jQuery Roundup: UI

21 Sep 2010 | By Alex Young | Tags jquery plugins forms graphics

Welcome to the jQuery Plugin Roundup 24. You can send your plugins in for review through our contact form or @dailyjs.

In this week’s jQuery Roundup I’m going to review some of my favourite jQuery UI themes and related extensions.

jQuery UI

If you’re not familiar with jQuery UI, it’s a collection of useful abstractions for animations and themeable widgets. The APIs for each component are consistent and easy to learn.

jQuery UI is split into interactions, widgets, and effects. Interactions include things like a drag and drop API, which can be combined with most interface elements to give your application an intuitive feel. Widgets are high-level, with a nice Datepicker and tabs. The effects APIs will be familiar to those of you schooled in Scriptaculous.

The jQuery UI design and planning wiki has a status for current and planned work. There are many useful things in the planning stage, in particular the tree view and even a data visualisation API.


Aristo by Tait Brown (demo) is a theme based on Cappuccino’s theme. The look and feel is best described as Mac-like, and you can get great results with little effort.

It’s licensed under Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 which allows you to remix and share the work. You must attribute the theme, and it’s distributed under permission from 280 North and Pinvoke.


Absolution by Michaƫl Vanderheeren (demo) is another jQuery theme that attempts to go beyond the defaults provided by jQuery UI. The author actively updates the repository (as do the Aristo developers).


We’ve covered Uniform before, and it’s not specifically for jQuery UI, but it works well in combination with it. Uniform replaces standard form controls with themed ones which work like real controls but are cross-browser (and arguably look better).

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