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jQuery Mobile 1.3.0 Released

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The jQuery Foundation released version 1.3.0 of its JavaScript and HTML5/CSS framework jQuery Mobile. The update focusses on responsive web design and introduces new widgets for mobile applications.

Responsive web design (RWD) aims at providing the best possible viewing experience, regardless of which device or browser technology is used. Instead of determining the user agent on the serverside and delivering specific pages, RWD uses CSS media queries to adapt the page layout dynamically in the browser. Thus it is not only possible to render pages for different screen sizes, but also to react for example to changed device orientation.

Todd Parker, Project Lead at jQuery Mobile, details the shift towards responsive design:

jQuery Mobile is also designed and fully tested to work not just on mobile phones, but tablets and even desktop browsers. Think of it as mobile-first, not mobile only. In fact, in our next release we're going to be starting the process of integrating closer with the jQuery UI with the goal of having even more shared code and conventions. Our focus for the 1.3 release has been to educate the community on responsive web design by adding responsive documentation and demos that explain key concepts and also by adding new widgets like responsive tables, panels and grids that make it easy to build responsive sites and apps.

Besides preparing for RWD with these new widgets, the update includes a set of new UI elements and functionality:

  • input-form or menu-style panels which might be opened animated on smaller devices or remain statically open on larger screens
  • range sliders with two handles to define a lower and upper bound value with one single widget
  • new icons and enhanced icon theming
  • navigation events and a navigation method supporting browser history handling in the course of Ajax-based DOM manipulation
  • enhanced swipe handling to attach custom logic to swipe starts and ends

The jQuery Foundation offers various libraries to simplify JavaScript and HTML5/CSS based application design, providing cross-browser compatibility. Besides jQuery Mobile - focussed on mobile interfaces, there are jQuery for enhanced JavaScript and Ajax functionality, jQuery UI for desktop application user interfaces or the QUnit JavaScript testing framework.

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