jQuery Mobile 1.5 Alpha Officially Available
jQuery Mobile 1.5 Alpha Officially Available
Written by Ian Elliot   
Friday, 12 May 2017

The first alpha release of jQuery 1.5 has been announced. This long overdue news comes as a great relief to its users as it signals that the project is still ongoing. The new release is expected to move into beta soon and includes many changes.

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When the jQuery Mobile started it showed amazing vim and vigor. Looking back to October 2010 we reported:

The first alpha release of the jQuery Mobile project is available for download.  jQuery Mobile is a user interface framework, built on top of jQuery, designed to simplify the process of building applications that target mobile devices.

To reach a full alpha in just two months since the project was announced is good progress. jQuery Mobile contains components, layouts, and theming tools to simplify the process of building a mobile application that will run on as many platforms as possible. The guiding principle being the principle of progressive enhancement and is designed to be functional in all HTML-capable mobile browsers.

In Aprill 2012 Version 1.1 introduced support for true fixed toolbars and AJAX navigation with revamped animated page transitions making it faster and smoother.  Six months later, October 2012, Version 2.2 provided a new pop-up widget and enhancements to listviews and in February 2013 Version 1.3 featured a new panel widget, dual handle range sliders, and two different responsive table modes making this release conformant to responsive web design and thus suitable for interface designing across all devices and platform - not just mobile phones but also tablets and desktop browsers. A new default theme and new widgets were introduced in Version 1.4, in October 2013, together with SVG icons. The latest stable version is 1.4.5, which was released in October 2014, so it is not surprising that users have been concerned about the delay in moving on to 1.5,

In January 2016 a blog post by Gajotres, who had been a major jQuery Mobile supporter at Stack Overflow and was at the time blogging mainly about the Iconic Framework, with the title "Why jQuery Mobile is not relevant anymore" prompted a bog post from the jQuery Mobile team leader Alexander Schmitz acknowledging the delays and giving a status update:

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

Schmitz stated that with the beta release of jQuery UI jQuery Mobile 1.5 was almost ready and that there were just three more widgets to finish work on.

The response a week later from Gajotres, jQuery Mobile 1.5 It's Alive expressed relief and expectation. Sadly there's no further blog post even though a further 15 months have elapsed.

December 2016 saw a GitHub issue "jQuery Mobile dead?" posted. Due to the holidays it was over a week before Alexander Schmitz posted with the reassurance:

jQuery Mobile is not dead at all. There have been many ups and downs in the team recently that have lead to unexpected delays in the release of 1.5 however the alpha is complete and has been tagged earlier this week.

This issue has seen a to and fro of comments over the subsequent months, with recent ones suggesting the Version 1.5 is actually finished and can be downloaded. The exchange culminates in this post last month from Amanpreet Singhapsdehal who, while not a member of the official overseeing committee, has been the most active committer for the past year:

API documentation for 1.5 is up. You can download and start using/testing it using 1.5 or latest option there. We will soon publish a blog post announcing its official release.

It has taken two weeks for that blog post to appear - simply confirming the view that the jQuery Mobile team leadership is overloaded by their other responsibilities.

Alexander Schmitz posted:

The first alpha release for jQuery Mobile 1.5 is out with numerous bug fixes, an updated base theme, overhauled auto initialization, new methods,  and new widgets!

  • New widgets: We have adopted the new controlgroup checkboxradio, and button widgets from jQuery UI and have incorporated the accordion widget to replace the collapsible and collapsible set widgets which have been deprecated.

  • Rewritten widgets: The navbar and table widgets have been re-written with new features, performance improvements, and modularization improvements.

  • New auto enhancement module: The auto init for jquery mobile has been extracted into its own general purpose module with speed improvements that can make it faster then calling individually. 

  • Improved modularization: All code is now fully modularized to be able to include just the code you need.

  • Backcompat module: We now include all backcompat code as separate modules so it can be excluded and include a method to turn off all backcompat code for testing and upgrade.

  • New method: The .labels() method finds all label elements associated with the first selected element, mimicking the native labels property and has been incorporated from jQuery UI.

  • npm support: The jquery-mobile package on npm is now owned and maintained by the jQuery Mobile team.

  • Added jQuery 3.x support: We officially added support for jQuery 3.x.

  • Reduced old IE support: jQuery Mobile 1.5 officially drops support for IE 10 and below and Android 4.0 and below.

  • Bug fixes: We have closed and fixed hundreds of bugs getting to our lowest bug count since the initial release of jQuery Mobile!

In view of the problems that the team has experienced, doing all this does seem an achievement, In addition full changelogdownload builder, and API documentation have been made available which hopefully means that the release process through beta testing, release candidates to general availability can go ahead in a timely fashion.

As an enthusiastic user of jQuery UI, I heartily welcome the fact that jQuery Mobile now uses the same widgets. It makes investment in learning about jQuery UI all the more valuable.

 

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Last Updated ( Friday, 12 May 2017 )
 
 

   
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