Channels ▼
RSS

Web Development

AJAX: Selecting the Framework that Fits

Source Code Accompanies This Article. Download It Now.


Evaluating AJAX Frameworks

To begin our evaluation process, we selected five open-source AJAX frameworks to evaluate:

  • 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).

Next, we narrowed the frameworks to those that fit seamlessly into our development and deployment environments. The retirement-plan website is powered by a content-management server with IBM's WebSphere Application Server (www-306.ibm.com/software/webservers/appserv/was) to render Java Server Pages. Static files, including JavaScript, stylesheets, and images, are all served by the content-management server.

Among the five AJAX frameworks, Dojo, Prototype/Scriptaculous, and YUI were pure JavaScript libraries and worked well in our environment.

DWR is a Java AJAX framework that dynamically generates JavaScript based on Java classes from the application server. Java methods are called from web pages. Unfortunately, this didn't fit into our content-management server architecture. Because a custom patch was required to make it work with our environment, we decided that DWR wasn't a good fit.

GWT is a Java-based AJAX framework that lets you write front-end UI components using Java, then use the GWT compiler to convert them into HTML and JavaScript files. GWT's programming model also didn't fit well with our development environment because our team was split between UI developers and back-end Java developers. Also, the generated HTML/JavaScript code would be difficult to change if we had browser issues. Finally, building the application with GWT required us to learn new Java APIs—not good, considering our time and budget constraints.


Related Reading


More Insights






Currently we allow the following HTML tags in comments:

Single tags

These tags can be used alone and don't need an ending tag.

<br> Defines a single line break

<hr> Defines a horizontal line

Matching tags

These require an ending tag - e.g. <i>italic text</i>

<a> Defines an anchor

<b> Defines bold text

<big> Defines big text

<blockquote> Defines a long quotation

<caption> Defines a table caption

<cite> Defines a citation

<code> Defines computer code text

<em> Defines emphasized text

<fieldset> Defines a border around elements in a form

<h1> This is heading 1

<h2> This is heading 2

<h3> This is heading 3

<h4> This is heading 4

<h5> This is heading 5

<h6> This is heading 6

<i> Defines italic text

<p> Defines a paragraph

<pre> Defines preformatted text

<q> Defines a short quotation

<samp> Defines sample computer code text

<small> Defines small text

<span> Defines a section in a document

<s> Defines strikethrough text

<strike> Defines strikethrough text

<strong> Defines strong text

<sub> Defines subscripted text

<sup> Defines superscripted text

<u> Defines underlined text

Dr. Dobb's encourages readers to engage in spirited, healthy debate, including taking us to task. However, Dr. Dobb's moderates all comments posted to our site, and reserves the right to modify or remove any content that it determines to be derogatory, offensive, inflammatory, vulgar, irrelevant/off-topic, racist or obvious marketing or spam. Dr. Dobb's further reserves the right to disable the profile of any commenter participating in said activities.

 
Disqus Tips To upload an avatar photo, first complete your Disqus profile. | View the list of supported HTML tags you can use to style comments. | Please read our commenting policy.
 
Dr. Dobb's TV