What about jQTouch? While jQTouch is a great framework and we're proud to have it as part of the jQuery community - we really wanted a mobile framework to exist that would truly support all the mobile platforms out there. We chatted with the jQTouch team and there wasn't really any interest on their end to head in that direction. It's obviously going to be a ton of work - but that's something that the jQuery project is very interested in tackling.
Is this a response to Sencha Touch? We've actually been working on jQuery mobile for a while now - long before Sencha Touch was released/announced. We're not particularly concerned with Sencha Touch mostly for the same reason that we're building an alternative to jQTouch: We want to support more platforms and do it in a completely seamless way.
What data did you use to choose the browsers that you did? We've been talking with a number of mobile analytics firms and large corporations, gathering data, and will be releasing a bunch of the reliable numbers that we've collected on the jQuery mobile blog. Right now we're confident in the browsers and versions that we've chosen - although that'll likely change over the next couple months as the market shifts.
We intend to continue to fund jQTouch work because we want to support all those developers (thousands at least) that have chosen jQTouch (and jQuery) as their platform. We will continue to support jQTouch ports to more phones and more browsers as additional browsers and platforms emerge (like the Blackberry Torch) that can support a minimal rich application experience.
As you've noted in the past, Sencha Touch takes a different approach than what you're planning to do with jQuery Mobile. It's ok to differ, but we wouldn't characterize it as a "disservice". Our belief (right or wrong) is that few people will use applications (and I emphasize that word) unless they can produce experiences that can compete with native. We've had ten years of mobile web sites with static, unresponsive, high latency user experiences that haven't interested or excited people. We want to move on from that.
Today, iOS, Android and the Blackberry Torch can support web apps that compete with native experiences (woohoo!), but by the end of the year, we'll see phones from Nokia (and more from RIM and maybe even some from Microsoft) with good HTML5/CSS3 support and fast processors and GPU's that allow everyone to have rich app experiences regardless of their choice of carrier or their geography. With the rise of $30 HTML5 Android phones from China, we see this as inexorable.
Our two projects are making different assumptions about what will most interest (and excite) end-users. I hope we can maintain an engaged (and polite) discussion as we walk these paths. Feel free to email me, would love to chat more to provide more context around our decisions. We'll also put together a blog post soon on why we're doing what we are.
Look forward to hearing from you.
Oh well, not saying you shouldn't have chosen this path, just pointing out the consequences...
Honestly, I don't see the "chill" as being a bad thing in this regard: jQTouch and Sencha Touch are doing mobile web development a great disservice by only supporting the latest-and-greatest WebKit platforms. If we can get developers to actually think about supporting more of the mobile platforms that are actually used then I will consider the project to be a victory.
I discuss this much more in our strategy outline:
How is focusing on the future doing a disservice to anyone? We're at the very beginning of the mobile-optimized web, and the future is still unclear. There's still room to define it. Supporting the equivalent of IE6 on mobile devices seems like a waste of time to me, especially after we've just spent a decade watching the evolution of the desktop web be stunted by obsessive focus on backwards/cross compatibility.
Also, nearly all major device manufacturers have committed to using WebKit. In five years, how many mobile devices will not run WebKit? If Windows Phone 7 isn't dead by then, it might be the only one.
Even still, jQtouch (at least, I haven't messed with the Sencha thing) is very iDevice slanted. There's "webkit" and then there's "webkit on iOS", and most tools are targeted specifically at "webkit on iOS".
Well, you're clearly not serving the present.
Naturally, I expect to see into, tap, ergo and when in the jQuery core as well...
Look at the place we are in desktop web development because we have to support old browser. We are stuck 7+ years in the past.
I understand the intellectual allure of writing a framework that supports a gazillion different devices and I appreciate what you've done with jQuery for web development but frankly, I don't care about jQueryMobile.
Except that it scares the hell out of me the day some client starts asking me to support 5 year old Nokias.
If a mobile framework can reach this goal it will make mobile development a heck of a lot easier, and I applaud that.
 You need some scale before development for platforms that maybe constitute 3% of your users will be a financially good option.
Not supporting it is like telling one in fourteen of your customers you don't want their business. This seems like a bad idea, unless of course you have non-financial motives, such as wanting to kill off IE6 by not supporting it and driving it into oblivion.
I wanted to like it but there just didn't seem to be much going on over there. Now that it's part of "Sencha Labs", it seems the focus is now over on Sencha Touch.
While, Sencha Touch is definitely interesting, they still don't appear to have announced pricing. Based on how they license and price their other products, I don't think I'm going to like it.
This announcement is awesome and makes me giddy. There really aren't any good options out there for mobile websites. You basically have to roll your own so this is great news.
jQTouch could have preempted the possibility of jQuery Mobile being viable in the first place, but it stagnated instead. The jQuery team can't be blamed for that.
This kind of situation forces people to sit on their hands, which means that development stalls for a while. I won't go any further because I'm fighting the urge to compare this to things that have happened in other marketplaces, and I greatly respect John's code and design taste.
This happens all the time in the industry. Familiarity breeds contempt, so it's easy to make a list of problems with jQTouch. But whatever is announced but not shipping has no bugs. It has no performance trade-offs. It is effortlessly compatible with mobile devices back to the Radio Telephones of the 1970s. And its programming model is intuitive, flexible, and powerful with no learning curve.
How can you resist waiting? What project is so urgent that you take a chance targeting jQTouch when it will obviously be made extinct by jQUery Mobile? So an announcement has a chilling effect on framework use, that's what I meant.
Alas, no way around it, you can't drum up support for it without perturbing the environment a little.
I buy that argument in theory. The problem I have is that there really isn't anything that comes close to what jQuery Mobile is trying to do. Something like this is desperately needed. Sure, Sencha Touch is trying to do something similar but I don't think it's really in any state at this point to have the effect you describe.
As for jQTouch, if it fits the requirements, I don't see people stalling projects for jQuery Mobile. If it doesn't, you're either hacking it to do what you want or rolling your own. Both will probably take considerable time.
As for me, since nothing else out there really does what I want, I decided to roll my own highly customized framework. I'll keep a close eye on, and perhaps contribute to, jQuery Mobile.
I'm not even a novice player, so in addition to supporting Classic Go, Wood & Stones supports a number of Go variations that offer some learning benefit.
You can try it on Github Pages:
It's based on jQuery, jQTouch, iGesture, and JQuery Combinators.
I have basically had to roll out my own framework with the help of jQtouch and jQuery. It's been a struggle to say the least, especially while trying to recreate some of the UI interactions such as the elastic scroll and animated slides.
Looking forward to contributing to this project.
Nice to see that the jQuery team is taking the project on, and I'll be very excited to use it once it is released.