Windows Library for JavaScript 3.0 Debuts

Microsoft's open source JavaScript library debuts with version 3.0 of the JavaScript library for building cross-platform/cross-browser-enabled apps.

After about a year of percolating, Microsoft officially announced general availability of the Windows Library for JavaScript version 3.0. News came via a blog post on the Windows blog home page from Rachel Nizhnikova, Program Manager, Windows Ecosystem & Frameworks Team.

Microsoft describes it as a cross-platform JavaScript library for building "first class apps with HTML, CSS, and JavaScript" was originally announced at /BUILD 2014 back in April, at which time the source code was also released as an open source project under the Apache 2.0 license.

Earlier iterations of WinJS were mainly aimed at allowing developers to build apps compatible with Windows 8. Further refinement over the next two iterations were aimed at expanding the breadth of browsers and platform capabilities upon which WinJS developed apps could run. A matrix of supported browsers and platforms is here.

According to Nizhnikova's post, this release was meant to achieve two other goals: JavaScript modularization and improved universal control design.

Developers can use the entire WinJS library, but Microsoft also has made the components modular and discrete, so that they could be used as need fits the application. "It's especially handy when using WinJS for a web site or when using it alongside other popular libraries like AngularJS or Knockout," she writes. "WinJS was designed from the ground up to have good architectural layering and interoperability with other libraries, and now it's easy to make builds of WinJS that include just those layers you are using."

The team is also making controls universal across apps, so they can be used and also behave consistently across phones, tablets and PC form factors. Nizhnikova offers up the Pivot control as an example: "The Pivot control which was previously available only on Phone, is now also supported across all form factors, too. It's been enhanced so it can be navigated with a mouse and keyboard, and scales across all screen sizes."

WinJS 3.0 details and download data can be found here.

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