Greetings Everyone -

We are very happy to announce that today we are releasing Ext JS 4.2 RC! The Neptune theme has arrived and is working on all browsers IE7+ (Neptune uses transparent background PNG's so no IE6 there).

Moving the entire framework from a single "theme "(different colors but really one aesthetic) to multi-theme was an enormous undertaking. Of course, we think the end result was well worth the effort! Themes can much more easily adjust styling and even provide JavaScript overrides when needed - and we have demonstrated that with Neptune. Obviously the Classic theme and all its flavors (gray, accessibility and sandboxed) are still alive and well. And, of course, all of the themes provide an RTL-enabled mode.

Supporting all the SASS code sharing and maintainability requirements of the new, multi-theme world is Sencha Cmd 3.1 which provides the logic to manage themes in the form of packages. The problem solved by packages in Sencha Cmd is not primarily a delivery question (as the term "package" might imply) but is rather an integration question. It begins with asking "how does an application use a theme in its build?" Then "how do you pick a different theme?" and "how do you author a new theme?".

Packages answer these questions by giving names to the bundles of JavaScript, SASS and resources that constitute a theme. Applications select their theme by specifying the name of the theme package they want, such as "ext-theme-neptune" or "ext-theme-classic" or "ext-theme-gray". Because Sencha Cmd understands the goal of building an application and now expands that to include SASS and the packages in which all of this resides, the applications it builds get just the CSS they need. If you don't use a Tree then you won't get the Tree component styles in your CSS!

Obviously "packages" are all the rage these days and for good reasons. Where we should take them from their initial role in themes and how we should manage them is a still an open question.

We hope to see Ext JS 4.2 GA and Sencha Cmd 3.1 GA in the very near term. So this is where I ask everyone for their feedback - of all kinds. What works? What does not? We have made a lot of progress. But there are a lot of new pieces in this release and we need your input to make it the best it can be.

You can get the bits here:

http://cdn.sencha.com/ext/beta/ext-4.2.0.489-beta.zip

http://cdn.sencha.com/cmd/beta/3.1.0...indows.exe.zip
http://cdn.sencha.com/cmd/beta/3.1.0...30-osx.app.zip
http://cdn.sencha.com/cmd/beta/3.1.0...-linux.run.zip
http://cdn.sencha.com/cmd/beta/3.1.0...ux-x64.run.zip

The release notes are here (please read these for known issues or limitations in this release):

http://cdn.sencha.com/ext/beta/4.2.0...ase-notes.html

http://cdn.sencha.com/cmd/beta/3.1.0...ase-notes.html

We will be posting the Ext JS 4.2 documentation center very soon and it will contain all of the update guides.

Enjoy!

Best regards,
Don