OK, many of you know that I've become a fan of the Ext JavaScript library. I really started looking at it heavily just before Ben Forta told us about the new Ajax widgets in ColdFusion 8. Good thing for me, since most of those widgets are built using the Ext library.

Well, the Ext team has done it again. Or, rather, they've outdone themselves. Rey Bengo popped me an IM this afternoon, with the link to the Ext blog posting about the public release of Ext 2.0 Alpha. I've already had the opportunity to preview some of this outstanding new stuff, and it is way above the bar. The Ext crew has been hard at work, mulling over thousands of forum entries, emails, etc, enhancing and refining this excellent toolset. The samples page showcases some of the new features and enhancements, and is now separated from the API Browser, which is a thing of beauty in it's own right.

There are some heavy changes under the hood, with migration documentation soon to be released to ease the transitions. I wouldn't expect to see the new stuff built into ColdFusion anytime soon, but it would be tremendous if Adobe made that happen in an upcoming update (NOTE: Adobe has said no such thing, I just wish they would;). And anyone interested in client side JS code should read through the 'source' files that are included in the download. Simply amazing.

It's very expandable too. I've already added to the RowExpander Plugin, for the DataGrid, to take a function reference argument in it's config, so that I could populate the 'expanded' area with Ajax fed content, basically in the same vain of setting a custom cell renderer but only 'onclick'.

So, looks like I'll have to write some new DataGrid articles, which I've also begun to crosspost onto the Ext site in their Learning Center. I'm already envisioning some of the killer apps that will be fronted by this (can you say 'AIR'?) Big kudos to Jack and the guys for a stellar v2.0.