Ajax + Mobile ZK Framework

What’s New in ZK 5.0.6?

Jessica Thornsby

2011 will be an exciting year for ZK developers.

Version 5.0.6 of the ZK framework has just been released with over 120 off-the-shelf Ajax components. In this interview, JAXenter speaks to Technology Evangelist for Potix, Timothy Clare, on the release.

JAXenter: The ZK framework used to implement SEO through its crawlable option, but in the 5.0.6 release this is replaced by an application-specific SEO renderer. What are the benefits of using the SEO renderer?

Timothy Clare: Previously crawl-able content was automatically generated. However, with the advent of the SEO renderer the content can be completely customized. This gives developers complete control over what they would like to output to major search engines such as Google.

JAXenter: How has the TreeModel changed, in the 5.0.6 release?

Timothy: A new more intuitive TreeModel has been introduced to make the APIs more developer friendly and make the model itself mutable. A mutable tree model enables dynamic changes to the model which are reflected automatically at the client side. In addition to this the model also supports sorting.

JAXenter: The 5.0.6 release adds the Doublespinner component. What role does Doublespinner serve in ZK?

Timothy: The double spinner is a component enabling increments of values which are multiple orders of magnitude lower than an integer can support.

JAXenter: What are the next steps for the ZK framework?

Timothy: With the future we are looking towards a release of ZK 6. There are many items planned for the release but I will just start with a few.

Firstly, ZK 6 will bring with it HTML 5 & CSS 3 support as we look to integrate features such as local file access, audio, video and canvas support. We are looking to implement HTML 5 as we see it as a core component of continuing to provide the best cross platform experience possible.

The second major improvement will be the introduction of substantial features to databinding including easier ways of binding across different scopes, loading and saving on changes of a model variable and extended increased EL expression support.

The third will come as no surprise to our regular users. ZK is based on jQuery and as such works in a multitude of browsers including smart phones. We are looking to go even further with smart phone and tablet support by integrating jQuery mobile technology into ZK 6, enhancing the experience on devices where a touch screen is their primary interface method such as, iPhone, iPad and Android based phones.

Lastly, one of the most anticipated innovations will be the inclusion of server-side selector technology for Java. This unique technology affords developers an incredibly easy and productive method of selecting and accessing server-side components.

The above features are only the tip of the iceberg for ZK, not to mention our other product line such as ZK Spreadsheet, ZK Calendar and ZK Studio. 2011 will be an exciting year for ZK developers.

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