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Introduced in 2006, today jQuery grabs almost 80% of the 10,000 most visited website’s code base, for the client side scripting. It is an open source and cross platform JavaScript library that has established well since its inception. JQuery UI is again a JavaScript Library that is built on the top of the basic jQuery. jQuery UI provides code to build interactive user interface for dynamic web applications (plugins and animations, themable widgets). jQuery UI was released in September 2007. There are four major components- Low-level interactions, Widgets, Effects and Utilities.

Generally, it is suggested that using the core jQuery UI for your project is safe and better choice as compared to selecting random stuff from internet as the code here is robust and tested well by the team. However, as we know every coin has two faces, similarly, it has some of its cons too along with pros. This is the reason; here we will discuss some of the Best jQuery UI alternatives. Hence, without wasting any more precious time of yours, here it is.

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jQWidgets

This one is a good option for building professional web applications and mobile apps. Its code base involves jQuery, HTML5, CSS, JavaScript, and SVG that are all open standards and technologies. It also has more than 30 WAI-ARIA accessible UI components built from scratch (based on the jQWidgets Framework).

Components– jqxScrollView (content sliding), jqxDocking (manage multiple windows), jqxTreeMap (display hierarchical data as a set of nested rectangles), jqxListMenu (nested list), jqxColorPicker, jqxScrollBar (scroll bar), jqxValidator (validation utility), jqxDataAdapter (simplifies data binding, data formatting and data operations), jqxResponse (information about the OS, Browser, View Port, Device Type etc.).

Quick widget updates, search engine friendly, compliance with web standards, small size and yet optimized for performance makes it a preferred choice of many developers. Here also code samples, demos and API for all widgets comes handy. Let me clarify it is not an extension of the core jQuery UI. Instead, it is an independent one.

ZinoUI

This is one of the best alternative UI. It is compact and has 25+ WAI ARIA (rich internet application) accessible widgets and interactions. Like the core jQuery UI, it is cross platform, themable components based on advanced techniques and best practices. Here are some fabulous components- Accordion, Button, Calendar, Canvas(micro library for images on the fly), JS Chart and graph widget, Data Table, Draggable, spinner, splitter, SVG graph tool(micro library for 2D graphics), PHP server wrapper(make ZinoUI compatible to PHP framework), TreeView, upload etc.

Limited themes, missing RTL support, validation, and globalization are some cons of this alternative. On the pros side, all major browsers support it. One of the fabulous feature is its API documentation of each component with good examples of each.

Kendo UI Web

Here you get high standard widgets and framework for creating a fabulous modern website.

Components- ListView (different views for your lists), MultiSelect, Calendar (inline calendar), Editor (edit HTML on the fly), Scheduler (time and tasks organizing), DataSource, Templates, MVVM support (complex projects), Effects, RTL support etc.

Here validation and globalization are also supported unlike core jQuery UI.

Kendo UI Mobile

As the name suggests, it is dedicated for mobile UI development. Features are good and UI is easy to implement. Kinetic scrolling and automatic layout system are also cool. Kendo UI Mobile supports iOS, Android, Blackberry, and WP8.

Kendo UI DataViz

It is used to create interactive data visualization quickly. SVG, charts, barcodes, QR codes are some of its sophisticated widgets. High performance with low impacts on CPU is some of its specialized features. It has server side helpers that keep the PHP, JSP and ASP.net developers away from the hassles of Java Script. Has ready to use themes along with a builder for the same. Good documentations, “How do I?” demos are a plus here too.

jQuery EasyUI

It is another alternative with complete collection of feature rich widgets and interactions. You can try it for creating mind-blowing modern, interactive, cross-browser JavaScript applications.

Components – Panel, Layout, Window (UI design), DataGrid, PropertyGrid, Tree, TreeGrid, ComboGrid, ComboTree (advanced combo widgets), Form, SearchBox (working with forms), Messager (notifications), ValidateBox, RTL support (via extension), Localization.

Cons are missing chart and upload feature. Pros apart from above components include ready to use themes and a builder for it. Tutorials, demos and good API documentation is a plus if you want to use this alternate.

As I told you before, jQuery UI is good for simple and non-commercial projects but once you decide to innovate with complex stuff and enhancements, you would definitely need some alternatives. I hope above list would help you in any such case. Hence, keep building and keep learning!