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What is the Fluid Project?

Fluid is an open, collaborative project to improve the user experience of community source software.
Our goal is to help improve the user experience of community source web applications including Sakai, uPortal, Kuali Student and Moodle. Fluid combines both design and technology to create a living library of sharable user interface components that can be reused across projects. These components are built specifically to support flexibility and customization while maintaining a high standard of usability, accessibility, internationalization, and security.

In order to encourage user-centered design within community source software, Fluid is also creating a designer's toolkit that offers useful design, accessibility, and usability strategies and documentation.

Fluid includes members of the Sakai, uPortal, Moodle, and Kuali Student communities who are working together to address the precarious values of usability, accessibility, internationalization, and more within academic software projects.

What Is Infusion?

Infusion is a different kind of JavaScript framework. Built for creating applications that are highly usable and accessible, Infusion provides a rich set of APIs for creating loosely-coupled models and views using a declarative and event-driven style.

Infusion includes:

  • an application framework for developing applications with JavaScript and jQuery,
  • a growing collection of user interface components, and
  • a modular CSS framework that allows you to add, remove and mix classes to get effect you want.

Infusion embraces unobtrusive, functional techniques that promote less code and greater flexibility. Infusion takes the pain out of developing accessible, high performance, clean and nimble front-ends for applications that want to do more. Our approach is to leave you in control - it's your interface, using your markup, your way.

Why Use Fluid Infusion?

Fluid components differ from other javascript library components in that they are built fromt the ground up with several core requirements:

  • Accessibility (a11y), usability, and internationalization (i18n) are key
  • Must strive to be DOM-agnostic
  • Must provide a good user experience in any situation
  • Must be completely customizable

Core Component Requirements

  • Internationalization (i18n)(
  • DOM Agnosticism and playing safe
    • Being DOM agnostic means further abstracting your code from the presentation and markup layers. This means the behaviour layer is made to accomodate many different situations (in the markup and behavioural layers) and deal with them all gracefully. Our components cannot make assumptions about the surrounding (x)html markup. They can be placed in situations where normal operation might otherwise break the environment (ie. its not safe to traverse the DOM when it's in flux). While being markup agnostic cannot happen perfectly 100% of the time, it is something for Fluid components to strive for.
  • Customization
    • Part of being DOM agnostic is to allow for extensive customization on many levels. Something Fluid components try to achieve is allowing the implementer to easily change as much about the component as possible, allowing for a simpler and safer integration process on their part.

Fluid Component Architecture

A Fluid component will typically follow this pattern:


User Experience and Design


  • Development: Developer resources and technical information.
  • Daily builds: Links to our Continuum site and Sakai and uPortal demonstration instances.
  • Source Code: Access to the latest Fluid source code.

Collaborative Project Resources

  • Meetings: Meeting schedules, agendas, and archives.
  • Collaborate: Resources on collaborating and communication with the Fluid Community.
  • Project Coordination: Road maps, release plans, deliverables, and more.

Other resources

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