I posted a new alpha of SPServices v0.7.1 today.
Even though I just released v0.7.0 in early December, I’ve been working steadily to get some great new functionality and performance improvements into v0.7.1 as well as to fix some rather obscure bugs.
You can see the details of what is included in this alpha on the download page, but perhaps what will be of widest interest are some significant performance improvements to SPCascadeDropdowns and SPDisplayRelatedInfo. If you use those functions, I’d really appreciate you trying the alpha out and letting me know whether the improvements are noticeable to you. The initial setup time in the form won’t be faster, but the cascading in the page ought to be. (The better tuned your SharePoint farm and the more horsepower you have, the less improvement you are likely to see.)
I’ve also added a new function called SPXmlToJson. With it, I hope to offer a generic XML to JSON conversion utility. The first focus is on the XML returned by GetListItems, but I plan to expand upon it as people request additional capabilities. If you’re into playing with JSON, please take a look and give me your thoughts and suggestions. Be kind and remember that this is just an alpha.
The main reason for getting v0.7.0 (the prior release) out there was to release a version which was compatible with jQuery 1.7.x. As goeth jQuery, so goeth SPServices; the jQuery team doesn’t sit still for long, so I can’t really, either. In fact, jQuery 1.7.1 has already been out for a while and we can see 1.8 on the horizon. As part of the new jQuery releases, there are always some significant performance improvements as well as new capabilities. As with most software, there are also capabilities which are deprecated, which may by removed in the future.
Because of all of these changes to jQuery itself, along with my accompanying changes to SPServices, I would strongly encourage you to try to keep up with the releases as best you can. I know that this can be difficult, especially in large enterprise environments where the release cycles can be complex and time consuming.
Given the constraints that many people probably have when it comes to upgrading SPServices, I’m wondering what a good release cycle would be. There have already been over 2000 downloads of v0.7.0, yet I’m getting near the time when I might want to put v0.7.1 out there. What would work best for you? Fewer releases with more changes or more releases with fewer changes? There are many considerations to this, I know. If nothing else, the documentation can only represent one point in time (I’m loathe to try to keep historical versions; maintenance would be a nightmare). If you are using an older version of SPServices, like say v0.5.8, then the docs are pretty far off for you, as will be my blog posts and articles elsewhere. Let me know what you think!