In the Wild for June 25, 2010

By YUI TeamJune 25, 2010

As always, let us know in the comments or @yuilibrary if we missed something important.

  • YUI 3-based Alloy UI Formally Announced at Liferay Conference: From the press release: 'As part of this effort, Liferay also announced the immediate availability of Liferay Alloy UI. Developed in collaboration with Yahoo's YUI project, Alloy UI provides a set of rich user interface components for quickly creating user-friendly portlets, widgets, and web applications. Alloy UI deals with the complexities of CSS, HTML, and Javascript, freeing developers to focus on business requirements and functionality. Alloy UI also helps solve some common cross-browser compatibility issues that typically consume project resources. The new library does not require a portal and can be used to develop components for any web application. Liferay Portal will standardize its front-end framework around Alloy UI, expanding the simplicity and capabilities of modern portal-based enterprise solutions. 'Alloy UI represents a new capability for web developers to simplify the development of rich UIs,' said Brian Chan, Liferay Portal's creator and Chief Software Architect. 'We are happy to have worked on this with the Yahoo team and feel it will be a great asset to help developers with their solutions.'' All Alloy UI components are now freely available to the YUI community in the YUI 3 Gallery.
  • AutoFusion's CarPrices.com Launches Using YUI 3.1.1: YUI 3 Gallery contributor Josh Lizarraga has been working with Autofusion Inc. on the new CarPrices.com project, built using a host of YUI 3.1.1 utilities and widgets.  Josh will have more on this project in a future YUIBlog post.
  • Download Squad's Erez Zukerman Advises JS Devs to Watch Crockford on YUI Theater: Writes Erez: "Douglas Crockford is a genius. Seriously – the guy is brilliant. He's currently serving as Yahoo!'s chief JavaScript architect, he invented JSON (a widely used data interchange format), he's part of the ECMAScript committee (the guys setting the JavaScript standard) and has a very broad understanding of the general history of programming languages and computer science. Recently, Crockford gave five talks about JavaScript as part of Yahoo!'s YUI Theater. These are all available for free, and they're over five hours in length (more like six to seven hours in total, I think). What's so cool about these talks is that Crockford really gives you a bird's-eye view of the subject; the first hour is just history, and it's really fascinating. It's all over the place, starting with the Jackquad loom, through why we have both a Delete and a Backspace key on our keyboards, all the way to modern programming languages and JavaScript." For more of Erez's favorite JavaScript resources, check out his post; or head over to the Crockford on JavaScript page for Douglas's latest videos (with many more filling the second column of YUI Theater).
  • Congrats to Matt Snider & Friends at YUI 2-based Mint.com, Winners of a 2010 Webby: Congratulations to Matt Snider and the other outstanding frontend engineers at Mint.com for their well-deserved 2010 Webby award in the Financial Services category.  Mint has been YUI 2-based since the beginning, and Matt continues to be a big contributor to the YUI project. You can see Matt's five-word acceptance speech over on YouTube.
  • Ajaxian's Dion Almaer Reviews Caridy Patiño Mayea's Preload Gallery Module for YUI 3: Dion has a nice post up on Ajaxian reviewing Caridy Patiño Mayea's Preload module for prefetching and caching assets, a YUI 3 Gallery entry that he wrote about recently on YUIBlog.
  • Using YUI Grids with Movable Type (by @foxxtrot): YUI contributor Jeff Craig wrote about his experience converting a Movable Type blog to YUI 2 Grids: "So, as anyone who’s ever read my blog before, you’ll see that over the weekend I upgraded my blog template to use YUI Grids and YUI3 for the JavaScript. By switching away from the MT templates (or, the templates that were standard when I installed the first versions of MTOS 4), I was able to reduce the HTML pageweight by damn near half. The old templates were really div-heavy, and had a ton of extra markup. Mostly, the decision was driven by a desire to redo the visual feel of my blog, and I felt that I may as well rewrite under YUI Grids while I do it."
  • Nate Schutta Compares YUI and Dojo for IBM DevelperWorks: Nate Schutta writing for IBM developerWorks compares YUI 2.x and Dojo in a new post. While we're focused more on the YUI 3.x codeline these days, Nate's article has some useful guidelines for those thinking about JavaScript libraries and making a decision for their business or project. First -- why YUI or Dojo?

    With so many excellent choices at your disposal, why would you consider YUI or Dojo? In a word: completeness. Unlike other solutions that involve additional libraries or plug-ins, Dojo and YUI have everything (and more) that today's front-end engineer could want. While that is both a blessing and a curse, if you're in the market for a one-stop shop for your Ajax needs, these are two powerful contenders. In addition to a wealth of JavaScript helpers and utilities, both offer top-notch widgets and controls—far beyond the limited palette of the standard browser.

    Nate's advice on general library selection criteria is useful:
    • What do you want out of it? Are you looking for a complete replacement of nearly all UI elements on your page, or are you just looking for something to take a bit of the pain out of JavaScript programming?
    • How easy is the code to read? Despite massive improvements in documentation over the past few years, odds are you will have to dig into the code at some point. Before committing to a library, spend some time knee-deep in the source. Is it easy to understand, or does even the original author have trouble with it?
    • How good is the documentation? Clean and readable code can make up for less-than-stellar documents, but nothing helps you get started quite like tutorials and examples. Poke around the wiki or the website, and see what they have to offer. Are the examples clear and easy to follow? Does a quick Google search bring you to the proper part of their material?
    • What's the community like that surrounds the library? Check out the mailing lists. Is there a lot of traffic? Are new people treated with respect or derision? Has the code been updated recently, or was the last release several years ago?
    • Can you get help? Although this is related to the previous bits about community, it's always valuable to look around the development community and see who's using what. Check out the job boards to get a sense of which libraries are showing up frequently on resumes.