Introducing “Aristo”, A jQuery UI Theme

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For those that arn’t familiar with jQuery UI, it’s essentially a collection of jQuery plugins that try to do for user interaction what jQuery did for JavaScript. Like it’s parent library, jQuery UI does its very best to remain cross browser compliant. It is easy to implement. It is very easy to theme. Unfortunately it hasn’t seen quite the same uptake as jQuery, and I set out on this task to improve the biggest hurdle I experienced: its design.

Frankly, jQuery UI themes are goofy. The rounded corners are goofy. The colour schemes are goofy. At this point you probably think I’m being a bit unreasonable, but compare jQuery UI to what the competition is up to:

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Ace and Aristo are the respective open source themes of SproutCore and Cappuccino, applied to their parent JavaScript libraries. You can see a great comparison of the two in this article by Allen Pike. Both UI libraries duplicate the functionality of jQuery UI slightly, but look simply amazing doing so. I had already started mocking and building my own jQuery UI theme when I re-discovered the Aristo PSD. I decided to abandon my work and port the “Aristo” theme for Cappuccino over to jQuery UI.

So here we have Aristo for jQuery UI. A proof-of-concept to illustrate how jQuery UI could progress if they get sacrifice some of their direction and get some nifty designers on board. Imagine the possibilities if jQuery UI got Cocoia or Sofa on board!

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Licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 with permission from 280 North and Pinvoke.

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