I have been evangelizing ZK 6 and its multitude of features for close to six months give or take and I am still excited about what’s coming for ZK developers. Before we continue the ZK 6 theme let’s have a recap on what has happened with ZK 5.
ZK 5 has been our most successful version ever, in fact this year it has been used in our largest deployment yet which will serve over 1,000,000 users. That is only one of the ZK 5 deployments over the course of its release.
With so much success coming from ZK 5 it would be the easiest thing to sit back and ride the wave for a while, but that isn’t us and it certainly isn’t ZK. What has made us successful over the years is the constant innovation in our product and that is no different with ZK 6.
A big part of this innovation is you, you the community, you the developers and your excellent feedback which you give us every single day. This feedback has all been collected and analyzed and we are so grateful to the thousands of people that have contacted us.
In this blog post I have tried to summarize the major new features of ZK 6, let’s take a sneak peak at some of them. These aren’t all the features by any stretch of the imagination, just ones we deem most important to talk about first, keep a lookout for more blogs in the future. For this release we have put a big emphasis on further increasing developer productivity. Productivity is the major driving force of our framework and we are committed to pushing productivity to the extreme.
Due to popular demand ZK 6 will introduce generics. I know many will be happy at that decision. The original reason for not including the functionality could be its own blog post, however the answer is quite simple, we have a lot of mission critical systems at Fortune 500 financial companies & governments which use JDK 1.4, thus the importance to maintain it.
Introducing should increase productivity by reducing unnecessary type checking. Many people have asked for it, we are introducing it! Rejoice!
The new databinder
One of the features that ZK developers love is the databinder, and with good reason. It keeps controllers clean, provides developers with great flexibility and is one of the most productive ways to use ZK. ZK 6 provides new functionality and a new style of databinding supporting the presentation model described by Martin Fowler, otherwise known as the MVVM. This enables greater decoupling of the view from the business logic leading to even cleaner code and more productivity.
jQuery & CSS 3 style Server side selectors
Server selection technology allows developers to use annotations to easily wire components to the UI based on a string selector. This unique server-side selector technology affords developers an easy and productive way of selecting and accessing server-side components using annotations. The technology makes it easier for developers to create MVC and MVP style applications quickly and easily.
For more information please take a look at this small talk.
With ZK 6.0, a new concept called “template” is introduced. It enables UI designers to specify templates right in a ZUML page, the model can then be rendered based on the template without any Java code. The introduction of these features enable code re-use without creating separate Java classes, thus making developers’ lives much easier. There are a huge number of potential applications for this functionality, for more information please take a look at this small talk.
The In addition keep checking the blog for our series on more new features
If you would like to have a sneak peak at what’s in store you can download and use one of the freshly builds located here.