QuickUI 0.9: a significant update

QuickUI 0.9 has been released. This is a major update which includes a number of changes that make it easier than ever to create reusable, extensible web user interface components.

  • The means by which classes are defined has been substantially simplified, which means that QuickUI is doing a lot less work when a class is defined. One result is that the previous Control.subclass() method has been replaced with a simple jQuery.sub() call. An overload still permits one to pass in a JavaScript object defining the class, but now everything in that object is simply copied over to the new class’ prototype. A new “inherited:” key now holds the Control JSON used to render the control; see the docs for more details.
  • The way you refer to an element within a control’s DOM has changed. Previously, you set an ID on an element in Control JSON using an “id:” key. Under the covers, this set an ID on the HTML element. As of QuickUI 0.9, to refer to an element in code, the Control JSON should include a “ref:” key. (See the tutorial example.) Under the covers, this will set a CSS class on the element. As before, this also implicitly creates an element reference function you can use to get that element through code: e.g., setting ref: “foo” on an element lets you get back to that element with the element reference function $foo().
  • A control’s initialize() method now implicitly invokes the initialize() methods of its base classes. Previously, you had to remember to have initialize() invoke this._super(), which was error prone. Failure to invoke this._super() would often mean that a base class’ event handlers didn’t get wired up, which could lead to bugs which were difficult to track down.
  • CoffeeScript support, announced earlier, has been folded into the core quickui.js runtime.

While the above work was underway, the QuickUI source code was substantially overhauled:

  • The aforementioned support for creating QuickUI controls in CoffeeScript has gone so well that QuickUI’s own runtime has now itself been ported to CoffeeScript. This does not mean that QuickUI developers need to use CoffeeScript; QuickUI supports plain JavaScript development and CoffeeScript development equally well. For people using QuickUI, this simply means that a number of planned improvements to QuickUI (including those listed above) could more easily be tackled.
  • The quickui.js runtime file itself is now built with Ben Alman’s handy Grunt build tool.
  • The optional QuickUI markup compiler has been moved into a separate GitHub repo, quickui-markup.

Please take a look!

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One thought on “QuickUI 0.9: a significant update

  1. Pingback: Some observations on porting the QuickUI runtime from plain JavaScript to CoffeeScript | QuickUI

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