Thursday, August 2nd, 2007

Ext 1.1 Released

Category: Component, Sencha

Ext JS is the Ajax community’s answer to, “Yes, but does it look wicked cool?” Several folks pointed us to yesterday’s release of Ext 1.1:

The Ext team is proud to announce the immediate availability of Ext v1.1 for download. The 1.1 version includes the new stand-alone version of Ext, a lightweight HTML editor, a new Ext.Ajax utility class, enhancements to DateField and DatePicker, expanded documentation and bug fixes.

Ext\'s New HTML Editor Component

We have mixed feelings about the new stand-alone flavor of Ext. It’s great that you can get a tight little optimized package if all you’re after is a little Ajax helpy whelpy and some eye-candy, but does the world really need another XHR wrapper API?

[Ext.JS includes a] new flexible API for making Ajax requests with Ext. Ext.Ajax provides features such as global headers and parameters, cross library file uploads and most importantly, global Ajax events. These events are very powerful and could be used to queue and combine Ajax requests into a single call, cancel requests, provide data locally, add parameters, etc.

Still, kudos to Jack et al. for a solid update to a fantastic toolkit.

Posted by Ben Galbraith at 7:00 am

2 rating from 332 votes


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That is the nicest rich text editor I’ve ever seen! Way to go Jack!

Comment by Jordan — August 2, 2007

Jack is hot!

Comment by Jane — August 2, 2007

My impression is that Ext 1.1 moves Ext from a base library extension for widgets to a fully featured client-side javascript library, providing widgets. Its a convenience thing: if you need it, Ext provides it.

I’m facing this choice myself, where I currently have a cobbled-together client-side toolkit, and the lure of Ext to have everything neatly integrated and implemented just once and consistently is pretty big.

Comment by Joeri — August 2, 2007

It’s a good thing more work is done on HTMLeditors. Now that YUI and Ext have one I bet it won’t take long before the prototype, jquery and mootools communities come up with similar editors. Finally we can get rid of our bloated tinMCE’s and FCKeditors.

Comment by Nick Stakenburg — August 2, 2007

The WYSIWYG should produce XHTML in my opinion and the Insert Link should not use Javascript popup.

Comment by Hjortur — August 2, 2007

Is it possible that a new HTML editor still uses obsolete FONT tags? Never heard of CSS?

Comment by Andrea — August 2, 2007

is ext strictly a presentation library or does it also extend js functionality like jQuery or prototype?

Comment by justin — August 2, 2007

@Justin: Ext can act as both. It can serve to extend the UI capabilities of YUI, jQuery or Prototype as well as being a complete framework for your projects. Ext provides extensive functionality for DOM traversal and manipulation.

Comment by Rey Bango — August 2, 2007

^^ Yes it does extend JS functionality. Look at the docs.

Comment by Jgarcia — August 2, 2007

“That is the nicest rich text editor I’ve ever seen!”

Eh? Very limited feature set and using FONT tags. You haven’t sen many rich text editors have you ;)

Comment by Jerome — August 2, 2007

Anyone know where I can get an updated Aptana plugin?

Comment by Andrew — August 2, 2007

Calling Ext standalone eye-candy plus an XHR wrapper is a bit misinformed. Ext is pretty nice looking, but the high quality of the widgets, data and other modules, the adequate (heh) documentation, and the vibrant community led by Jack Slocum are what have made it such a success. It’s also a dubious accusation in light of the fact that Ext can run on top of Yahoo, jQuery and Prototype+Scriptaculous. Anyway, credit where it’s due, props to Slocum and the gang.

Comment by scrapper — August 2, 2007

Ext certainly is a good widget collection and more. I do not use it for any project yet, but I extracted the DomQuery part to replace cssQuery.

Although it has its strange moments. The documentation for says it has two arguments, the second is “(optional) The start of the query (defaults to document).”

This argument has no effect, the function always uses document, and the comments from the team say you have to use “#foo” in the selector to anchor things. Huh?

Comment by Martin — August 2, 2007

scrapper: Ext is an awesome component toolkit. The point in the posting is that we have mixed feelings about its new stand-alone flavor, bringing the world yet another general-purpose Ajax helper library. We keep hoping to see more framework consolidation, not proliferation.

Comment by Ben Galbraith — August 2, 2007

Ben: I’m not sure what you mean by “yet another general-purpose Ajax helper library”. The Ajax handling in Ext is good, but the stuff that gets people immediately excited is the quality of the widgets and layout tools (grid, tree and comboBox, and BorderLayout being some standouts).

Regarding framework proliferation/consolidation: I’m not ready to start complaining about there being too many JavaScript frameworks out there! I’m glad we have a nice gallery of different approaches. Most have a novel idea or two, most have learned from each other, and the competition between them benefits web development. Ext’s ability to run on top of YUI, jQuery, Prototype+Scriptaculous, or alone is also a more than adequate gesture of solidarity with the other frameworks. I don’t think anyone’s clamoring for a Dojo adapter ;)

Comment by scrapper — August 2, 2007

I just made the switch from using YUI and a stripped down version of jQuery (DOM manipulation), to Ext JS. The decision was fairly easy: Ext JS can do all the things I like in these libraries, plus it has a number of widgets that will allow me to build rich user interfaces. I am very happy so far. The dynamic form class alone is worth the switch. Thanks to the team for creating such an amazing library.

Comment by David — August 2, 2007

I ultimately agree with Nick Stakenburg… clean XHTML output is required and it also seems weird if you have so much components in Ext to have JavaScript dialog to insert link, I do not see the point of the other components and features of Ext…

Comment by temnor — August 2, 2007

oops first comment and the big faux pas… it was Hjortur’s post.

Comment by temnor — August 2, 2007

temnor: If you don’t see the point of the components and features in Ext (and by extension YUI, jQuery and others), then I think you are either not a web application developer or have not looked at Ext’s demos and features at all.

I agree completely with scrapper’s comments… having a diversity of libraries available is nothing but a great thing. There are many approaches to client side application design… and there will probably be just as many client side libraries to support each.

Our development group uses a combination of YUI and Ext. Each library has strengths and weaknesses. Because they integrate so easily together, we are able to use both and pick the features we feel are the best of each.

Comment by Julian — August 2, 2007

What I like is they have a good approach to handling client side data. Google Gears may be better in the long run but for now having a flexible fast client side dataset makes building data rich applications that much easier.

Comment by Landon — August 2, 2007

FONT tags? Why? :-(

Comment by S.G. — August 3, 2007

julian: the questions was why they inserts link via the JS dialog, when they can use some of ext components and then you can for example edit more behaviours of the link…

Comment by temnor — August 3, 2007

I am really confused about the “XHTML is a must” comments. Nearly no one uses XHTML anyway. Where are all these websites that deliver XHTML with the proper content-type?

Comment by Martin — August 3, 2007

Serving a page with an XHTML content-type is a content-typing issue, not a content authoring issue. Regardless of the content-type the document is delivered in, many are still authoring their documents using an XHTML doctype.

Comment by Jeff Howden — August 3, 2007

it’s still a pain in the ass to work with Ext and existing HTML forms :(
And in some cases you are not able to generate your forms entirely with the Ext.form classes.

I tried everything, but until now it does not work and the docs are … well – no comment

Comment by detleff — August 4, 2007

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