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Explore 5 amazing jQuery UI alternatives

Nowadays, most mobile software are built on JavaScript and the most popular framework that is used is jQuery, an open source and cross platform JavaScript library distributed by jQuery Foundation. And, as a JavaScript library built it on top of jQuery, jQuery UI provides code to build interactive user interface for dynamic web applications. In short, jQuery is the core library and jQuery UI is built on top of it.

In fact, the most popular jQuery-based library is the official jQuery UI project: it’s free to use and has nice set of useful components. As they describe themselves: "a curated set of user interface interactions, effects, widgets, and themes". However, there are many powerful UI libraries built on top of jQuery and each of them has its advantages. We have compiled a list of some of the best jQuery based UI Frameworks that will help to create useful and innovative mobile apps. Take a look!

KendoUI

Kendo UI is quickly becoming the most popular widget toolkit for developers and many are not surprised. Kendo UI is an HTML5, jQuery-based framework for building modern web apps. An end-to-end solution for modern client-side development. It's everything you need for building applications for modern web standards, saving developers time and minimizing frustration by providing an integrated - yet highly modular - framework.

The framework features lots of UI widgets, a rich data visualization framework, an auto-adaptive Mobile framework, and all of the tools needed for HTML5 app development, such as Data Source, Templating, MVVM, Drag-and-Drop API, and more. It consist of three powerful sets of widgets and interactions which can be used separately or combined into one single package: Kendo UI Web, Kendo UI Mobile and Kendo UI DataViz. In a future post we will delve deeper into this interesting framework and the benefits of using it.

Zino UI

Zino UI is a compact, jQuery-based, UI library. WAI-ARIA compatible, user interface framework consist of 30+ different components. It’s a great set of cross-platform, themable components leveraging on best practices and advanced JavaScript techniques. Here are some fabulous components: accordion, button, calendar, canvas, data table, draggable, spinner, splitter, SVG graph tool, PHP server wrapper, TreeView, upload etc.

The SVG graph tool, DataSource and data table all work together to create a usable platform and as with other UI alternatives, each of the features is capable of standing alone. They can be used in conjunction with one another and are able to work interchangeably within the development system. However, Zino UI does have its drawbacks. Some of the weaknesses of this library include missing RTL support, validation and globalization features and limited themes.

jQWidgets

This one is a good option for building professional websites and mobile apps that look beautiful on desktops, tablets and smartphones. jQWidgets is built entirely on open standards and technologies like jQuery, HTML5, CSS, JavaScript, and SVG.

JQWidgets offers the convenience of JavaScript and SVG without depending on the Query systems and comes with multiple built-in ready to use and cross-browser compatible themes. The Theme Builder is a powerful online tool that helps you to quickly create themes for the user interface of your application based on jQWidgets. Moreover you can import colors from existing theme, tweak them and save the result as a new theme. Quick widget updates, search engine friendly, compliance with web standards, small size and yet optimized for performance makes it a preferred choice of many developers. Here also code samples, demos and API for all widgets comes handy.

Just for clarify, it is not an extension of the core jQuery UI. Instead, it is an independent one.

Easy UI

If you want to easily build your web pages the Easy UI is a great companion for you. It is another alternative with complete collection of feature rich widgets and interactions. This widget contains a collection of user-interface plugins that are based upon jQuery. This particular widget has all the components that are required for building modern and interactive JavaScript applications. When you are using Easy UI there is no need of writing any Java code.

Some of the essential most important features of this UI are Panel, Layout, Window, which are the UI design widgets. DataGrid, PropertyGrid, Tree and TreeGrid are the other few components of this UI. Pros apart from above components include ready to use themes and a builder for it. Tutorials, demos and good API documentation is a plus if you want to use this alternate. As disadvantages we can mention the missing charting and upload functionality.

Wijmo

Wijmo is a kit of highly advanced widgets that are capable of handling many functions including an events calendar, charts, gauges, animation programs, videos as well as several other features that use the power behind jQuery. Their extremely high quality makes them excellent tools for Web development. Wijmo widgets are optimized for client-side web development and utilize the power of jQuery for superior performance and ease of use.

It is based upon jQuery UI and jQuery mobile and provide one set of widgets, for both mobile and web. It leverage on the so-called Adaptive Widget framework, this means that all widgets you use will automatically adapt to jQuery UI or jQuery Mobile environments. Simply by swapping out jQuery UI for jQuery Mobile, you can easily convert your widgets to be mobile without changing a single line of code.

In summary, there are many widgets that you can search for in the web that are open source and free to download. UI alternatives to jQuery plugins normally have an abundance of features that are interchangeable and, as independent tools, they bring benefits of the Query product without any of the issues associated with their use.



Emiliano Tortorelli

About Emiliano

Emiliano is a Software Engineer with more than 7 years of experience developing Web and Mobile applications for some of the most important Fortune 500 companies

Nowadays Emiliano specializes as Engineer on the Mobile department of TISA, looking for implementing the latest technologies and frameworks to be used in future projects.

Beyond his technical knowledge and passion for the technology Emiliano enjoys playing Volleyball, Swimming and going to the Gym, he also like reading books and playing online video games.



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