In the Wild for December 12th

By YUI TeamDecember 12, 2007

YUI has been in the news a lot the past few weeks. Here are a few of the stories that have caught our attention since Nate's last "In the Wild" post:

  • Responding to the Charts Control: There were many responses to Josh Tynjala's hybrid Flash-JavaScript YUI Charts Control that was part of the recent 2.4.0 release. Ryan Stewart (of Adobe and ZDNet) was among those noting the significance of tapping Flash within a mainstream JavaScript library: "From what I hear there is still a tremendous amount of resistance to Flash in the Ajax circles of big companies The fact that a major framework like YUI overcame that and chose to leverage Flash is a good sign. It's also part of a trend. Dojo recently added Silverlight support to their graphics libraries. The various RIA technologies are starting to mix and the result will let people pull strengths from different pots to create the best possible experience for the user."
  • Zimbra on YUI Compressor: Over at the Zimbra blog, Kevin Henrikson istalking about migrating to Julien Lecomte's YUI Compressor for packing their JavaScript and CSS. "We read about the YUI Compressor on Ajaxian. The YUI Compressor is written in Java by Julien Lecomte, like ShrinkSafe it uses Rhino to tokenize, or parse the JavaScript. It achieves a higher level of compression that the Dojo compressor. One of the main reasons is that it will reuse the short tokens unlike ShrinkSafe which keeps an ever increasing counter. In our testing, it didn't break our code and is careful around eval() so avoids a couple issues the ShrinkSafe compressor hit. Since it's Java we can call it at run-time and compress Zimlets, for example, on-the-fly. The YUI Compressor also compresses CSS and we use that to help reduce the size of our CSS files that we deliver to the browser. In the end we still gzip both CSS and JavaScript to get the most compression we can. The use of YUI for JavaScript compression is part of Zimbra's upcoming 5.0 release."
  • Gustavo Duarte's web interface for the Iris Syntax HighlighterWeb Interface for the Iris Syntax Highlighter: Code-bloggers rejoice: Gustavo Duarte shared on the YUI community forum a web interface for the Iris syntax-highlighting project. Iris is incredibly cool: It supports syntax for 460 syntaxes, outputs W3C compliant XHTML, and (as the project page drolly notes) does "all this for 30% off the regular price of free." Gustavo notes that "there are a lot of YUI components in action: data table, panels, dialogs, tab view, color picker, auto complete (there are ~460 syntaxes), and so on. The page loads in 'phases' (based on common usage) so it ends up pretty lean and fast." There are several CSS themes to choose from for code output.
  • Bookmarklet for Loading YUI: Gareth Rushgrove blogs about a bookmarklet he created to insert YUI or Dojo on any page you're browsing: "I’ve put together a couple of bookmarklets which load YUI or Dojo from their respective content delivery networks and insert them into your current browser context. You can then play around with them in Jash or Firebug or any other Javascript console." Sounds like fun. You can grab the YUI bookmarklet here (drag to your bookmarks bar).
  • Progressive Enhancement to the Rescue: Ever wonder if all your work on progressive enhancement is worth the trouble? David Walsh has a great example of something good he discovered at Yahoo! Sports when something bad was going on (something that prevented the Sports site's JavaScript components from loading correctly). Because the team had built the site using solid progressive enhancement techniques, the functionality wasn't disabled just because JavaScript wasn't present. Here's David's conclusion: "The fantasy football part of this article should really be viewed as secondary. I hope this tale shows proves the importance of website usability. Using cool javascript frameworks like MooTools, YUI, Dojo, Prototype, etc. is a lot of fun, but not always functional. Without Yahoo maintaining page functionality for users without javascript, my user experience at Yahoo! would've been very negative. Instead, Yahoo earned my respect." Nice.
  • Joe's Goals: The Joe's Goals website, written by Ian Smith, was an instant success back in 2006 when it launched, and Ian has updated with improved use of client-side richness. Rey Bango (of ExtJS) interviewed Ian for Ajaxian and Ian had this to say about his use of YUI in the new rev: "Since JG 1.0 there have been a lot of improvements made to the YUI. I’ve tried to rely as heavily as possible on those components this time around and cut out a lot of my own hacked together code. I’m taking better advantage of the panel and animation libraries as well as their connection library. With the connection library I benefit greatly from the ability to tag Ajax calls with specific arguments so I can capture the call backs and programmatically make page changes based on which requests succeeds or fails. The connection library is the best example of this I’ve seen of any Ajax Toolkit."
  • Tabbed Content Widget for Blogs: Amanda at BloggerBuster posts a new TabView Widget for blogs based on Matt Sweeney's YUI TabView Control. She provides a lengthy tutorial to help you get started. While you're at it, take a look at Nick Bouton's rounded corners for YUI TabView tutorial; that will help you get just the look you want for your tabs.