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The JavaScript Library World Cup

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Dan Webb
June 16, 2006

Dan Webb
Dan is a rehabilitated DHTML hacker turned web application developer for Vivabit, organisers of the @media conference. His current weapons of choice are Ruby on Rails and modern, unobtrusive DOM scripting.

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Love them or loathe them, JavaScript libraries are making a huge impact in the area of DOM Scripting. As AJAX matures, and the complexity of the scripts required to support its expanding use increases, it becomes much less feasible to produce custom code from scratch for every project.

In addition, the growth of AJAX and the burgeoning interest in Web 2.0 applications is bringing many new people to the field. Not surprisingly, they don't want to spend the long, hard years absorbing the arcane knowledge required to wrestle with browser bugs and API differences.

Whether you're an old-school DHTML guru or a Web 2.0 wannabe, it's time you got to know some libraries. So, what's out there? I'm glad you asked!

Over the past year or so, as DOM Scripting has exploded in the mainstream coding arena on the back of AJAX, a seemingly endless number of JavaScript libraries have joined the list of contenders. Fortunately for our poor brains, there are four libraries that have emerged as the clear forerunners in terms of their levels of adoption, documentation and community support:

  • Dojo, a powerful library developed primarily off the back of JotSpot
  • Prototype, the backbone of Ruby on Rails excellent AJAX support
  • Mochikit, the Python library that makes JavaScript suck less
  • Yahoo UI Library (often shortened to just YUI), the new kid on the block


Read on... 

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