KendoUI-FigureIt's been two short months since we originally introduced the Kendo UI beta, and now we're very happy to deliver the second beta release! This release builds on the very successful beta 1 by introducing a number of new features, new widgets, along with the expected bug fixes and performance improvements.

(For the impatient, you can download Beta 2 now and review the full release notes.)

Before talking about what's new in Beta 2, let me first say thank you on behalf of the entire Kendo UI team to those of you checking-out the beta and providing some great feedback! Your input is helping shape Kendo UI in to an awesome v1 product, and we really appreciate the early passion. Please keep that feedback coming and don't forget to share and vote for ideas on the Kendo UI UserVoice.

What's New in Beta 2

Tons. Let's start with new UI widgets.

UI Widgets

There are two new UI widgets in beta 2: Calendar and DatePicker. They do exactly what you'd expect, in exactly the way you'd expect it.

Meanwhile, the Chart widget received some significant updates:

  • New Chart Type: Pie chart
  • Animations for loading chart series
  • Series/Point highlights
  • New click event (to better support interactive charts)

Cool stuff. Check it out along with improvements and polish to all other UI widgets in the online demos.

Data Source

One of the components that got a lot of attention in Beta 2 is the Kendo UI Data Source. Already a very powerful component for helping you retrieve and bind to local and remote data, the beta 2 Data Source finally adds full support for syncing local data operations with the a remote server.

To enable that, Kendo UI introduces a rich new ability to define and work with models. These models are able to locally track their changes and then properly sync to the server.

Unfortunately, we don't have any demos for this new feature today, but stay tuned and we'll talk a lot more about this very useful improvement in the coming days and weeks.

Templates

We've talked a lot about Kendo UI Templates since launching Beta 1. They are wicked fast and easy to use. Just what the doctor ordered for JavaScript UI binding.

In beta 2, we've changed the syntax slightly following good forum feedback. The new syntax is more lightweight than the current "<#= #>", but if follows the same general functional pattern. In Beta 2, to use Kendo UI Templates, you'd use this syntax:

<li>#= item #</li>

Call it HashTemplates or MicroHash or whatever you want. It's Kendo UI Templates with refined syntax.

Templates in Beta 2 are also faster.

We have done more performance tweaking with the Kendo UI Templates so that they are now 30% faster than Beta 1 when using the "with block" option (the default configuration). That makes the slower "with block" mode of Kendo UI Templates 2x faster than jQuery Templates, while the faster "no with block" mode is still 60x faster!

An updated JSPerf Test with Beta 2 is available for your own comparisons.

Breaking Changes

As you should expect in this early beta process, there are a few breaking changes from Beta 1 to Beta 2. If you've written code with Beta 1, you may need to make some changes to fully support Beta 2.

  • CSS Theme Class Naming Convention
    All Kendo UI CSS class names are now prefixed with "k-" instead of "t-". The new Kendo UI Beta 2 themes contain this change, but if you manually referenced any Beta 1 styles by class name, you'll need to change the prefix.
  • IE6 support is gone
    Another change driven by your feedback, we have removed all code from Kendo UI that dealt with supporting IE6. We think this will help Kendo UI reduce its legacy baggage out of the gate and help the dev team deliver better features faster in future updates.
  • Grid "dialect" API renamed to "parameterMap"
    One of the more confusing, unintuitive Grid configuration sections in Beta 1 was "dialect." This configuration section is responsible for "translating" Grid properties (like page size and page index) to the proper parameter format for the configured transport. To make the purpose of this section more clear, it has been renamed to "parameterMap."
  • Template syntax
    As discussed above, the new Kendo UI Templates change the syntax from "<#= #>" to "#= #". Updating to Beta 2 requires removal of these extra angle brackets.

On to RTW

Clearly, there are lots of new fun things to check-out in Beta 2. In fact, some of what's new I won't mention since we don't have any demos or docs for it. The truly intrepid among you will find even more goodies living in this release. As we prepare more demos and docs, we'll "light up" more of these features for you.

From here, we race to the v1 RTW, scheduled for late 2011. There are many more things already in the works that will be coming in future Kendo UI updates:

  • Globalization
  • Validation
  • Kendo UI Mobile
  • Theme Builder
  • Grid hierarchy
  • And much more

You can keep-up with our public road map online, and stay tuned to the Kendo UI blogs and twitter for real-time updates.

For now, all we ask is that you download beta 2 and let us know what you think!

(For those of you driven by version numbers, Beta 2 is formally 2011.3.1007.)


Burke Holland is the Director of Developer Relations at Telerik
About the Author

Burke Holland

Burke Holland is a web developer living in Nashville, TN and was the Director of Developer Relations at Progress. He enjoys working with and meeting developers who are building mobile apps with jQuery / HTML5 and loves to hack on social API's. Burke worked for Progress as a Developer Advocate focusing on Kendo UI.

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