Chapter 1. Introducing jQuery UI

This chapter covers

  • What jQuery UI includes
  • Whether jQuery UI is for you
  • How to get started using the library

Let’s take a trip back to early 2006. The term AJAX had been coined, the second beta of Internet Explorer 7 was released, and John Resig announced a small library he called jQuery. jQuery would soon become wildly popular, thanks in part to how easy it was to extend its core functionality through plugins.

Months passed, and thousands of plugins were created by the jQuery community. Although the abundance of plugins provided variety, they were scattered around the internet, had inconsistent APIs, and often had little or no documentation. Because of these problems, the jQuery team wanted to provide an official set of plugins in a centralized location. In September 2007 they created a new library with these plugins—jQuery UI.

From a high level, jQuery UI was, and still is, a collection of plugins and utilities that build on jQuery. But dig deeper and you find a set of consistent, well-documented, themeable building blocks to help you create everything from small websites to highly complex web applications.

Unlike jQuery plugins, the plugins and utilities in jQuery UI are supported by the jQuery Foundation. You can count on them to be officially supported and maintained throughout the life of your application.

1.1. What is in jQuery UI?

1.2. The benefits of using jQuery UI

1.3. The limitations of jQuery UI

1.4. Getting started with the library

1.5. The first example

1.6. Using an online testing tool

1.7. Summary