Farbtastic is Dead, Long Live Farbtastic

Farbtastic is one of those widely used jQuery plugins you may not have realized you were using. One place many people have seen it in action is on Twitter. If you’ve changed the colors on your twitter page and used the color wheel to select the color you’ve used it. Farbtastic is the color wheel in Twitter, identi.ca, Drupal, Wordpress, and many other tools and services. While farbtastic is widely used it does have one major problem. Farbtastic is dead. The latest release of Farbtastic is version 1.2 written to work with jQuery 1.0. Remember how long ago that was?

Why Farbtastic is Great

Color wheels are a great way to select colors. Different spots on the wheel have different meanings. For example, If you pick a base color and want to find a complimentary color you jump to another part of the color wheel to find it. This is color theory and color theory uses color wheels.

For people who don’t know color theory or care about it the color wheel is a neat way to select the color.

Why Farbtastic is Dead

Steven Wittens, the original author, wrote farbtastic for Drupal. As many people know, he is no longer actively contributing to the project and this plugin fell by the way side. With the official site for the plugin being his personal site it was difficult for someone else to take over.

Some time ago I approached Steven about moving the codebase to Google Code. It was moved there, updates we had been using in Drupal to keep up with newer releases of jQuery were incorporated, and Steven even wrote a 2.x version that utilizes canvas to draw the color wheel. It seemed like a resurrection of the plugin.

But, Steven is a very busy and talented developer. He became busy and farbtastic fell to the side again. The 1.3 release, that’s already used on numerous production sites, never happened and the 2.x version was never shared with the world.

Long Live Farbtastic

Farbtastic is still strongly in use and the version used by Drupal has been tested to work with jQuery 1.2.6+. that includes the new jQuery 1.4. In an effort to share this I've migrated the codebase from the SVN repository on Google Code to Github. Please use it, fork it, and grow it.