Today is a very exciting day! After months of stealth development we are finally introducing the first public beta of Kendo UI, a HTML5, jQuery-based framework for building modern HTML apps. Kendo UI combines the best of HTML5, CSS3, and evolving JavaScript APIs to deliver a unified client-side app development framework.

If you prefer to get right to the action, jump over to the online demos or download the beta now! If you prefer to know more about Kendo UI, read on.

Problem with jQuery Development Today

When we sat down to start designing and building Kendo UI nearly a year ago, one thing really jumped-out that helped define our a engineering strategy:

  • Building modern HTML5/JavaScript apps with a jQuery core requires way to much “framework assembly”

jQuery is an awesome “core” JavaScript library. By Google Trends' measures, it’s the runaway leader for JavaScript frameworks. There is no question that jQuery has helped drive the surge in JavaScript programming, allowing developers to stop worrying about browser JavaScript differences and start focusing on client-side logic.

But when you sit down to build a complete, client-side website or app with jQuery, you quickly discover that jQuery alone is not enough. Any sufficiently complex project ends-up needing things like:

  • Templates
  • Data Binding
  • Data Source
  • Localization
  • Validation
  • Drag-and-Drop APIs
  • Universal touch support
  • And, of course, UI widgets

And that’s the problem: To build a jQuery-based HTML5 app today, you must search for, test, learn, and cobble together all of the various plug-ins, frameworks, and libraries needed to build an application.

The Kendo UI Framework Solution

Kendo UI solves this core problem by providing everything needed for modern, rich HTML5 app development in a single, compact package. When you start building with Kendo UI, you have the core pieces you need:

  • UI widgets
  • Client-side DataSource
  • High-performance Templates
  • Data Binding
  • Drag-and-Drop API
  • Animations
  • Built-in touch support

There’s no need to manually assemble a full framework for HTML app development; Kendo UI provides all the pieces, designed to seamlessly work together. It’s UI and much more.

Built for Performance

Another challenge with full-scale JavaScript/jQuery app development is maximizing performance. There are many techniques that, while convenient for quick solutions, do not scale to provide maximum performance across browsers and devices. Equally, there are many JavaScript libraries that are independently cool and powerful, but when combined with 20 other libraries, add a lot of unnecessary JavaScript processing time and weight to an app.

Every aspect of Kendo has been built to deliver performance before providing a laundry list of features. No shortcuts have been made to artificially inflate the Kendo feature set. Yes, this means there is some functionality that is not in the Kendo beta, but we feel this commitment to performance is ultimately a better choice.

For example, in the beta shipping today, you’ll find:

  • UI virtualization in the Kendo Grid, making it possible to bind to huge data sets without crashing application performance
  • Lightweight templates, which deliver performance more than 10 times faster than other JavaScript templating solutions
  • Custom animations that use CSS3 instead of JavaScript when possible, taking advantage of hardware accelerated effects

Built for Real World Use

Even though Kendo UI is built to leverage the power of new HTML5, CSS3, and JavaScript technologies, it is also built for the realities of a world that does not universally support HTML5 today. In fact, Kendo UI helps developers adopt the latest in web standards faster by automatically handling the support for older browsers. It does for HTML5 application development what jQuery does for just JavaScript.

Kendo UI is professionally tested to support new and old browsers alike, even the venerable (soon to be defunct, we hope) IE6. For example, the Kendo Charts utilize both SVG (a newer, more broadly supported standard) and VML (an older, similarly capable standard that works in IE) to deliver powerful data visualizations that just work. No extra hacking or code required.

So, if you’ve been sitting on the fence of HTML5 adoption, worried about making the jump, Kendo UI is your ticket to the future. Hop aboard and have some fun with the best the web has to offer.

Beyond the Beta

Today’s beta is clearly just the beginning. Between now and the official v1 release later this year, Kendo UI will continue to evolve, adding new UI widgets, new framework features, and new tools and options for deployment (like a web-based tool for customizing themes, and a “custom build” tool for downloading just the JavaScript you need).

Your feedback is critical! We think we can help raise the bar for client-side, HTML5 app development, but we need your input to help properly set the future road map priorities. Make sure you download the beta today and share your feedback in the official Kendo UI Forums.

There are a lot of exciting plans for Kendo UI, even beyond v1, but it all starts here. Today. Become a foundational member of the Kendo UI community and join us in the next wave of HTML5 development!

Download Kendo Beta


About the Author

Todd Anglin

is an avid HTML5, CSS3, and JavaScript advocate, and geek about all things web development. He is an active speaker and author, helping developers around the world learn and adopt HTML5. Todd works for Telerik as VP of HTML5 Web & Mobile Tools, where his current technical focus is on Kendo UI. Todd is @toddanglin on Twitter

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