Yes, Ext Js 3.0 has finally arrived! This long awaited update to the popular library has finally hit the download page as a production ready build (though the Release Candidates have been pretty stable as it is). There are many great enhancements to Ext, including an even more consistent underlying model (how could it get more consistent?), and some exciting new data marshalling features.
A quick perusal of the updated Samples & Demos page gives us immediate insight into some of the new features that are available:
- Row Editor Grid - for full record edits
- Buffered Grid View - for faster rendering of large datasets
- Tab Panel Scroller Menu - for Tab Panels with lots of tabs
- Group Tabs - a vertical tab implementation
- Charts - several different chart types
- Check Tree - a tree view with a twist
- HBox and VBox layouts
- Toolbar Overflow
- Toolbar Button Groups
- ListView - a very lightweight grid implementation
- Updated QuickTips
There's a lot more that you'll have to dig to see, like improved browser support, a better container model, and (experimental) ARIA support (for accessabiltiy). Some of the greatest enhancements come in the way of the data marshalling capabilities added via the new Ext Direct. With Direct, Ext is providing the remoting specifications so that anyone can write data marshalling services around their favorite backend language. Ext has even published Example Server Side Stacks as a jumping off point to beginning with data marshalling via Direct. [Side Note: Aaron Conran, the team lead on the Ext Js team, is a long time ColdFusion guy, and he wrote the example CF stack.) By configuring your Direct API, you can utilize data readers and writers (they're new!) easily, even passing multiple requests within a single Ajax request. [Another Side Note: CFQueryReader is fully functional with and without Direct.]
One of the nicest features of this release is the backwards compatability. There are little to few changes that most will have to make, to upgrade their applications from 2.x to 3.0. And, it was announced, on a recent User Group Tour stop, that Adobe is including Ext Js 3.0 in ColdFusion 9. This opens up the possability of some very nice, new CFAjax components to come.
All in all a fantastic release. I've had the opportunity to play with 3.0 for a while now, watching the SVN updates daily, and my hat's off to the Ext Js crew for another excellent release.