Finally, here it is: the most amazing piece of software we ever released.
qooxdoo 0.8 is a milestone, for sure. Unlike the minor jump in version number may suggest, this release includes tons of changes and improvements over the previous 0.7.3. It is impossible to account for all changes here, it’s even hard for the most significant ones. So if you haven’t closely followed the development of qooxdoo 0.8, you may just go ahead and see yourself to get an idea.
There have been two main areas that improved substantially: GUI toolkit and developer tool chain.
qooxdoo 0.8 features a complete rewrite of the GUI toolkit. It is state-of-the-art and supports all major browsers (IE, Firefox, Safari, Opera). The GUI toolkit has a layered architecture: on-top of a low-level DOM-oriented layer (that might be used as a separate library), it includes a large set of widgets and layout managers (perfect for building RIAs). Online demos are available.
Users can very easily implement additional custom widgets or layouts to fit their individual needs. Theming of widgets continues to be independent from the widget code itself, and now allows for virtually unlimited styling possibilities, e.g. rounded borders, gradients, shadows. While qooxdoo comes with two new attractive themes, it is also easy to create custom themes, without any CSS knowledge required.
Special thanks go to ERGOSIGN, a leading provider of user interface design services. In a close and fruitful collaboration we created the new default theme, that nicely demonstrates some of the UI capabilities of qooxdoo 0.8. Indulge in the so-called “Modern” theme!
Besides the exciting changes in the GUI toolkit, the developer tool chain has also been improved tremendously. The built-in tools free the developer from tedious and complex tasks and also aid in development.
Unlike the previous versions, which featured a Makefile-based build process and required Windows users to install and use Cygwin, in 0.8 all that ceremony is gone: Essentially, all that’s needed is a working Python installation, which is trivial to setup on any operating system, including MS Windows.
With those low entrance hurdles any user should greatly benefit from the power of the integrated tool chain. There are too many features of 0.8 tooling to be mentioned here, but some highlights include image combination, integrated internationalization support, JSON-based configuration, etc. Of course, also API doc generation and unit testing.
API documentation is progressing towards full coverage. The wiki-based user manual of 0.8 is being updated and improved to account for all the changes and improvements.
See the impressive number of commits over the time span of qooxdoo 0.8 development:
You notice the drop in 0.8 development activity end of last year? At that time we successfully supported and mastered large-scale qooxdoo application development. If you haven’t checked out GMX.com, a large free webmail service, you should definitely do so. Some of the experience we gained from that task was also helping with the further development of qooxdoo 0.8.
Many factors – but mostly people – play a key role in developing such a ground-breaking release. qooxdoo 0.8 could not have been possible without the many users, supporters, partners, contributors, developers and, of course, 1&1.
Thanks a lot for all your input, work and support!