big refactor the core Ajax navigation code to allow for better extensibility for developers that are manipulating pages dynamically. Until recently, the navigation code was largely implemented as a set of nested functions within the $.mobile.changePage() function which made the code very hard to follow and extend.

In this refactor, we decoupled the navigation core into 3 separate functions. Partitioning the code this way makes it easier for us to identify key points for adding extensibility hooks and makes the code easier to follow:

  • loadPage()
    • Responsible for loading a page into the DOM of a specific page container and enhancing it.
  • changePage()
    • Responsible for updating the internal bookkeeping for tracking what is the current page. This includes:
      • Managing the URL stack.
      • Managing the location hash.
      • Kicking off a transition.
  • transitionPages()
    • Responsible for managing the transition between the current active page and the new page to be shown.

changePage() now takes 2 arguments: the first is required,  the second is optional. The first argument accepts a URL or a jQuery collection containing a page element as its first argument. The 2nd argument is an options object that allows the caller to modify changePage behavior. The options that can be specified are as follows:

  • transition
    • String
    • The transition to use when showing the page.
    • Defaults to transition specified by $.mobile.defaultPageTransition.
  • reverse
    • Boolean
    • Decides what direction the transition will run when showing the page.
    • Defaults to false.
  • changeHash
    • Boolean
    • Decides if the hash in the location bar should be updated.
    • Defaults to true.
  • role
    • String
    • The data-role value to be used when displaying the page.
    • Defaults to “page”.
  • pageContainer
    • jQuery collection
    • Specifies the element that should contain the page after it is loaded.
    • Defaults to $.mobile.pageContainer.
  • type
    • String
    • Specifies the method (“get” or “post”) to use when making a page request.
    • Default is “get”.
    • NOTE: This should probably be renamed to “method”. The current name comes from the old signature.
  • data
    • Object or String
    • The data to send with an Ajax page request.
    • Default is undefined.
  • reloadPage
    • Boolean
    • Forces a reload of a page, even if it is already in the DOM of the page container.
    • Default is false.
  • showLoadMsg
    • Boolean
    • Display the loading message when a page request is fired.
    • Default is true.

Upgrade note: Since the signature forchangePage() has changed during this refactoryou may need to update your custom code before upgrading. To ease the transition to the new signature in the short-term, we’ve added code to changePage() that maps any old signature calls to changePage() into a new call. This should fix issue 1712 ($.mobile.changePage broken in latest). This code will be removed before shipping 1.0.

We have a list of additional items we’re planning to improve in the Ajax navigation system for 1.0 including more flexible URL handling, improved page transitions, page-level cache settings, global methods for managing the DOM size, and much more.

Experimental datepicker: Moved out of the official docs & repo

A while back, we took the jQuery UI datepicker and tweaked it to use the jQuery Mobile theme CSS classes as an experimental stopgap for people who really needed a datepicker. The issue with this component is it’s really heavy and the UI team is currently re-factoring the datepicker from the ground-up so we wanted to shift this out of the official GitHub repo because it won’t be supported going forward. We will pull the new UI datepicker in once it’s finished, but that will be later this year.

In the meantime, if you still want to use the experimental datepicker, it’s now available on Filament Group’s GitHub repo but note that it’s not being actively maintained. If anyone is interested in maintaining this plugin in the short-term, please let us know. You can also check out alternate jQuery datepickers like DateBox, a slick jQuery Mobile optimized date picker.

Notable commits this week

Height issue for transitioning page (issue 1507) – Fixed the issue where buttons and other elements were sometimes showing up at 100% height during page transitions. Thanks Eddie Monge.

Allow checkboxes and radio buttons to be selected with the keyboard – The name says it all, thanks Shana Golden.

Fixed header/footer positioning in IE 7/8 – Desktop IE wasn’t reporting a scrollTop value for fixed headers/footers—’window’ is now provided as a fallback in the event that $(document).scrollTop() reports zero. Thanks Mat Marquis (wilto).

Select menus now work in Firefox Mobile (issue 1626) – Changed the hiding mechanism for invisible native selects so that they work in Firefox Mobile.

Removed the ajaxLinksEnabled and ajaxFormsEnabled settings – These were deprecated in a4 and scheduled for removal. Automated link and form ajax handling can still be globally disabled via the ajaxEnabled option.

Get the latest builds on the jQuery CDN

To take advantage of the daily improvements happening in jQuery Mobile, be sure to check out out the new daily and latest builds that are now available on the jQuery CDN for hotlinking. This allows you to upgrade to the latest code without waiting for the next official release.

Here are the three files to include in the head of your page to always be viewing the latest in Git:

<link href="" rel="stylesheet" type="text/css" />
<script src=""></script>
<script src=""></script>


Please keep in mind that this the unstable, development version so we don’t recommend linking to the latest in a production site or app but it’s great for development and testing.


Development Update – Week of May 16th, 2011

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In addition to discussing our daily activity of the project in our weekly blog posts, we’re going to try and start covering some of the interesting developments around jQuery Mobile out in the world. Feel free to ping jquerymobile on Twitter if you have a project, plugin or event that you’d like to share.

Beta 1: Coming soon

The jQuery Mobile team is making great progress and we’re getting close to our first beta release. At this stage, we want to complete all the navigation re-factor work, achieve solid Blackberry and Opera Mini support, and close out a few key blocker issues before we hit this milestone. We’ll will keep everyone updated here on the blog as we get closer to beta 1, but we’re hoping to release at the end of May or early June.

Ajax navigation and B grade support

We’re almost done getting Blackberry 5 support buttoned up and it’s looking great. However, one major issue we’ve found is that it doesn’t support hashchange events in the history stack so the back button is effectively broken completely with Ajax-based navigation. Symbian has the same issues with tracking hashchange and there isn’t a viable workaround for either platform. We’ve also found that Opera Mini’s proxy-based rendering has a number of issues with the Ajax navigation that can cause blank or clipped pages if the timing of the rendering is a bit off.

For these reasons, we’re looking into ways of excluding these platforms from the Ajax navigation system but still give them the rest of the enhanced user experience. In our early tests, eliminating Ajax navigation from Blackberry 5, Opera Mini and Symbian have dramatically improved the performance of jQuery Mobile on these platforms so we’re currently working on a way to target this feature without resorting to user agent detection which we avoid at all costs in jQuery.

This enhanced experience without Ajax navigation and page transitions seems like a good way to characterize the “B grade” support. Stay tuned, we’ll have some announcements on this topic soon.

Pinch-to-zoom: Now restored

Our demos and docs had a viewport meta tag that set “minimum-scale=1, maximum-scale=1” which completely disabled the pinch- or double-tap-to-zoom feature in mobile browsers. We had done this originally because on iOS, there is a bug that will incorrectly scale the page when you change orientation. Here is the meta tag we used up through Alpha 4.1:

<meta name="viewport" content="width=device-width, minimum-scale=1, maximum-scale=1">

Disabling the native zoom features of the browser isn’t very user-friendly so we just changed our meta tag in the demos and docs to restore the ability to zoom the page. At this stage, we don’t think it’s worth disabling the user’s zoom feature to workaround an iOS bug that may be fixed in the near future. The meta tag is part of the page markup so this isn’t a a change to the library scripts, but our demos are used as a template for many people so we want to set an example of the best practice for mobile web development. The new meta tag we use looks like this:

<meta name="viewport" content="width=device-width, initial-scale=1">

We landed two changes earlier this week to adjust the meta tags so if you go to the latest demos, you will be able to pinch zoom the pages. Since this meta tag is part of your page content, you are free to set these attributes to match the specific needs of your project.

Note that JavaScript can be used to manipulate this tag dynamically to fix the iOS bug, but this approach is far from fool-proof and causes some performance issues. At this stage, we want to start with the simplest option (leaving the browser feature untouched) and think about alternatives to improve this for 1.0.

Dynamic injected viewport meta tag: Support dropped

On a related topic, we deprecated injecting the viewport meta tag back in alpha 4 due to Windows Phone 7’s lack of support for dynamically injected viewport elements.  This week, we removed the dynamic viewport support from the codebase in preparation for beta so if you haven’t switched to writing this tag into your markup, please do that now in preparation for Beta.

Automatic toolbar back button: Now off by default

In last week’s blog post, we outlined the reasons why we felt the feature that automatically adds a back button to the header toolbar, while cool, wasn’t really necessary for most web sites and web apps because browsers and phones already have back buttons. The response in the comments and Twitter was overwhelmingly positive to moving in this direction so this week, we landed this change.

All this really means is that this feature is off by default. It’s not going anywhere because we understand that in fullscreen browser environments or installed apps, there isn’t browser chrome or a physical back button on all platforms so you’ll want to flip this switch on in those cases.

To activate auto generated back buttons on specific pages, simply add the data-add-back-btn="true" attribute on the page container and the magic will be back. To activate this globally, set the addBackBtn option in the page plugin to true. Here is an example of how to set this:

$(document).bind("mobileinit", function() {
      $ = true;


Notable commits

Upgraded jQuery Mobile to use jQuery core 1.6.1 to pick up :checked fixes.

Add new focus event to show the clear button on search textbox when an item is pasted directly without a key event to search text box. Thanks joshiabk

Interesting jQuery Mobile Plugins

Actionsheet – A really simple, markup-driven plugin that allows you to create small floating overlays that contain buttons or any other content or even forms with a bit of CSS tweaks.

Photoswipe – A slick photo gallery tool, now with jQuery Mobile support. Check out the demos to see it in action.

Datebox – A calendar and Android-like spinner datepicker. The site has lots of demo examples to play with so check it out.

Google maps – Integration examples of Google maps with jQuery Mobile that show how easy it is to drop maps into mobile.

Mobilism talk on jQuery Mobile

Team member Scott Jehl spoke recently at the Mobilism conference about the current state, lessons learned and future of jQuery Mobile: “jQuery Mobile: Building Tools for a Changing Web”. Check out his presentation video and summary by Luke W.

New team member

We want to welcome Ghislain Séguin from Jive Software to the jQuery Mobile team. He will be working part time on the jQuery Mobile project at Jive. We’re glad to have you aboard.

We’re still trying to figure out a solid timeline for getting a ThemeRoller tool created for jQuery Mobile. In the meantime, we’d like to set up a place for people to share themes with the community. To create a theme,  just grab a copy of the default theme and start tweaking colors in the CSS. We’d like to get themes that cover a broad range of look and feel and include at a minimum 5 swatches (a-e) for compatibility with the current themes. Other than that, go to town deeply customizing your themes. Check out the structure of the slick Valencia theme by Jordan Dobson to see the structure of a standard theme. To submit your theme, please post a link to a zip download or Git repo and tell us about it on twitter or by emailing Todd Parker. We’re looking forward to seeing what you create!

Looking for inspiration?

If you want to see all the cool things people are building with jQuery Mobile, be sure to check out In addition to highlighting inspiring sites built with jQuery Mobil, it also maintains lists of resourcestutorials, and plugins.

Get the latest builds on the jQuery CDN

To take advantage of the daily improvements happening in jQuery Mobile, be sure to check out out the new daily and latest builds that are now available on the jQuery CDN for hotlinking. This allows you to upgrade to the latest code without waiting for the next official release.

Here are the three files to include in the head of your page to always be viewing the latest in Git:

<link href="" rel="stylesheet" type="text/css" />
<script src=""></script>
<script src=""></script>


Please keep in mind that this the unstable, development version so we don’t recommend linking to the latest in a production site or app but it’s great for development and testing.


Development Update – Week of May 9th, 2011

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Ajax navigation moving along

Our Ajax navigation re-write in still in-progress in a branch, but here are some of the key things we’ve done this week:

  • Broke out nested functions from changePage() to improve readability/understanding.
  • Changed signature to changePage() so that it uses an options structure.
  • Removed differenciation between form submit and loading. It’s all the same. Now there is a generic flag/option you can pass that is forceLoad: true which does the same thing for forms.
  • Replaced $.mobile.defaultTransition with $.mobile.defaultPageTransition and $.mobile.defaultDialogTransition.
  • Performance fix to prevent unnecessary crawling of the entire document.

Responsive design helper classes: Deprecated for beta

We include a set of responsive design helper classes designed to make it easy to build a responsive design that adapts the layout for various screen widths. At the time, we went with a system of dynamically appended min- and max-width classes on the body that are updated on load, resize and orientation change events as a workaround for the limitation that Internet Explorer doesn’t support media queries.

Although this technique works, it adds script overhead that we’d like to avoid as we move towards 1.0. Within jQuery Mobile, we only use these classes for a single feature: the responsive label/form layouts. This week, we re-wrote the styles for the form elements to work without the helper classes by switching to standard media queries in our CSS. Since we use media queries sparingly right now, the only change you’ll see is that at wider screen widths, WP7 won’t switch to the layout with the label floated to the left of the form element.

We understand that many developers may be using these CSS classes so we’re going to leave this code in until after the first beta to give everyone time to migrate to other solutions. We will be removing these classes completely by 1.0. If you want to use media queries on Internet Explorer, we recommend adding in respond.js, a polyfill script written by team member Scott Jehl that adds media query support for IE.  Post-1.0, we’re going to look into whether we should polyfill media queries as part of jQuery Mobile or continue to leave it as an optional file.

Toolbar back button: Relevant on the web?

When we first introduced jQuery Mobile, one pattern we adopted was the “back” button in the header bar because it’s a standard app convention. We went so far as to include a back button on every page we Ajax in automatically. However, as time has gone on, we’ve been wondering if this is still a good idea for a few reasons:

A web app runs in a browser that already includes software and/or hardware based buttons for navigating forward and back in the history stack so a button in the header is redundant and may not used as much as the native controls which have the benefit of habitual use. A hardware back button is standard on all Android, WP7 and Blackberry devices and we’d bet most users on those platforms prefer to use the hardware button. Both iOS and Palm WebOS don’t have hardware buttons, but both have a persistent back button available in the browser chrome at all times. The only time a back button is critical is in a fullscreen iOS or WebOS app.

Compounding our issues with the automatic back button is it’s seemly unpredictable behavior. When we first added this feature, we actually had a bug that added it to every page unless you shut off the feature or had a button in the lefthand slot in the header. We eventually fixed this so the back button was only added if jQuery Mobile loaded a page through Ajax so we could know that the back button would go back to another jQuery Mobile page and not some random site in your history stack. However, this caused a lot of confusion because the back button would “disappear” when a page was refreshed or when you linked to a page with the data-ajax=”false” attribute.

Because we originally built the demos and docs pages with the auto back button as the only navigation feature, a lot of people followed this pattern. In hindsight, we think this is less than ideal because a web site or application should have some form of persistent navigation. For any web site or web application that will be consumed primarily through the browser, we recommend following all the normal web conventions for navigation:

  • At a minimum, provide a link back to the home screen, either via a linked logo or home button, like we do in the demos & docs so a deep link to a page isn’t a dead-end
  • Consider adding a way to access other primary navigation, either via a simple navbar or menu
  • Consider providing a global search box if available on every page
  • Add additional navigation links at the bottom of pages to improve flow flow one page to another. It’s always easier to access navigation at the end of a long page than at the top

Our current plan is to shut off the automatic back button feature by default for beta and are considering whether to keep this feature in for 1.0. Let us know your thoughts, we’re listening.


Submitting an issue? Some tips

To help us resolve issues in the Git tracker as quickly as possible, here are a few critical things that every ticket should have:

  • First test to see if this is still an issue in the latest Git build because we’re constantly fixing bugs after a release. Include our latest JS and CSS files in your project to see if we’ve already fixed it. If it can be reproduced in the demos and docs, simply view the latest on the /test/ directory:
  • Always specific the platform and version if it’s in the native browser: Ex. iPhone 3GS, iOS 3.2
  • If you see an issue with a 3rd party browser, specify that in addition to the device info. Ex: Firefox mobile 4.0b3 running on HTC Aria running Android 2.2
  • List out the detailed steps and conditions needed to reproduce the bug
  • Don’t paste huge chunks of code into the issue ticket. Instead, post a demo page on an online code sharing site like JS Bin or jsFiddle or in a Git repo so we can demo the page and view the code easily. For a head start, use this JS Bin as a template that includes a live link to the latest build:

Notable changes this week

Listview filter speed improvements (issue 1477)
We made a number of changes to improve the responsiveness of the filtering mechanism which is especially helpful on longer lists. More tweaks planned for the future. Thanks nsaleh

Phonegap: Pages with data-ajax=”false” on form fail to load (issue 1580)
In the $.ajax() callback, we look for elements with @href, @src, and @data-ajax=”false” elements, the code then assumes that matching elements will have either @href or @src, which of course forms don’t … they have @action … so the code throws an exception because thisUrl is undefined. Reworked the code to handle action and check to make sure we have an attribute and url string before attempting to use them.

Base tag regression fixed (issue 1508)
This change sets the base tag properly on page load and page changes, corresponding with the recent change to absolute path hash urls. Images and other assets will direct relative to the document in which they reside. This may not cover new path situations Kin has documented, but it does fix the regression so things work as they did before the change. Tested in non-base supporting browsers to verify it works there too. The following page should have an image in the content, verifying the fix

Can’t load file:// pages (issue 1578)
The change caused the base tag to be reset to file:// (literally with no path). All that was missing was a small tweak to base.reset() to use the new initialPath variable instead of docBase.

Listview theme swatch D issue when clicked (issue 1624)
When an item in a listview with the D swatch of the default theme is tapped or clicked, the btn-down class creates a square border and looked chunky. Fixed by removing extraneous style rules. Thanks epsd

Grouped radio buttons with long labels don’t ellipsis (issue 1419)
Fixed grouped radio buttons with long labels so they wrap to multiple lines. Thanks gseguin!

Regex breaking Firefox >3.6 (issue 1514)
Tweaked regex to make Firefox happy. A quick bit of Date()-based benchmarking showed an improvement from ~4.5 seconds to 3ms in Firefox 3.6. The stock Android browser on my Galaxy Tab went from ~3.6 seconds to 1ms. Thanks MaxThrax

Get the latest builds on the jQuery CDN

To take advantage of the daily improvements happening in jQuery Mobile, be sure to check out out the new daily and latest builds that are now available on the jQuery CDN for hotlinking. This allows you to upgrade to the latest code without waiting for the next official release.

Here are the three files to include in the head of your page to always be viewing the latest in Git:

<link href="" rel="stylesheet" type="text/css" />
<script src=""></script>
<script src=""></script>


Please keep in mind that this the unstable, development version so we don’t recommend linking to the latest in a production site or app but it’s great for development and testing.

Development Update – Week of May 2, 2011

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Navigation re-factor update

This week, we’re continuing our work on the Ajax navigation re-write. There are a number of dimensions involved in this re-write including:

  • More flexible URL handling:
  • Extensibility hooks for dynamic page creation
    • Steven Black will start a wiki page with suggesitons
  • Caching: add a simple “don’t cache” flag per page
    • A new data-cache attribute on the page div to tell framework to re-load it if shown again, default is “true” (re-use the page) but you can set data-cache=”false” to tell the framework to re-load ever time it’s viewed
    • Issue created in the tracker
  • Memory management: how to keep the DOM from getting too big?
    • Add a new global configuration option to set the max number of pages to keep in the DOM at once. Once that max is hit, we run a a document-wide $(“selector”).remove() at the appropriate juncture in every changePage invocation (post Ajax success) that finds all pages that are data-cache=”false” or oldest in the stack and delete them. We’ll need to check for alreadyLocalPage = (“[data-url=’…’]:not([data-cache=’false’]”)
    • Default to a sensible number like 15-20 pages but this can be overridden to any number more than 2 (to allow for transitions) or turned off completely
    • Issue created in the tracker:
  • Focus: can we handle this better?
    • we need to have focus brought to the top of the current page on transition for accessibility and keyboard/focus-based navigation
    • Scott Jehl will create a wiki page with suggestions
  • Transitions: how to smooth out, eliminate blinking
    • Kin will tackle this after URLs

View source bookmarklet

Doug Neiner, a jQuery core team member and all-around design genius just created a cool view source bookmarklet that makes is super easy to view the source of any jQuery Mobile page. Since we use Ajax-based navigation that uses the hash to track page state, it requires a bit of hacking to the URL to get the source of the page but this bookmarklet makes it a breeze. We’ll look into adding this to our demo pages so everyone can enjoy the convenience. Thanks Doug!

Notable changes this week

Updated jQuery Mobile to run of jQuery core 1.6 Until this week, we were running on the 1.6 RC but we’ve moved over to the final version of 1.6 and things seem to be working great.

Radiobuttons can’t be selected once they are selected, then de-selected. Fixed by using  jQuery attr accessor instead of expando to guarantee consistent values. (issue 1532)

Multiple calendars generated inadvertently in multi-page docs. The each callback in the pagecreate method was creating multiple calendars when used with a multi-page html file. Fixed by scoping to the current page instead of the entire document. Thanks edelabar!

Regex breaking Firefox >3.6 Fixed by Remove greedy matches from start and end of regex – there’s no need for them, and they cause immense slowdown (on the order of 3-4 seconds on medium-size pages loaded via ajax). Thanks Paul Nicholls! (issue 1514)

Fixed base tag support. This change sets the base tag properly on page load and page changes, corresponding with the recent change to absolute path hash urls. Images and other assets will direct relative to the document in which they reside. This may not cover new path situations we’ve documented recently (changes underway), but it does fix the regression so things work as they did before the change. Tested in non-base supporting browsers to verify it works there too. (issue 1508)

Can’t load file:// pages. Fixed a regression that caused the base tag to be reset to file:// (literally with no path). All that was missing was a small tweak to base.reset() to use the new initialPath variable instead of docBase. (issue 1578)

Get the latest builds on the jQuery CDN

To take advantage of the daily improvements happening in jQuery Mobile, be sure to check out out the new daily and latest builds that are now available on the jQuery CDN for hotlinking. This allows you to upgrade to the latest code without waiting for the next official release.


Development Update – Week of April 25, 2011

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This and next week, the team is primarily focused on re-factoring and optimizing the Ajax navigation system and page transitions in jQuery Mobile to make them more extensible and stable. Here is a recap of our activities this week.

Navigation re-write in progress

We’re in the process of re-factoring our URL handling for Ajax-driven navigation to be more robust and are starting to plan extensibility points in the system to make it easier for developers to tweak and extend the navigation behavior.  For typical web use, we will continue to use site relative URLs in the hash for same host/protocol to keep the URLs from being too unwieldy and plan on eventually adding Ajax replaceState  to further improve the length and readability of URLs in typical situations.

To better support PhoneGap developers that use file:// protocols extensively, we’re considering how to best support scenarios where the document may initially contain a base tag that specifies a URL that has a different protocol and/or host from the document URL, or cases where the page containing the link was in an externally loaded page that may have specified a different URL with the @data-url attribute. Our proposed solution is to have jQuery Mobile check to see if the page was loaded with file:// protocol and it is attempting to load a page via the http:// protocol. If this occurs and the $.mobile.allowCrossDomainPages configuration flag is also set to true, jQuery Mobile will switch to absolute mode (isExternal) where it looks at the full absolute path and checks the hostname, protocol and link.href to ensure that everything is properly resolved. Before we start re-writing code, we’re going to beef up our test coverage this week around navigation to ensure that we avoid any regressions. Read more about the  details of the navigation re-write on the planning wiki.

Page transitions: decoupled and extensible

We’ve been working on pulling page transitions out into a separate plugin so they can be decoupled from the navigation plugin. As part of this re-work, we’re introducing the ability for developers to create custom transitions created with pure CSS3, or in combination with JavaScript by adding extensibility hooks to the transition system. The development work has been completed and pushed into master so grab the latest if you want to start hooking in your own custom transitions.

Mobile profiler code released

Team member Kin Blas from Adobe has built some really great profiling tools that we use for optimizing our code. He recently released this code on GitHub so grab the code and start helping us find places to optimize our code:

Notable changes

Tops of pages clipped after returning from a dialog (issue 1461)
If you had scrolled down on a page, opened a dialog, then closed it, the page height was getting clipped off in iOS due to the timing of when we were placing focus back on the page.  Solution: Delayed the setting of focus till after the scroll position is restored.

Active class not being removed correctly
If a link had an null or “#” value for the href, the active class wasn’t being removed. To fix this, we modified the vclick handler code in navgation.js so that it doesn’t place the ui-btn-active class on any links meant for interactivity. Removed the return false in the vclick handler of collapsible and replaced it with a preventDefault(). The only reason we were returning false was to stopPropagation() so that the vclick handler in navigation.js didn’t place a ui-btn-active on it.

jQuery 1.6 RC now in master
In preparation for the 1.6 release, we’ve been testing with the latest jQuery core RC. So far, we haven’t seen any issues but let us know if anything crops up in your testing.

Listview refresh and filtering performance
We’ve really speed up the listview since 4.1 so if you have a site or app  that uses long listviews, be sure to grab the latest version (see below) to get the best performance.

Get the latest build with our nightlies

To take advantage of the daily improvements happening in jQuery Mobile, be sure to check out out the new daily and latest builds that are now available on the jQuery CDN for hotlinking. This allows you to upgrade to the latest code without waiting for the next official release.

Development Update – Week of April 21, 2011

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Attending: Todd Parker, Scott Jehl, John Resig, Kin Blas, John Bender, Eddie Monge, Steven Black

Project communication

We’re going to try to post a summary of our weekly meeting here on the wiki and on the site so everyone can see what we’re up to on the project.

Going forward, all communication and meetings will take place on IRC channels for better transparency and to gain input from the jQuery Mobile community. Core dev team discussion is now in #jquerymobile-dev. For help with jQuery Mobile, please use the #jquerymobile or #jquery channels on Weekly jQuery Mobile team meetings will happen on the #jquery-meeting IRC channel on every Tuesday at 2:00pm EST/11am PST.

Key issues we’re tracking now

Tops of pages missing after returning from a dialog in Safari and iPhone
This issue is tied to recent focus management changes. Solution noted in comments: we just need to bind to the silentscroll event for when we set focus. Kin will try to land this ASAP.

Ajax = issue re: relative paths

In A4.1 links referencing parent directory with the `../` syntax break some ajax calls. Needs testing with the forced absolute paths introduced post A4.1. Closed and created new issue:

Active state stickyness issues

Buttons in jQM have 4 states: normal, hover, focus, and down (pressed) which is a bit different from the link’s :hover and :active states. Our active state is not parallel to a link’s :active, instead it’s meant to be more like and “on” or selected state that is only needed for stateful buttons or special cases (like lists) where we want to have an “on” state.
Proposed change: only set the active class on a button if we know we’re navigating so any null or # links will get the down state but not active.

The “active” class name is a bit confusing because of reasons outlined above, may be worth changing if we can find a much clearer name. Look here for synonym ideas:

Navigation: changepage

• Lengthy discussion on how to proceed.

• Goals: less procedural, separate things out for readability, tightly coupled thru scoping on purpose,

• plan our re-factor on the wiki ahead of time, add high-level tests before re-factoring

• Tangent on initial conditions for tests.

• Pulling transitions from changePage().  An easy get?

• Navigating to self… legitimate in generated pages?

• Making isExternal smarter.

• Moving arguments over to a hash, rename changePage so it can act as a proxy to new one?

• Page container concept: pave the way to multi-panel tablet, handles transitions between pages in the DOM

• Followup with history.js @

• Kin will be available to lead the charge on this and everyone else will plug in. First step is to keep filling out the navigation mapping and planning wiki pages here and here.

Recent commits

Fix from @brukhabtu for issue 1492 – Errors when trying to delete DOM elements.

Check for existence of the bindings object before attempting to use it. Apparently jQuery core strips off any data bindings of an element before calling teardown on it to remove special event handlers.

Fix for issue 1157 – Collapsible block prevents page scrolling on iPhone 4

When we switched to virtual mouse events, I just did a straight translation of the code that existed which basically did the collapse/expand on mouseup. In order to factor in scrolling, I needed to move that code into a vclick handler and stopPropagation() and preventDefault() to make sure the button doesn’t activate.

Fix for 1407 – Bad scroll performance since A4 on iPhone 3G

– Modified vmouse code so that it uses $.data() instead of $().data() which is significantly faster.

– Modified the navigation and buttonMarkup code so they stop using live(). The vmouse code triggers several events during the touch events, which in turn causes the underlying event code to call $.closest() with the selector used during the live() call to figure out if the event should be handled. This turns out to be very expensive, so instead, we now just bind directly to the document, and walk the DOM manually to figure out if we should handle it. This is much faster since we are avoid triggering multiple nested function calls.

Fix for Issue 1424 – Adding items to listviews on a4.1 is too slow

– Modified _itemApply() to make use of item.children() and filters. Also got rid of some unused code.

– Convert .each() in refresh() to a loop.

– Cache some $list.jqmData() values so we don’t do it for each list item.

Development Update – Week of Aug 24, 2011

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This is the first status update regarding the work that we’ve been putting in to jQuery Mobile. We hope to have similar updates about once a week – along with posts describing new things that we’ve learned along the way.

Sample Mobile Components

Sample jQuery Mobile Components

Some sample components implemented by the folks at Filament Group. Currently the components are done purely in HTML/CSS (no images), are ARIA accessible, and are completely implemented using progressive enhancement.

Sample Selection Dialog

Sample jQuery Mobile Selection DialogThis is a sample modal dialog from which options from a large select menu could be displayed.

Activating webOS Devices

Activating webOS DevicesThe webOS team recently sent us a few more phones to test against so we’re actively adding them in to our test bed and hooking them into TestSwarm.

Fixing Blackberry 4.7

A few commits have landed the past couple days (and quite a few more will be landing over the next couple) taking care of compatibility issues in Blackberry 4.6 and 4.7.