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jQuery UI 1.7, the newest version of jQuery’s effects and UI library is out! This release comes with a lot of new features, a better core architecture, and major theming improvements and is compatible to jQuery 1.3:

jQuery 1.7 is the first release that is compatible with jQuery 1.3. That’s a good thing (if you can make the switch), since jQuery 1.3 brings major performance improvements to many areas of jQuery UI. Specifically, firing events, DOM operations, and getting element offsets have had massive performance improvements.

jQuery UI 1.7 is built upon a brand new and powerful CSS framework that is designed to support not only jQuery UI’s own plugins, but also custom plugin development, so any developer can easily make their plugins ThemeRoller ready.

There is a new plugin: progress bar.

For a full list of "what's new", visit jQuery UI's blog.

In case you don't know, jQuery UI provides a comprehensive set of core interaction plugins, UI widgets and visual effects that use a jQuery-style, event-driven architecture and a focus on web standards, accessiblity, flexible styling, and user-friendly design. All plugins are tested for compatibility in IE 6.0+, FF 2+, Safari 3.1+, Opera 9.0+, and Google Chrome.