Substantial user interface improvements
The new version of Dojo offers substantial user interface improvements in the form of the beautiful Claro theme. Claro delivers a modern and engaging visual style for rich internet applications with Dojo’s Dijit library, with the visual enhancements of transparent gradient background images, drop shadows, and appropriate CSS animations (on Webkit and Mozilla-based browsers). It delivers a ‘fit and finish’ that surpasses previous themes and releases, and significantly improves ease of customizing the theme CSS, so you can easily create your own theme by styling elements such as padding and color, without needing to design new background images. All of this while being fully accessible and internationalizable across a growing collection of user interface widgets! Learn more in our Dive into Dijit article.
The portal layout mechanism found in sites such as the personalized Orange home page is provided with Dojo, making it easy to create user-customizable application interfaces. Dojo’s very powerful native vector graphics, charting, and drawing components have received many improvements, including new themes, gradients, and experimental support for the SVGWeb plugin in addition to the existing support for SVG, VML, Canvas, Flash, and Silverlight. This guarantees that your graphics will work natively when possible, but will work everywhere with the simple dojox.gfx APIs.
Stable, backwards and forwards compatible Core
The core Dojo libraries are remarkably stable, making it very easy to upgrade your application from earlier versions of Dojo while receiving a number of improvements to make development easier. dojo.Stateful was added, and dojo.Deferred is improved through an underlying Promises-based API. The core libraries provide everything you need for simple and advanced web sites and apps.
HTML5 & CSS3
Dojo supports many HTML5 features, and has supported many capabilities before they were supported in any browser such as local storage. The Dojo approach is to wrap native support where possible, fixing any glitches, adding API capabilities or simplifications, and offering compatible solutions for older browsers. Whether it’s improved browser history, placeholder hint text for all TextBox-based widgets, a new dojox.style extension to support the CSS transform and transform-origin properties, local storage, rich-text editing, multi-file uploading, or gfx for Canvas/SVG support, we have you covered now, with much more to come in future releases. Check out the presentation and Gorillas examples for a glimpse at what’s possible!
The mobile app space is evolving far too rapidly for the API stability promised by Dojo’s core libraries, so we have many initiatives underway to solve your mobile app development challenges now, and converge on more stable solutions soon. We strive to address challenges for both mobile web apps, and mobile installed apps that embed a web browser. A number of new Dojo Toolkit and Dojo Foundation initiatives are underway:
- dojox.mobile: lightweight mobile web widgets
- dojox.mobile.app: mobile application development framework
- embedjs: Dojo API, optimized for mobile
- TouchScroll: scrolling layer for WebKit Mobile
- wink: mobile web app toolkit
Dojo supports a wide variety of modern browsers. The complete list of officially supported and tested browsers: Chrome 5, Firefox 3.5 and 3.6; Internet Explorer 6, 7, and 8; Opera 10.6 (Dojo Core only); Safari 4.1 and 5. Other browser versions may work fine with Dojo even if they are not officially supported by the project.
Performance and Stability
Not only is Dojo consistently rated among the best performing Ajax toolkits, we also provide solid tools for scaling and growing your application. It’s easy to run into performance problems with any development tool, but the community and various vendors offer solutions to diagnose and solve all of your performance obstacles.
It’s always easier to get started when you start with something you already know. Whether you use Zend Framework, Spring, Persevere, Node, Narwhal, cometD-Jetty, DWR, Compuware Uniface, Ruby on Rails, Django, WebSphere, Apache, IIS, or any other HTTP-compliant server-side environment, there’s a simple drop in integration solution to get you up and running quickly. Dojo also offers easy integration with AIR 1.5 and 2.0, Appcelerator Titanium, PhoneGap, and integration hooks with various IDEs and developer tools including Aptana Studio, Komodo, Eclipse, and more.
We’re in the process of collating the 150 best Dojo 1.5.0 demos. Some of the initial demos were linked to from within this post, and other community plug-in efforts like the MFU project offers an alternative to the dojox.form.FileUploader widget, or the Dojo port of mustache.js as an alternative to dojox.dtl.
Documentation, Support and Assistance
The Dojo web site has a plethora of documentation, and the thriving community offers assistance for everything that’s not already covered. For professional support and assistance, companies like SitePen are available to help you get the most out of Dojo and the open web!
Download Dojo 1.5 today and let us know what you think, and tell us about the great apps you’re building with Dojo!
A Dojo Foundation project
The Dojo Toolkit is part of the Dojo Foundation, the open home for the open web. Beyond the Dojo Toolkit, the foundation has welcomed 3 new projects recently: Zazl, AnimeJ, and wink. cometD-Jetty recently announced a 2.0 release, and Persevere 2.0 beta is due this summer.