Cloud Computing Drivers: AJAX Frameworks

It can be argued that  JavaScript AJAX Frameworks are leading software development right now. This is not just UI Web development but the whole tenor of software being developed. Open, agile developing that is cross browser, OS, and database/web server platforms are the regular mashup targets of more developers. And the primary development software they use is often one of about a dozen JavaScript AJAX Frameworks. These frameworks have some common traits:

1)They implement not just XMLHttpRequest but also other database and Web Service based server transactions;
2)They provide hacks and fixes to make available a full set of CSS and DOM capabilities primarily patching IE deficiencies and stalled DOM standards;
3)Most of the JavaScript Frameworks run on all the popular browsers (Chrome, Firefox, IE, Opera, Safari, etc) on all the popular OS (Linux, Mac, Windows) and many popular devices (iPhone, Blackberry, Symbian, etc);
4)They implement a full set of UI windowing features often including a complete set of other GUI containers/widgets such as Accordions, Tabs, Trees, etc. They also support drag and drop and some mouse gestures but not multi-touch screen operations;
5)They implement a full set of Web forms, buttons and widgets with a rich selection of server side connections.

In sum, a Web developer using these frameworks seldom has to take a detour into hacking to implement a component or routine which emulates a desktop equivalent. These frameworks are GUI interface and database/Web server ready. The list below describes some of these JavaScript AJAX Frameworks.

JavaScript AJAX Frameworks

commercial=licensing fee for developer tools and/or runtime;
Googlized=runtime.js files on Google servers

Backbase
commercial, huge UI widget set and new JS IDE


Bindows
commercial huge UI widget set, actions, JSF to Bindows AJAX


Dojo
Open Source full UI widget+ops, integration with other JS, Googlized


EXT.js
Open Source derived from YUI, solid integration, Googlized


Jackbe
commercial, browser based IDE, mashups with JSF, PHP, Struts


jQuery
Open Source, full UI ops, APL-array like simplicity, Googlized


Mootools
Open Source, basic UI widgets, Googlized


Prototype
+
Scriptaculous Open Source combo, basic UI widgets, Googlized


Spry
Open Source, basic UI widgets, Dreamweaver integration


Tibco GI
commercial, full UI with widgets, JS IDE, server interfaces

Now I certainly encourage readers to follow the links I have posted above because they take you to the heart of the demos and examples of each JavaScript framework. Users will see an amazing range of cross OS and cross browser Web capabilities:

– Access to HTML tags with ability to apply a wide range of CSS formatting
– Access to space-saving widgets like accordions, tabs, collapsing panels
– Ability to create resizable, movable, and collapsing Windows and panels
– Ability to set connections to a wide array of local or server data sources
– Ability to customize, style, and combine a wide range of UI components

In sum these are first rate UIs that match and in some cases surpass what can be done on the desktop alone when they are used to mashup with various external data resources. See our complete JavaScript AJAX Framework review here. Finally, for those users that feel there has been an omission of their favorite JS Framework – then please send me an email explaining why you think your favorite JavaScript framework should be included in our listing and benchmarks. I am still looking.