University Web Developers

University Web Developers

I'm beginning to do some simple Ajax stuff using the Spry framework because it's built into Dreamweaver CS3. I realize that the Spry framework is a bare-bones implementation but is there any reason I should give up Spry and go entirely with Scriptalicious or one of the other libraries?

I wonder if I can mix the Spry stuff and Ajax from other libraries as well?

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I looked into Spry, and while it is neat, I am avoiding it due to how Dreamweaver tends to handle such add-in type functionality. There's obviously the big accessibility concern, too. The AJAX I have started doing is all hand coded, and not on anything mission critical, or anything that might be missed if it didn't function.

I would say you're better off sticking to the big name frameworks, because it is likely to see better growth and development long term, whereas Spry will only grow within the community using Dreamweaver.
I've used Spry, YUI, jQuery, and hand coded AJAX (when "flashy" wasn't a requirement). It's tough to say which one is better, because you'll find benefits to each that no other one offers. YUI is very well documented, has plenty of examples, and supported by a pretty big company. jQuery has hundreds of plugins with more contributions on the way. My mindset is to try a bunch and stick to what you like.

You should be able to mix AJAX libraries... as long as each is well written. You will have problems if function calls are overwritten. That being said, I would recommend against this as each library brings along its own baggage. Two libraries on the same page just means more bloat.
Have you tried using any of the compressed versions of frameworks, like jQuery? I have tried a couple times in the past, because one thing that concerns me is the amount of download it adds to a page. But so far, I've never had luck getting them to work.
No problems with the jQuery compact file.
I've never had any problems either. I'm a big fan of the jQuery library as it's the most well-rounded of the libs I've tried. In fact, I haven't even really used the AJAX portions of it, and rely on it mostly for progressive enhancement of web page info organization and DOM-manipulation for XML applications. It's really tough to beat it in those areas.
The jQuery GZip works great. It's only 15kb.

As for the Ajax, I can run full functioning AJAX calls (with activity indicators) in less than 10 lines. It's awesome!
Whether or not you can mix spry with other libraries will depend on how well spry and the other library keep themselves from mucking up the global namespace. If spry and the other library use the same function names and haven't encapsulated themselves, then you will run into problems.

Script.aculo.us (I'm assuming that's you meant) isnt a complete framework. It is mostly user interface enhancements built on top of the prototype framework. I've used script.aculo.us but was not pleased with its documentation. I felt it to be lacking in completeness and explanation.

I ended up moving to mootools as has almost all of the effects offered by script.aculo.us but a much richer documentation. It's also more modular meaning that you can download the framework with only the components you need to complete the task. This can greatly reduce the ending file size of the framework. It also supports building your javascript code in a class-based OOP manner.
I'm actually combining YUI and jQuery on the same page in something I'm working on right now. It isn't an ideal situation, but in this case I want to use some of YUI's widgets but need the power of jQuery's selectors (YUI's selector class doesn't begin to compare). Since each packages requires just one non-overlapping entry in the global namespace there is really no problem with this at all, but YMMV depending on what packages you try to combine.

I use the gzipped version of jQuery and the Yahoo-hosted version of YUI. From a time-to-load perspective, the hosted YUI solution is great: anyone who's used Yahoo Search, Mail, Flickr, or any one of the other "millions" of Yahoo properties in recent past probably has the YUI classes cached in their browser already.

--Jason
Today Im using the Jquery, I used the prototype and scriptaculous before. :)
I dun like of scriptaculous, prototype, yahooui, and others. :)

THe Yui have the best official documentation.
I found prototype alone was doing everything I wanted it to do, and then discovered scriptaculous to make things cool. I have a colleague who swears by jQuery. I think it's a case of each to their own with some of the libs - prototype makes sense to me, jQuery to him. I had a look at jQuery and couldn't fathom it out - though that may have a lot to do with me already having been using prototype for a year and not having time to relearn another lib for the sake of it.
If you are programming a web application and not a web site, I recommend ExtJS. I have used it for a few web applications and, man, is it sweet. I haven't tried it with a web site. I've been avoiding doing so because I believe in graceful degradation for web sites - though I don't believe in graceful degradation for web apps.
We use a number of framework collections and libraries, but I found that SPRY was actually fairly heavy and messy - especially when compared to JQuery (our core library) for most of what we do.

We like the JQuery core and JQueryUI - the complexity in using various different scripting bases comes into making sure if you are using any global values, shortcuts for instantiations, or any clever method chaining, then you test everything well so you can mitigate the risk of conflicts... A good test process and strong documentation for your library code will overcome all that, though... and it seems all the frameworks have a little something different to offer.. :)

YUI, Prototype (or EXT for the combo) and MooTools were - in my view - some of the best of the add-ons, but there is little that we find a need for more than the JQuery / UI...

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