jQuery UI is awesome…. mostly…

A lot of pain recently with jQuery UI. They are transitioning to a major new version: 1.6. First, off there is no official jQuery UI release for compatibility with jQuery 1.3. That’s fine, jQuery 1.3 is very new. It would have been nice if they could have released a UI version at the same time, but that’s their prerrogative. Normally I would have just waited for things to settle down anyway.

Unfortunately, one of my projects had the distinction of being one of the few production sites running a jQuery UI 1.6 release candidate. We needed it to fix a problem with the jQuery UI 1.5.3 sortable. It had a bug with nesting inside of a scrollable div that has been fixed in jQuery UI 1.6. So we’ve been watching 1.6 move towards a full release and it has been a bit painful.

We needed to add an autocomplete control to our site. So we looked into it and were horrified to learn that there are basically 4 different versions, all inter-related, all with terrible documentation. What’s worse some of the UI 1.6 release candidates included an autocomplete with a different API convention, but now in 1.6rc6 that autocomplete is gone. I found this out the hard way because generating an earlier rc my page magically broke. It turned out that if you downloaded the complete rc you got the autocomplete. If you built one there was no option for the autocomplete, and they would leave it out.

After I got that fixed I discovered that merely using the new JS wasn’t going to work as jQuery 1.6 needs new corresponding 1.6 css. So now I have to roll a new theme.

Now that I’ve worked with jQuery I refuse to work without it so I’ll have to ride this out, but it has been a painful week for me to see jQuery UI folks stumbling.

End result will hopefully be this:

jQuery 1.3.1
jQuery 1.6rc6
a third party autocomplete (I can’t remember which of the 4, we’re using.)

Update:The above mentioned combination is working for the most part.  Now we’re having a problem where the popup for the date control is showing up behind a thickbox control we’re using.  Hopefully I can find a CSS fix to make it work.

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