Almost all of the rich web applications that we currently see on the web today rely on a subtle set of UI controls, libraries or frameworks (or toolkits) that not only greatly simplify application development, they also provide a consistent, reliable, and highly interactive User Interface. What more could you ask for?
Not all libraries are suited for every project, but most developers will still rely on a single UI framework, a faithful friend they will always turn to in times of need…
LivePipe: UI Components for Prototype
Available Controls: Tabs, Windows, TextArea, SelectMultiple, Rating, ProgressBar, ScrollBar and ContextMenu.
UKI – Simple UI Kit for Complex Web Apps
The keyword to UKI is simplicity: No frameworks to install, no dependencies to manage and no CSS to include.
MochaUI – A Web Application User Interface Library
Sigma Ajax UI Builder
JxLib based MooTools
Dijit – The Dojo Toolkit
Everything in Dijit is designed to be globally accessible – to accommodate users with different languages and cultures as well as those with different abilities. Language translations, bi-directional text, and cultural representation of things like numbers and dates are all encapsulated within the widgets.
jQuery TOOLS – The missing UI library for the Web
jQuery Tools is a very light weight (2.5kb) collection of the most popular user-interface components that offers functionality over load time. It provides libraries for the following jQuery elements: Tabs, Tooltip, Scrollable, Overlay, Forms and Flashembed.
The UI package is basically a collection of user interface-related functions that and can be broken into 3 main modules: the widgets, which contain prebuilt and customizable user interfaces; the effects, which are very simple and straightforward animations you can do to a page element (shake it, explode it, and so on); and expanded mouse interaction with page elements (dragging and dropping).
Jitsu – Rich Web Application Framework
Jitsu features an XML markup language, page compiler, animation engine, Ajax, and runtime inspector, among other things. Its implementation of Ajax makes it designer friendly, which is crucial for building consumer web applications. It’s got client-side data binding to make for rapid iterations, meaning changes are easy to achieve without having to rebuild everything from the ground up.
Qutensil is still under development but is showing some very promising stuff in its roadmap. It ihas been built on Prototype and Scriptaculous libraries and features a growl-like user messaging system, color picker (based on raphaël), slider, tooltip system, draggable window and alert / confirm / prompt windowing systems.
AlloyUI is a feature rich UI frameworks, built on YUI 3 and to some degree on YUI 2, that comprises a wide array of components – more than 60 in all – that range from utilities to sugar layers to full-blown UI widgets. Its contols include: Image Gallery, Dialog, Treeview, Panel, AutoComplete, Button, Calendar, Toolbar… and much more.
iUI: iPhone User Interface Framework
The reason why XUI is so light weight is due to all of the cross browser compatibility code being stripped out and deemed non essential for mobile app development. Thus XUI.
It aims to be a framework for first class mobile device browsers such as WebKit, Fennec and Opera, with future support under consideration for IE Mobile and BlackBerry.
Yahoo! YUI Library
If all of the above UI frameworks, kits and libraries don’t suit your needs, maybe you should try the Daddy of UI frameworks, the very reliable, feature rich, and very popular Yahoo! YUI Library. YUI, currently in its third edition, is a constantly updated (by its large team of developers) UI library thats choc-full of features, tools, and packs a multitude of components, utilities, modules and controls. As far as finding the most complete UI library, you would be hard pushed to find any better than YUI.