Ajax Toolsets and Libraries

Posted on Posted in Java

In my recent project, I’ve evaluated several Ajax Frameworks to support my web 2.0 Java based application. There are a number of framework that supports Ajax functions and most of which are independent of the back-end programming language. But then, there are Java-based Ajax frameworks such as DWR that provides direct Ajax support in Java.

Anyway, here is a run-down of some generic Ajax toolset I’ve evaluated along with some of my personal comments:

  • Dojo (http://dojotoolkit.org/) – Probably the most comprehensive Javascript toolset available. Dojo supports A LOT of functionalities ranging from fading animations to offline storage. Dojo has a good demo site that I find very useful especially when learning the functionalities. The demo site is directly associated to source code so you can immediately see the implementation details. I personally find the js validation useful and the fish-eye navigation is cool, too… Just be careful with the debug console as it breaks the page. I never use it, use FireBug instead.
  • YUI (http://developer.yahoo.com/yui/) – Yahoo provides a quite stable set of Javascript utilities too. YUI seems to be a well-thought toolset as it presents only a limited set of functionalities that you can mix and match to create more complex functions. Naturally, this presents more programming work upfront and steeper learning curve. If you wanted more control on your scripts, YUI might be good for you.
  • Script.aculo.us (http://script.aculo.us/) – Probably the most popular javascript toolset out there. The only thing I find complex here is the URL – a bit hard to type (where do I put the dots). This toolset is based on prototype which is the base javascript library used on Ruby on Rails. I personally prefer this over YUI as I find this easier to use.

I ended up using Dojo for my project for 2 reasons… more comprehensive functionality – meaning I don’t have to mix it with other tools or libraries. I am using FishEye Navigation.


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