Introduction to jQuery UI


Introduction to jQuery UI

After many months of stellar work, the jQuery UI team has released version 1.5 of their flagship suite of user-interface widgets, components, and effects. This release was focused on bringing you a standardized development API across all of the components, allowing for a more seamless experience when working with the jQuery UI library.

 

A very exciting CSS theming application was also released with jQuery UI 1.5, calledThemeRoller. ThemeRoller is an amazing way to customize the style and colors across all of the jQuery UI components. It comes with a few preset styles, as well as allowing you to create your own. Once you are done, it packages your theme into a zip file that contains all of the images and CSS you need.

Brief Overview of the jQuery UI Project

The jQuery UI project was originally created to bring you a set of “official” jQuery plugins. Mature components from the plugins repository were pulled together to form the first release of jQuery UI. But since each of these plugins had its own style, having been written by different authors, the first release of the library felt a bit cumbersome when packaged together. With that in mind, the focus of UI 1.5 was on achieving a coherent, standardized API to eliminate much of the differences between the components. Through much time and effort, many bugs and feature requests were addressed along the way as well.

Inside Look at jQuery UI Version 1.5

Before starting, I want to make sure you know where the jQuery UI Documentation is located. You may also want to head to the download page to grab the library for yourself. Note that the development bundle is the easiest to get started with.

First, let’s start by including the necessary files for jQuery UI: jQuery latest js file, the Flora theme complete stylesheet, and the core UI file. Each of the components is built on top of these files. Here is how to include them:

HTML:

  1. <link rel=“stylesheet” href=“themes/flora/flora.all.css” type=“text/css” media=“screen” title=“Flora (Default)” />
  2. <script src=“ui/ui.core.js”></script>

You may want to download these files and put them on your own server, but this is just fine for our demonstration.

At this point you may include the jquery.ui.all.js script for testing, or include each of the components individually. Here are the components that we are using for this demo:

HTML:

  1. <script src=“ui/ui.draggable.js”></script>
  2. <script src=“ui/ui.resizable.js”></script>
  3. <script src=“ui/ui.accordion.js”></script>

Activating Components

Each component has a constructor method, which is the component name. For instance, we can make a div draggable by using the draggable() method:

JavaScript:

  1. $(document).ready(function() {
  2.   $(“#dragme”).draggable();
  3. });

The component defaults can be overridden by passing in options to the main function. For instance, if we want to make the div drag only horizontally, we can set the axis option to “x” with the following code:

JavaScript:

  1. $(document).ready(function() {
  2.   $(“#dragme-x”).draggable({ axis: “x” });
  3. });

Likewise, the Accordion can be accessed the same way. Here we set a custom option to specify the accordion to slide on the mouseover event:

JavaScript:

  1. $(document).ready(function() {
  2.   $(“#accordionDemo”).accordion({ event: “mouseover” });
  3.  
  4. });
  •  Test 1
    Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipisicing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Ut enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exercitation ullamco laboris nisi ut aliquip ex ea commodo consequat.
  •  Test 2
  •  Test 3

Some of the components, such as draggable and resizable, can even be combined:

JavaScript:

  1. $(document).ready(function() {
  2.   $(“#dragme-resize”).draggable().resizable();
  3. });

This first makes the div draggable, then adds the resize handles to the div.

Now you should have what you need to start with each of the components! Head to the functional demos page to see in-depth examples of each of the components.

Looking at the Future of jQuery UI

With Paul Bakaus hired as (paid) full-time lead of jQuery UI, the project has been energized, charging forward by leaps and bounds. With an ever-growing set of UI components, jQuery UI’s future is shaping up to be one of great promise.

 

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