Thursday, March 11th, 2010

Ext JS 3.2 beta: stores, components, transitions, and themes

Category: Sencha

The Ext JS team have announced the 3.2 beta which includes new components and goodness.

Take the animated DataView transitions for example:

On top of that, the release includes:

Posted by Dion Almaer at 1:12 am

3.5 rating from 71 votes


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The Animated DataView transitions is pretty cool!
Hope Coolite gets updated too!

Comment by ajaxus — March 11, 2010

Love the composite field and the accessibility theme! Still waiting on the HTML5 local storage support.

Comment by tercero12 — March 11, 2010

@RobS: The fact that two features of the new version of ExtJS are already available in another framework doesn’t make it ‘nothing new’. For many ExtJS users this really adds some needed functionality.

btw: I am an occasional user of ExtJS, but to me it seems Jack Slocum is no longer actively developing ExtJS or any other projects. Can anyone confirm this?

Comment by daanlib — March 11, 2010

daanlib – you are right. Jack is no involved in the development of Ext which I think explains the lack of quality in the product.
Fixing over 180 bugs between 3.1 and 3.2 isn’t something I would brag about. Goes to show how unstable the product is.

Comment by RobS — March 11, 2010

I wouldn’t call it unstable, but I do run into the odd bug here and there. It’s just a very large product. They’re aware of the quality issue, and they’re implementing a unit test suite to avoid regressions. I think they’re heading in the right direction.
I do wonder what Jack is up to. The Ext designer is still not released. Maybe he spends all his time working on that?

Comment by Joeri — March 11, 2010

Wait.. they’re implementing a unit test suite now? SmartClient / SmartGWT has had such a suite for 5 years. It’s around 1400 tests now, growing all the time – any new feature always has tests built for it and any fixed bug likewise gets a test.

We are putting in a continuous integration solution so that we immediately see which commits broke what tests.

As many have commented, we have far, far less bugs over a product with far more functionality.

SmartClient / SmartGWT are also LGPL – free for commercial use.

Comment by ckendrick — March 11, 2010

@ckendrick – Nobody likes a SmartASS… (/joke)

Comment by sixtyseconds — March 12, 2010

Quick disclaimer- my name’s Dave Kaneda and I work at Ext.

RobS- We are proud of the bug fixes and enhancements made since we released 3.1 in December. As you mentioned, we had over 180 bug fixes, and you can see from the post above, a lot of awesome new features — not bad for 3 months. As others have mentioned, we also have a lot of good stuff in the works, like Ext Designer.

CKendrick- We are a little late in joining the unit testing party, but better late than never. We have continuous integration testing. Also, we think our product excels in regard to functionality — and have a pretty huge community that agrees. We are a dual licensed project, and we believe this contributes to making great products, both released and forthcoming.

I don’t mean to turn this thread into a flamewar by any means, but thought it was worth clarifying a bit. Thanks!

Comment by davidkaneda — March 12, 2010

@davidkaneda It seems we use words differently :)

If by continuous integration you mean that you get some kind of notification when tests fail, that’s pretty elementary and comes out of the box with tools like Bambu, we’ve had it for a while. But I think most people would require a certain degree of *coverage* before they would declare “continuous integration” achieved, and it takes many years to build that coverage, starting from scratch.

As far as “excels in functionality”, I really don’t know what this means, perhaps this is in comparison with some other unnamed product? I feel that a cursory review of the samples shipped with SmartClient reveals that there is a lot more functionality there than Ext, if you disagree, there certainly isn’t enough room here to cover the gaps, so let’s just jointly encourage people to check out both product’s online showcases for comparison.

Oh, and don’t miss Visual Builder (not in our online showcase). It’s similar to Ext Designer except it’s existed for 4 years, it can handle complete server-side data integration for common Java technologies (Hibernate, JDBC) rather than just REST services, it can save and actually reload and re-edit screen designs, and it’s built as a deeply extensible platform so that you can create a custom builder to ship with a product or use as an internal design hub.

Comment by ckendrick — March 12, 2010

As others have suggested I have checked out SmartGWT -I have to admit it is nice and extensive. But I don’t think it quite measures up to ExtJS. Simply put ExtJS is of far better quality in terms of UI polish, performance.

Comment by albeva — March 12, 2010

I’d love to hear Steve Souders comment on the loading time of the SmartClient sample website. Took me at least 10 seconds to get it up.

Another interesting comparison would be the community. I see no “User Extensions and Plugins” forum in the SmartClient site, which for me makes all the difference.

Comment by mankz — March 13, 2010

mankz : I’m sure it matters to you as you are trying to make a living of an Ext extension – a small disclaimer that was not mentioned.

SmartClient is actually way better in this regard as everything is baked right into the product and is a single stop-stop compared to Ext where functionality is a huge mess and scattered in the form of various user created plugins of varying quality (most that break with each new release of Ext). Additionally most of the plugins are GPL, or undocumented in terms of license terms, making them unusable or a huge risk for corporations. And the plugins like yours that are commercial ware are even more hassle to deal. Imaging a company having to deal with invoicing 5 to 10 plugins, regardless of cost or complexity, from different vendors and dealing with upgrades and support when most of these are small timers accepting PayPal only.

I find it quite interesting that the most vocal supporters of Ext are actually users trying to form their own business around it like authoring a book, providing consulting or even working part time for Ext as a “support staff”. It’s the silent majority that actually matters in the real world.

Comment by fargueta — March 14, 2010

@fargueta – I don’t work for either, nor do I make any money (WHATSOEVER) from either, yet I find both to be terrible to work with. Having said that, I have used both extensively, and find Ext to be more polished. I also find SmartClient to be very slow to load. I tried today. 12 seconds to load the showcase. 8 seconds to load the assets (!!) of the hello world alert.

This whole thread reminds me of an html5/flash thread a little while ago where both parties try to beat each other up in order to promote their own kit. Have it out with the quality of your software, not this waffle and hoopla.

Comment by sixtyseconds — March 14, 2010

Instead of seeing 3rd party plugins as a hassle, I see those as a key strength that allows me to build even more awesome web apps. Guess we see things differently.

Comment by mankz — March 14, 2010

@sixtyseconds the SmartClient showcase loads around 250 mini-applications and the media for all of them, before showing the first example. It is really designed to show off the fact that you can arrive at directly and the Showcase loads in the background while you are reading the content, then displays instantly.

Grab the SDK to see how normal apps load. As with any enterprise framework, there’s a one-ever hit for the JavaScript runtime to be downloaded, and reloads are instant as you’d expect.

Comment by ckendrick — March 15, 2010

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