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Picking an Ajax Framework

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Dr. Dobbs is currently featuring a case study of the Ajax framework selection process of a development team at T. Rowe Price. The team evaluated a number of popular Ajax frameworks for use in their next generation application:
  • Dojo 0.3.1 (dojotoolkit.org).
  • Prototype and Scriptaculous 1.4 (www.prototypejs.org and script.aculo.us).
  • Direct Web Reporting 1.0 (getahead.org/dwr).
  • Yahoo! User Interface Library 0.11.1 (developer.yahoo.com/yui).
  • Google Web Toolkit 1.0 (code.google.com/webtoolkit).
After initial review GWT was eliminated due to the legacy team division of UI and back end developer along with the requirement of learning a new Java based API. DWR was also eliminated due to the patch needed for the version evaluated to work with the Websphere Application Server used by T. Rowe Price. This left Prototype, Dojo, and Yahoo UI for continued evaluation.

The case study then goes on to compare how each framework fulfilled the requirements of creating a tabbed ajax widget and a dynamic "hub" widget with a title bar. All three required custom work for the desired tab widget functionality with Dojo providing the closest functionality out of the box. The team then moved on to look at load times:

...The smaller the footprint of the framework used, the less likely performance degradation occurs. The total compressed JavaScript file sizes required by YUI (22K) and Prototype (32K) are significantly smaller than the single custom Dojo JavaScript file, which is about 200K. All three libraries performed well with a high-speed connection; however, the YUI and Prototype/Scriptaculous prototypes performed faster with 56K dial-up connections...

Finally the team looked at overall ease of development. The consensus was that Dojo provided more features and widgets but customization was harder due to the number of files needing modifications. Yahoo UI was ultimately choose due to its well documented code and detailed tutorials on the Yahoo website.

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Community comments

  • Good comparison...

    by Mittal Bhiogade /

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    I liked the process how the comparison between different ajax frameworks was done using pugh matrix.. I hope that's what is called.

    But in my opinion, DWR is best ajax framework if there are no requirements to have fancy widgets may be just tables on view pages that refreshes asynchronously

  • extjs

    by Dominik Dary /

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    why not use a layer above theese frameworks: extjs.com/?!

  • Re: extjs

    by ZedroS Schwartz /

    Your message is awaiting moderation. Thank you for participating in the discussion.

    Thanks to Java popularity, I guess we all could speak about another framework, so... Whatever, it's still interesting to read to know more about the numerous existing frameworks.

  • JQuery

    by Janos Haber /

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    Ok, but where the jquery?

  • Re: JQuery

    by waqas zahoor /

    Your message is awaiting moderation. Thank you for participating in the discussion.

    i think JQuery is one of the best in business

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