jQuery Mobile Project Alpha

First Release of jQuery Mobile Project and jQuery 1.4.3

It's been a busy week for the jQuery team, with them announcing version 1.4.3 of jQuery alongside the first release of the jQuery Mobile project.

Firstly, jQuery version 1.4.3 is the third minor release on top of jQuery 1.4, and integrates the JSLint tool into the jQuery workflow. Please note that minor changes have been made to JSLint to suit the jQuery development style. These changes include ignoring warnings from JSLint, such as 'undefined,' as jQuery use this internally, and "Expected a 'break' statement before 'case'" as passthroughs are used inside of Sizzle to optimise the :only-child selector checks. jQuery 1.4.3 also enables the 'Evil' and 'Forin' JSLint options by default. More details on the JSLint changes, is available at the jQuery Core Style Guidelines.

Some interdependencies that existed in the jQuery source have been removed for this release. Users now have the option of using a script loader to dynamically load individual jQuery modules, and are no longer required to build a copy of jQuery in order to run the jQuery test suite. The CSS module has been almost completely rewritten, with a focus on extensibility, giving users the freedom to write custom CSS plugins that extend the functionality provided by .css() and .animate(). The rewrite has also separated jQuery functionality into two paths: getting and setting an element's .style property, and getting the current computed style information of an element.

Moving onto the data module,the jQuery Metadata plugin has been moved into core, and data set on a Javascript object is now set directly to the object, rather than going into the internal data object store. The setData and getData events have been joined by changeData, which is fired after any individual data properties are changed when using .data().

The jQuery team also announced the first alpha from the jQuery Mobile project. jQuery Mobile is a user interface framework built on top of jQuery, for building applications targeting mobile devices. The core jQuery library is also being improved to work across major mobile platforms, as part of the project. It will support versions of the iOS, Symbian, Blackberry, Android, webOS, bada, and MeeGo platforms. "Thus far no other framework has attempted to target as many mobile browsers as we have," reads the project's strategy outline. The project is supported by the webOS platform and Mobile Firefox.

The jQuery Mobile project consists of jQuery Core (not a "mobile only" build of jQuery, but a single script file that will provide jQuery plus support for mobile browsers) and jQuery UI.

The demos and documentation for all the components in jQuery Mobile 1.0a1 are available in a unified demo application. The alpha comes with support for many of the so-called 'A-Grade' browsers the project sets out to support, including Android, Blackberry, webOS and Opera Mobile. Please note that there are still bugs on these platforms. All components are ARIA accessible and keyboard navigable. jQuery Mobile has a themeing structure for building capable web applications. For the alpha release, all the theme configuration must be done manually, but a Themeroller tool is planned for themeing applications in the final 1.0 release.

Jessica Thornsby

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