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Yahoo! Releases OSS Ajax and Design Tools

CmdrTaco posted more than 8 years ago | from the hey-we-should-check-those-out dept.

Yahoo! 164

Cocteaustin writes "Today Yahoo! released the Yahoo! User Interface Library. This library is comprised of a number of dynamic HTML utilities and controls for building rich web UIs and Ajax applications. They are made available under an open-source license. In addition, Yahoo! released the Yahoo! Design Pattern Library. This collection of design patterns for Web interaction is intended to provide Web designers prescriptive guidance to help solve common design problems on the Web. Both are free in both senses of the word."

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blah... (-1, Troll)

queef_latina (847562) | more than 8 years ago | (#14715537)

Who the fuck cares?

Just so you guys know, I don't socialize with "computer people."

Re:blah... (-1, Offtopic)

aug24 (38229) | more than 8 years ago | (#14715856)

I always wonder about people like you. I mean, you say you don't socialise with computer people, but you have a /. account and then you bother to post with it.

You're weird.

Justin.

Re:blah... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14716344)

You must be new here!

I for one find that... (2, Insightful)

gd23ka (324741) | more than 8 years ago | (#14715548)

awesomely generous. Hope there are no patent string attached.

Re:I for one find that... (4, Informative)

AKAImBatman (238306) | more than 8 years ago | (#14715722)

I seriously doubt that there are any real patents or other strings attached. I think this is more of a publicity and goodwill stunt more than anything else. As far as I can tell, there are no sophisticated components here, just the basic stuff that most AJAX developers already have in their toolkits.

The list of components is:

* Calendar
* Slider
* TreeView

That's a pretty small list, and all are components that are fairly common in AJAX circles.

The core utilities portion of the library is just Yahoo's convenience methods that help abstract away browser differences. Nice if you don't have wrappers like these already, but not very useful if you do. Many AJAX programmers will probably choose to stick with their own libraries.

A few things that come to mind that are missing from this library are:

* A text editor components
* DataGrid/Spreadsheet component
* Scrolling viewports
* Feature-rich DHTML replacements for buttons, lists, radio buttons, and other common controls.
* Application layout engine

I'm pretty sure that Yahoo! has these types of components, but isn't going to share as long as there is more value in keeping them secret.

All in all, it's a nice gesture by Yahoo!. Just don't expect a complete library. :-)

Re:I for one find that... (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14715838)

Actually some of the components are very sophisticated indeed. The drag and drop library is the best I've seen - it can handly logical groups of related elements, point intersection or area overlay modes, "padding" for drag detection areas, configurable drag triggers settings and more.

Re:I for one find that... (1)

AKAImBatman (238306) | more than 8 years ago | (#14716007)

Like I said, if you don't have it in your library already, it's a nice thing to have. If you do, then it's probably so much noise.

Re:I for one find that... (1)

fean (212516) | more than 8 years ago | (#14716191)

This library probably wasn't released for the benefit of those already waist-deep in AJAX / Javascript-UI-Niceness... I'm guessing if you already have a very complex drag-and-drop piece of code in your library, nothing that was released today would be any help...

That said, I think it's positively wonderful! The hard part of web design isn't usually the design, but convincing the clients that a certain technology is OK to use. It's even harder when you're working in Microsoft land, and everyone knows you're a huge firefox supporter (I get several emails a day from people who surf in firefox for the express reason of finding sites that render incorrectly, so they can point out that not all sites look good in firefox... there is no reasoning with them, just deleting their emails)

Having Yahoo! release these to the wild will make it much easier to use this functionality, just by saying "How about we use the Yahoo UI Widget here?"

this is not a widget library (5, Informative)

Gopal.V (532678) | more than 8 years ago | (#14716005)

The important peices are *NOT* about widgets. This is about the ygPos,ygAnim and ygDom libraries which are invaluable to most people (at least me).
The animation systems are actually pretty awesome [dotgnu.info] . The cacheTween() functionality in there takes it very close to what I've been doing with flash previously.

Morover, Y! has been using these for the past 6 months on different browsers before they open sourced. That part is really what most people look at.

Re:this is not a widget library (1)

AKAImBatman (238306) | more than 8 years ago | (#14716071)

Same advice applies. [slashdot.org]

This is about the ygPos,ygAnim and ygDom libraries which are invaluable to most people (at least me).

This is what I love about doing DHTML/AJAX. People are so easily impressed. :)

Re:this is not a widget library (1)

wumpus188 (657540) | more than 8 years ago | (#14716453)

Have you seen prototype.js 's sister Visual Effects library [aculo.us] ?
Yahoo's stuff looks pretty weak in comparison... not to mention that VisualEffects uses much more clean implementation with prototype.js

Yahoo is the new Google? (5, Interesting)

Teetow (603838) | more than 8 years ago | (#14715551)

So, while Google is expanding its new evil empire, Yahoo is courting indie developers? Strange days on planet earth...

Re:Yahoo is the new Google? (2, Interesting)

hsmith (818216) | more than 8 years ago | (#14715630)

more like, they are both competing for us to use their products. no matter what, we don't lose in the end. as long as the tools are free, i don't see a problem

Re:Yahoo is the new Google? (1)

ELProphet (909179) | more than 8 years ago | (#14715654)

Truly strange. The first product from Yahoo I have ever wished Google came out with first... earily freaky...

Re:Yahoo is the new Google? (5, Insightful)

m50d (797211) | more than 8 years ago | (#14715671)

Yahoo has always been like this, it's just people didn't notice while google was the new hotness. Seriously, they seem to be doing the Right Thing, and it's about time they got some recognition.

Re:Yahoo is the new Google? (5, Informative)

stupidfoo (836212) | more than 8 years ago | (#14715779)

Very true. Their developer APIs are the best of any major offering.

Check them out here [yahoo.net]

Their stated goal is to have startups use their APIs as the foundation for new sites/tech.

Re:Yahoo is the new Google? (0)

jallen02 (124384) | more than 8 years ago | (#14716004)

Never mind that they (Y!) censor searches in China just like google. Google gets flamed for it while all of the other major search engines in China do the same thing so they don't get banned.

Jeremy

Re:Yahoo is the new Google? (2)

m50d (797211) | more than 8 years ago | (#14716624)

Erm, BS. Yahoo got nothing but flames when the story about them doing it was posted. Google got 3/4 of people saying "they have no choice, it's better than not being accessible from China at all". Google gets as much love as Apple, and it just kills me when people try and claim they're being persecuted.

Re:Yahoo is the new Google? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14716573)

"The Right Thing?" You mean like this? ... http://www.rsf.org/article.php3?id_article=16402 [rsf.org]

Re:Yahoo is the new Google? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14716758)

"they seem to be doing the Right Thing"

Except maybe when they help China [ucla.edu] to jail pro-democracy dissidents...

Earth (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14716217)

Call me pedantic, but it's "Google Earth", not "planet earth".

Really good stuff (3, Informative)

Vivek Jishtu (905067) | more than 8 years ago | (#14715556)

I tried out some of the JavaScript code they are offering. It is a nice library of functions for web application development.

Re:Really good stuff (0, Offtopic)

diegocgteleline.es (653730) | more than 8 years ago | (#14716079)

"I tried out some of the JavaScript code they are offering. It is a nice library of functions for web application development."

Really good stuff (Score:3, Informative)

Oh, well. Slashdot is based in what people thinks it's informative or not, but if people can't tell if something is informative or not, then moderation isn't useful.

Design Fixes. (0, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14715563)

"Patterns are optimal solutions to common problems. As common problems are tossed around a community and are resolved, common solutions often spontaneously emerge. Eventually, the best of these rise above the din and self-identify and become refined until they reach the status of a Design Pattern."

According to some. Some languages don't need "design patterns" because they don't have the problems the pattern is ment to fix.

Re:Design Fixes. (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14715617)

Examples please ?

Re:Design Fixes. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14715771)

Some languages don't need "design patterns" because they don't have the problems the pattern is ment to fix.

That's like saying "NP-Complete" problems are easy in some languages.

Re:Design Fixes. (2)

samuel4242 (630369) | more than 8 years ago | (#14716059)

NP-complete problems are pretty easy (i.e. linear) when you encode them in unary. (Base 1). The size of the encodings become exponetially large so the computation time to solve the problem is now linearly related to input size. It's all a question of finding the right language.

Re:Design Fixes. (2, Insightful)

aug24 (38229) | more than 8 years ago | (#14715782)

Total Arse.

Patterns are nothing to do with languages. Patterns are not meant to fix problems in languages, they are conceptual repeating patterns, like 'the need to store', 'the need to display', 'the need to pass data'.

If your language of choice happens to implement one of these languages (roughly like struct or Object for the DTO pattern), then so much the better.

Justin.

Re:Design Fixes. (0)

WarwickRyan (780794) | more than 8 years ago | (#14715927)

Mod parent up.

RecordSet's another extremely common pattern which is implemented in most modern languages.

Re:Design Fixes. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14716398)

I agree with you in The Real World, but another important thing to keep in mind is that the neccesity of a design pattern points out somewhere that your development environment diverges from some theoretical ideal perfect programming environment (I say environment not language, because really libraries are where most of this ends up being fixed).

There is a theoretical perfect programming environment in which it is not neccesary to know any design patterns, because they are all "taken care of" and implicit in your available tools. Or in other words, all common design patterns have been factored into your available language/libraries/modules.

This language will probably never exist, but it doesn't hurt to think in that frame of reference in an attempt to improve your programming environment.

Re:Design Fixes. (1)

ajwitte (849122) | more than 8 years ago | (#14715823)

What language are you thinking of? Prolog or some other non-imperative language? I don't know Prolog, but I'm sure there are "design patterns" - time-tested ways of satisfying certain needs - even if they aren't the same as the ones use with imperative languages.

show me the money (3, Insightful)

Douglas Simmons (628988) | more than 8 years ago | (#14715576)

With google's toys they all have mass appeal and drive traffic to the site, ultimately helping google's brokerage. This, while nice for some of us, doesn't. Why would Yahoo bother?

Re:show me the money (4, Insightful)

generic-man (33649) | more than 8 years ago | (#14715657)

Because they want to improve their image in the open source community, making people think better of Yahoo! when it comes time to choose between Yahoo!, Google, and Brand X for their next enterprise service purchase. I also imagine that they could release code in the future that makes it easy to incorporate Yahoo!'s ad technology so that Web 2.0 developers can contextually-advertise and make money from their efforts.

Google's acts of "driving people to its site" do nothing for Google's bottom line. Google, like Yahoo!, is an advertising company which makes the vast majority of its income from other web sites besides their search engines / portals.

Re:show me the money (2, Informative)

Ilgaz (86384) | more than 8 years ago | (#14716056)

Large portion of FreeBSD and Opensource respect from industry (and end users) came from Yahoo.

When people questioned seriousness of that OS, you could (and still) say "Yahoo runs on it". Conversation is over. :)

I have no idea why Google is "good guy" and Yahoo gets amazing misinformed comments on each story. They even called Yahoo "wannabe" when they advertised (existing for years) http://search.yahoo.com/ [yahoo.com]

(robots.txt exclusion, it exists at least since 1999 if you look to archive.org)

Hearts and minds (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14715670)

This, while nice for some of us, doesn't. Why would Yahoo bother?

Simple, hearts and minds. Right now Google's #1 asset has nothing to do with their search engine, it has everything to do with the fact that they have (or had judging by recent stock hits) the hearts and minds of the public. It's all about the cult of personality that has grown around Google that allows it push as it has. For Yahoo to continue to be successful, they need to gain footing in this area. For them, releasing this can help take some of the steam out of the nerd love fest that is Google (ok, not a lot, but planting the seeds).

Under BSD too... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14715581)

That's pretty incredible. Is this out of character, or did the folks at Yahoo! get sick of poorly implemented AJAX sites?

Very nice - great little library (4, Interesting)

us7892 (655683) | more than 8 years ago | (#14715583)

Both pages are clear and the library actually looks very good. Usually, Yahoo is playing catch up to Google, or so it has seemed. This time, Yahoo gets the upper hand. Google is becoming Yahoo, and Yahoo is becoming what Google used to be. Good stuff!

Not that any of this is ground-breaking, but it is a nice little package.

Makes Google's download package from last month look pretty lame.

Re:Very nice - great little library (0, Offtopic)

ripcrd (31538) | more than 8 years ago | (#14715896)

So does yahoo now have "hand"?

Re:Very nice - great little library (1)

bryguy5 (512759) | more than 8 years ago | (#14716333)

Both Google and Yahoo have been getting a lot of bad press lately so they need to do something. It's good to see yahoo follow Googles "high ground" even if Google's straying a bit. This is much better PR than re-running analysis on turning people over to oppressive foreign governments (Yahoo) or collaborating with governments to cover up and control information and make sure the truthspeech gets out (Google).

It's goingt to be a long road for both of them as growing resentment http://www.useit.com/alertbox/search_engines.html [useit.com] to their status as gatekeepers builds up.

Blatant plug! Death to the gatekeepers!!
Step 2 ??? Step 3 $$$$ - Forget Tech, you need candy http://www.ilovefundraising.com/ [ilovefundraising.com]

Re:Very nice - great little library (1, Flamebait)

podperson (592944) | more than 8 years ago | (#14716456)

Google also has some catch-up work to do on getting Chinese dissidents imprisoned.

OK OK mod me flamebait.

Yahoo UIL and Google Code pages (4, Informative)

digitaldc (879047) | more than 8 years ago | (#14715587)

The Yahoo UIL page [yahoo.net] and the Google Code [google.com] pages are both useful and coincidentally look quite similar.

Re:Yahoo UIL and Google Code pages (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14715934)

Looks more like Apple's dev sites to me.

Yahoo, giving guidance on Web design? (-1, Flamebait)

g051051 (71145) | more than 8 years ago | (#14715600)

Yahoo has one of the least useful, most cluttered, and unappealing sites on the web. It seems pretty abusrd for them to claim to be releaseing "prescriptive guidance to help solve common design problems on the Web". Or perhaps they simply aren't practicing what they preach?

Re:Yahoo, giving guidance on Web design? (1)

CynicalGuy (866115) | more than 8 years ago | (#14715758)

you can completely customize every aspect of your Yahoo portal, and put drop RSS blocks onto it.. if yours is cluttered and useless, it's because you're too dumb to change it..

Re:Yahoo, giving guidance on Web design? (1)

g051051 (71145) | more than 8 years ago | (#14715908)

What do you mean, "your Yahoo portal"? Why would I want to or need to customize their site? You seem to be agreeing that the default page presented by Yahoo is cluttered and useless. Considering the useless mess I'm presented with as their front page, I have no interest in proceeding any further into Yahoo land.

Re:Yahoo, giving guidance on Web design? (1)

CynicalGuy (866115) | more than 8 years ago | (#14716099)

http://my.yahoo.com/ [yahoo.com] .. make it look however you want.

Re:Yahoo, giving guidance on Web design? (1)

g051051 (71145) | more than 8 years ago | (#14716166)

Again, what does this have to do with the atrocious look and feel of www.yahoo.com?

Re:Yahoo, giving guidance on Web design? (1)

generic-man (33649) | more than 8 years ago | (#14716300)

You're judging a massive company by the way its end-user home page looks. Other people are trying to explain that Yahoo! offers other interfaces and techniques for accessing search. You're ignoring them and continuing to whine about yahoo.com, which you don't have to use to get to their search engine [yahoo.com] . Did someone set your homepage to yahoo.com as a prank or something?

Re:Yahoo, giving guidance on Web design? (1)

g051051 (71145) | more than 8 years ago | (#14716438)

I'm judging the applicability of Yahoo offering any sort of web design guidance when they can't even produce a decent landing page for their site. As a developer, their cluttered, ugly, messy web site is a serious negative influence on me taking anything they say about web design seriously.

And who's even mentioned search? You simply created made that inference up out of thin air. Read more carefully before you post.

Re:Yahoo, giving guidance on Web design? (1)

Forbman (794277) | more than 8 years ago | (#14716464)

So, they give you a chance to make it how YOU want it (my.yahoo.com), and yet you still bitch & moan about how bad the default yahoo.com is.

Shut up already.

Re:Yahoo, giving guidance on Web design? (1)

generic-man (33649) | more than 8 years ago | (#14716574)

Yahoo! is offering tools to add all sorts of funky JavaScript shit to your web site. How you design your site is up to you. You can have a minimalist interface [google.com] or a maximalist interface [yahoo.com] , or something in between [yahoo.com] . You seem to be making the conclusion that Yahoo! is advising you on the proper layout, CSS, and advertising format for your web site; that is not the case.

Thank you for marking me as a "foe," though. I look forward to not reading your reply.

Re:Yahoo, giving guidance on Web design? (1)

Brad0415 (954451) | more than 8 years ago | (#14716320)

How the hell do you expect *any* company to appeal to everyone's individual sense of style and aesthetics, not to mention content? Give me a break. If you are too lazy to customize the site then that is your problem, not Yahoo's. With a very minimal time investment, you get what I believe to be the best portal/mail combination out there (using their beta mail).

Re:Yahoo, giving guidance on Web design? (1)

g051051 (71145) | more than 8 years ago | (#14716457)

Again, why should I need to customize their web site? Why do I need to invest my time in cleaning up their poor design, ugly layout, and otherwise atrocious web pages? Yahoo has traditionally hasa cluttered, unappealing design, and it continues to grow worse as time goes on. And if that is their idea of good web design, I'll have no part of it.

Re:Yahoo, giving guidance on Web design? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14715849)

Yahoo has one of the least useful, most cluttered, and unappealing sites on the web.

Well, they -are- big, and their -whole- business -is- dealing with the web... so maybe they do know something about making money using this Internet thing... thus, when they offer some tips, why not just listen and learn as opposed to criticize a relatively successful corp? (their site may be cluttered, but they're pretty damn good at what they do).

BSD license (3, Informative)

Rob T Firefly (844560) | more than 8 years ago | (#14715602)

Yahoo are releasing this stuff under the BSD License [yahoo.net] .

Re:BSD license (1)

Petronius (515525) | more than 8 years ago | (#14715660)

yet the menu bar on the right shows a Creative Commons attribution.

Re:BSD license (3, Funny)

Otter (3800) | more than 8 years ago | (#14715698)

It's a trick to avoid complaints from Richard Stallman -- this way he won't know what to denounce first, and he'll simply emit smoke.

Re:BSD license (2, Interesting)

Ilgaz (86384) | more than 8 years ago | (#14716095)

One of the reasons could be that Yahoo uses and advertises FreeBSD since they started.

I know at least 1 giant company started using FreeBSD because of Yahoo. "It can handle entire yahoo userbase" is really a huge "selling" point.

http://www.ictp.trieste.it/~cfonda/sudan/OSs/refer ences/freeBSD/Yahoo_and_FreeBSD.html [trieste.it]

Looks like asp.net Atlas stuff (0, Offtopic)

figleaf (672550) | more than 8 years ago | (#14715605)

This looks like asp.net Atlas [asp.net] might be worth investigating though.



When is a design pattern not a Design Pattern? (2, Informative)

BarryNorton (778694) | more than 8 years ago | (#14715612)

When it's a UI idiom...

wow (1)

Abstract_Me (799786) | more than 8 years ago | (#14715638)

And they even used teh BSD license.... im speachless...

Nice Accessibility (3, Insightful)

aliens (90441) | more than 8 years ago | (#14715676)

If you look through their Design Patterns you'll see that each has an Accessibility section. Very nice addition and often over looked.

Re:Nice Accessibility (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14715984)

A nice idea but not a nice addition in this case. It looks to me like appeasement rather than commitment. Most of the accessibility sections simply state that the user should be able to tab to a link/tab/whatever and use the enter key to activate it, i.e. don't break the default UI.

The more insidious examples suggest breaking the UI horribly. For example Auto Complete:

"Allow the user to complete the form by pressing the Tab or Enter keys."

Some, like Drag and Drop, omit the accessibility section altogether. In these cases I guess it was too hard to offer equivalent access for all users, so it's just been ignored rather than flagged as potential problem.

It's cool that they are releasing this stuff, but let's not get carried away by suggesting that what they've offered in these notes gets close to accounting for the accessibility issues raised.

Re:Nice Accessibility (2, Insightful)

wk633 (442820) | more than 8 years ago | (#14716636)

Very good point. There's absolutely no reason to not provide a keyboard interface to re-order modules. Drag and drop makes no sense to a blind user, but re-ordering the linear content sure does. Unfortunately, sometimes it takes a lawsuit to get anything done in this country. http://news.com.com/Blind+patrons+sue+Target+for+s ite+inaccessibility/2100-1030_3-6038123.html/ [com.com]

thanks yahoo! (1)

DeveloperAdvantage (923539) | more than 8 years ago | (#14715694)

This is good to see. Reuse for GUI widgets is one area where reuse has had an impact, in fact, GUI widgets are the most commonly reused components. There are a number of vendors for things like VB controls.

The components and patterns Yahoo has released will speed up the development of feature rich sites for other organizations.

Prototype still rocks (3, Interesting)

esconsult1 (203878) | more than 8 years ago | (#14715724)

After using prototype.js [conio.net] for a while now, its hard to switch to a fatter library which is what the Yahoo library seems like. Each one has their good points, and pieces missing, but I think if you decide to use either, you can't go wrong.

There are some good snippets in there though, and Yahoo has done a good job of introducing code and web services to the developer community, much much more that Google has.

The design patterns are a very very good thing to expose. Although many of us might have been using similar standards, it sort of brings a number of them under one umbrella and into one place.

Re:Prototype still rocks (2, Informative)

at_18 (224304) | more than 8 years ago | (#14715777)

Prototype may rock, but the website (http://prototype.conio.net) sucks. It's only a page with a download link. So WTF is prototype? Where's the manual, or at least a quick overview of what it does? Not even the .tar.gz file with the library has anything resembling a function list.

I had to google around to find documentation, such as this site [sergiopereira.com] ).

Re:Prototype still rocks (2, Informative)

lukewarmfusion (726141) | more than 8 years ago | (#14715900)

My biggest complaint about prototype is the lack of clear documentation. I have the same problem with script.aculo.us [aculo.us] , which has a wiki that is often useless to me.

For a really lightweight effects library, check out moo.fx [mad4milk.net] .

Re:Prototype still rocks (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14716133)

I'll admit that the library sucks for documentation but third party docs on both the script.aculo.us site and on http://www.sergiopereira.com/articles/prototype.js .html [sergiopereira.com] both have decent docs for it they aren't easy to find but they are there and actually pretty good once you find the core ones ;).

Re:Prototype still rocks (1)

mythz (857024) | more than 8 years ago | (#14716033)

Umm,

Where is the tree widget for Prototype again? OMG there is none!

Prototype has some nice features and allows for OO like programming in Javascript. But it mangles the Javascript Object and the OO design promotes code bloat.

Anyone doing any serious DHTML should check out JQuery (http://jquery.com/ [jquery.com] ), it's a revolutionary lightweight Javascript library that borrows the niceties of Prototype but allows you to achive the same result in a fraction of the code. You can also use it with Prototype, and it weighs in at 10k to boot!

Hurrah! Clap-clap! (2, Interesting)

SilentOneNCW (943611) | more than 8 years ago | (#14715725)

I say, good show! As early comments have already noted it is indeed a strange month - in which Google is falling, losing popularity due to their stock prices and the whole China debacle, while Yahoo is rising, supporting OSS with a suprisingly useful package. I wonder if this is merely another bump in Google's ultimate victory or a shift in the paradigm, a potentially fatal one for Google. However, let this not take away from the original point of the article -- Congratulations, Yahoo!, and thank you. Your generosity will be remembered.

Re:Hurrah! Clap-clap! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14715829)

Google is falling, losing popularity due to their stock prices and the whole China debacle ... Congratulations, Yahoo!, and thank you. Your generosity will be remembered.

Sure, Google's trapped in a "China debacle," while Yahoo! is only helping the Chinese government throw pro-democracy dissidents in prison.

But, hell, release a couple of Javascript files and we'll forgive 'em for tracking their users' behavior and giving it away to totalitarian dictatorships. Clap motherfucking clap indeed.

"Library", are you kidding me? (4, Insightful)

rtilghman (736281) | more than 8 years ago | (#14715740)


This is a collection of, count em, THREE main scripts folks. There are free libraries of javascript code out there with orders of magnitude more DHTML functions and scripts. Sure, Yahoo offers some derivatives of each of their primary functions, but one of the categories is a collection of "vented menuing" scripts that could have been written five years ago. Only a multi-national company bent on branding (and yes Google, you're in the same boad) could put up a page like that and call it a Library.

To be honest, I'm consistently frustrated by the status of OSS code with regard to the DHTML components necessary to support open source RIA technology. If you want to do a vented menu, have a slider control, or YADDA you can find about 450 million scripts scattered across the javascript repositories of the web.

What it comes down to is this; if you want to do a collapsible menu or drag and drop then you're in luck, we have the widgets in OSS for you! OSS RIA won't be feasible until SVG stabilizes and is as ubiquitous as the Flash plug-in.

-rt

Re:"Library", are you kidding me? (3, Interesting)

AKAImBatman (238306) | more than 8 years ago | (#14715824)

"Library", are you kidding me?

Indeed. Most of the posters obviously didn't do much investigation, or are not that familiar with AJAX development. This is the same stuff you've been able to get elsewhere for a LONG time. The Blueshoes [blueshoes.org] and ActiveWidget [activewidgets.com] collections are a lot more useful, albeit not entirely free.

To be honest, I'm consistently frustrated by the status of OSS code with regard to the DHTML components necessary to support open source RIA technology.

It's because the market is still young. For right now there's money to be made in DHTML controls. As long as that's true, programmers aren't going to be giving stuff away. (Hell, I've got my stash of super-secret components, and I'm willing to bet that you do too.) Once components become more commonplace, OSS libraries will begin appearing.

Re:"Library", are you kidding me? (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14715879)

I take it you haven't actually downloaded the code then. There are libraries for animation, DOM manipulation, drag and drop, XMLHttpRequest management and event handling (in addition to the slider, treeview and calendar widgets). That's 30 JS files, not including the examples. That's nearly 10,000 lines of code!

It's fully documented as well.

Bloody Breadcrumbs (1)

nagora (177841) | more than 8 years ago | (#14715755)

Oddly enough I was putting breadcrumbs into a client's site when this story came up and I was just thinking "Jesus, breadcrumbs are a total waste of screen space. Why the hell do clients ask for them?" On the other hand, I've yet to find a use for Yahoo! either. Oh, well.

TWW

Re:Bloody Breadcrumbs (1)

AKAImBatman (238306) | more than 8 years ago | (#14715895)

Jesus, breadcrumbs are a total waste of screen space. Why the hell do clients ask for them?

Poorly implemented breadcrumbs are a waste of screen space. Well implemented breadcrumbs are an invaluable navigation tool. They help users track where they are in a given subsection, and help give the user a feel for the overall tree structure of the site. They also improve navigation by allowing the user to reach any level above the current one quickly and easily.

For example, say I'm shopping for a new laptop. I might find myself in the following section:
Store >> Computers >> Laptops >> Bell Demented X
From this point (looking at a laptop) I can navigate back to look at other models, hop up to computers and perhaps look at a desktop instead, or go to the main store and look for deals and other products.

Breadcrumbs are especially useful if I land directly on a page. Say, for example, that someone told me that Company Bell had a good deal on a specific laptop and sent me to the Bell Demented X webpage. If I want to compare with other models, those breadcrumbs help me navigate to other laptops without going through the front page and the entire heirarchy.

Re:Bloody Breadcrumbs (1)

TheJorge (713680) | more than 8 years ago | (#14716182)

While this is well and good, most implementations I've seen are not a site heirarchy as you list, but rather a replacement for the back button. Many times it's a throwback to when the back button would break most apps. One your Bell site, you might be at the Demented X page, but your crumbs show:

Store >> Computers >> Desktops >> Store >> Specials >> Store >> Laptops >> Bell Demented X

And this is actual requested behavior! I'd agree that site navigation tools are important, but the concept of "where have I been recently?" gets taken too far too often.

Re:Bloody Breadcrumbs (1)

nagora (177841) | more than 8 years ago | (#14716321)

If I want to compare with other models, those breadcrumbs help me navigate to other laptops without going through the front page and the entire heirarchy.

I just press Alt-left-arrow and pick a different link; I don't even have to move my hand to the mouse.

Breadcrumbs are an indication that a site is badly designed (or that the PHB/client has seen them somewhere and thinks all "professional" sites have to have them).

TWW

Re:Bloody Breadcrumbs (2, Insightful)

AKAImBatman (238306) | more than 8 years ago | (#14716423)

* AKAImBatman thwacks nagora upside the head

The back button doesn't work if you land directly on the page. Breadcrumbs also provide information to the user about their location independent from the ability to move to those locations. Pay attention, young padewon.

Re:Bloody Breadcrumbs (1)

JeTmAn81 (836217) | more than 8 years ago | (#14716474)

Breadcrumbs are an indication that a site is badly designed (or that the PHB/client has seen them somewhere and thinks all "professional" sites have to have them).

This sounds like the writing of someone who doesn't have a very large userbase for their site, or doesn't much care about providing the best browsing experience for those users. When you're designing a public website, you're aiming to minimize the amount of confusion that may occur on the part of your users. You want to make things easier for them.

Your users may not know to use Alt-left-arrow, and frankly may find breadcrumbs more appealing than navigating through whatever interface their browser uses. Breadcrumbs give you a way of providing navigation for your users independent of browser type.

(plus one In7ormat1ve) (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14715876)

then Disappear3d a losing battle;

now the web 2.0 can take off!!! (2, Funny)

mookie da wookie (919403) | more than 8 years ago | (#14715904)

Now the wonderful Web 2.0 can really take off! I am so looking forward to a Service Oriented Architechture where Web Services can get a ground level understanding of my Ad Hoc Supply Chains! Why, I may design a Workflow to help me document and process my well-formed giddyness! Fabulous!

Re:now the web 2.0 can take off!!! (0, Troll)

BluesMoon (100100) | more than 8 years ago | (#14716271)

you ought to write this up as a template for the nonsense generator (search freshmeat).

Re:now the web 2.0 can take off!!! (1)

mookie da wookie (919403) | more than 8 years ago | (#14716516)

Nah, it's already been done. Ever read any "whitepapers" on web 2.0? Those things have roughly the density of a neutron star. Like this:

Welcome to O'Reilly's Unlocking the Secrets of Web 2.0! Here we discuss how to architect frameworks using SOA deliverable models, whilst injecting creativity into your market position in the global e-blogosphere! First, you need to supply knowledge venture SMEs with the global awareness protocols which will allow them to leverage a more effective positive revenue stream from your client base. Then you employ RAD techniques using a J2EE business object layer which will in turn provide you with the necessary busniess intelligence to allow you forecast customer turnover using standard operative forecasts. This type of strategy serves as a dichotomous analysis post-consumer survey, if you will, which will in turn provide your idea with the necessary scalibility to overcome conflicting prioritizations. Yes, all you need to do is write some AJAX on a website and talk like this, and...

See? I am sick of hearing about AJAX and crap like this. It's friggin JAVASCRIPT, people!!!

--
Web 2.0: bringing you the tollbooths of the information superhighway!

Oblig. Grinch (2, Insightful)

neveragain4181 (800519) | more than 8 years ago | (#14715936)

I for one welcome the new script (overlords), but I can't help myself (oh, and I tried) but point out that because of the nature of the technology (client side jscript) then there isn't actually a good way *not* to release the source code for re-use, at least for the Beer part.

Now I do think Yahoo has done a smart thing in doing this under a BSD license, but it's worth remembering that this might be because they don't really have a way to protect their IP anyway. You can muss up script to be less readable, but basically it has to execute and therefore scarf-up-able to those that want it.

If this was a server-side technology then I don't know if Yahoo would have been so willing to go both kinds of free? At the very least this messes with Microsoft's Atlas people's heads, so should be good to sit in the peanut gallery for this one.

Am I being too cynical for a Tuesday?

N/A

Re:Oblig. Grinch (1)

AKAImBatman (238306) | more than 8 years ago | (#14715982)

I for one welcome the new script (overlords), but I can't help myself (oh, and I tried) but point out that because of the nature of the technology (client side jscript) then there isn't actually a good way *not* to release the source code for re-use, at least for the Beer part.

Yes there is: It's called copyrights and patents. You can easily have your ass handed to you on a courtroom plate if you try to rip off someone else's JavaScript. Make sure you have permission before you start stealing code from others. If you're unsure, do your own implementation. You may still be liable for patents, though.

Re:Oblig. Grinch (1)

FooAtWFU (699187) | more than 8 years ago | (#14716090)

That's not really a good way to not-release-the-source. It's a rather bad one, really. You need to track down the offenders and take them to court (hope they're not overseas!) and there's always the risk of some random using it somewhere or modifying it in a way so you can't detect it...

A good way to not-release-the-source is some sort of binary distribution that cannot be trivially decompiled. To some extent, you can obfuscate your JavaScript pretty well with various tools that are out there, but if it's meant to be a usable API or toolkit then you can't go renaming all the functions to an unreadable mess- or what's the point of the toolkit, anyway?

Re:Oblig. Grinch (1)

AKAImBatman (238306) | more than 8 years ago | (#14716132)

A good way to not-release-the-source is some sort of binary distribution that cannot be trivially decompiled.

No such thing exists anymore. Even complex C/C++ programs can be decomplied quite easily. It's just that people feel more exposed with JavaScript because the code is distributed in source form. Try a packer/obfuscator like this one [edwards.name] instead. The code can still be extracted by someone smart enough, but it does put a barrier in their way.

Re:Oblig. Grinch (1)

neveragain4181 (800519) | more than 8 years ago | (#14716177)

Yeah, ok - fair point (am I allowed to do that here?).

Have to say though that patents for a calendar and tree view javascript (+2 years from now) seem a little unlikely. Not saying someone hasn't carpetbagged them already, but Yahoo take the PR to fight that case? Seems unlikely.

Also, the copyright may be more easily enforced, but really would it take too much to tweak them a little - that's basically what people do anyway with script (so I heard from a friend of a friend, can't remember his name...).

Also, anyone know of a copyright case that went against the defendant where a treeview or calendar javascript got stolen? Or maybe cite a similar case, i.e. a cookie crumb trail? It seems similar to people copyrighting their html and css, but then others doing a View Source and editing for their own use/learning and producing derivitives - do companies sue for copyright on that? This hardly a lot of difficult to do software...

Anyway, I do agree with your point, but it seems unlikely, which is why I think this is mainly for PR due to the nature of the tech. My point was that if they could enforce their IP they might not have gone this way.

N/A

Re:Oblig. Grinch (1)

AKAImBatman (238306) | more than 8 years ago | (#14716285)

fair point (am I allowed to do that here?).

I always do. Trolls don't like it (it smells too much like a real conversation), but it works well for those of us who like to actually discuss things. ;-)

Anyway, I do agree with your point, but it seems unlikely, which is why I think this is mainly for PR due to the nature of the tech. My point was that if they could enforce their IP they might not have gone this way.

It really depends on how valuable the technology is to you. If I implement a gaming library in AJAX, I'm going to be pretty peeved if someone rips me off. Peeved enough that I will probably sue for lost revenue. On the other hand, if someone rips off my cool looking button control, I'll probably just let it go. (Not worth it.)

Now if a competitor develops their own clean-room gaming library, then we have market competition and there's not a whole lot I can say about it. Unless, that is, they happen to step on a few patents I've filed for various techniques. Then I can probably extract a revenue from them even though they're a competitor.

Re:Oblig. Grinch (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14716001)

They have copyright law and any patents they may hold to the technology on their side to enforce their rights. About the only thing they can't claim is trade secret since the code is client-side.

Please don't use the drag and drop (3, Insightful)

slashkitty (21637) | more than 8 years ago | (#14715966)

It breaks things on webpages and is really pissing me of on their my.yahoo.com site. If you don't need to drag and drop things, why have them? If you don't need to open a page in a new window, why do it? I'm starting to really hate some of this AJAX stuff.

Re:Please don't use the drag and drop (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14716163)

ajax is using 7 year old techology circa windows 98 what do u expect...windows 98 performance?

Re:Please don't use the drag and drop (2, Insightful)

DarenN (411219) | more than 8 years ago | (#14716243)

I hate the blink tag too, but don't knock HTML, I just want to go on a rampage and kill the developer and everyone involved in the site. The moral of the story is, blame the developers, not the framework/language. AJAX has some great ideas. It'll take time to mature, though!

Comments interesting and appreciated... (4, Insightful)

ursabear (818651) | more than 8 years ago | (#14716014)

I sincerely appreciate the comments of those who know (much more than me) about web UI, techniques, technologies, and patterns. As a server-side engineer and developer, I don't spend a lot of time on the front end. It's nice to see how /.ers digest this type of information and re-present it from lots of angles.

With that said, I'd also like to say that the pages are pretty well done. It is obvious that a great deal of time and effort was spent conceiving, writing, and, producing these beginnings of libraries and instructions. I found the effort to be commendable and interesting.

For someone like me, these types of efforts actually help me understand quicker and keep me interested.

Yahoo UI Blog (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14716016)

http://yuiblog.com/ [yuiblog.com]
The blog to go with the (future) releases.

UI Controls (1)

int19h (156487) | more than 8 years ago | (#14716139)

The UI Controls all looked nice and worked very well in Firefox 1.5.
Unless there's a Grand Hatch (tm) that we've all overlooked, I'll start using this right away*!

So, thanks Yahoo.

*) In this particular comment, "right away" is defined as "tomorrow, or any other time I feel like checking it out".

I wish I had these 3 years ago (1)

josepha48 (13953) | more than 8 years ago | (#14716611)

.. Then I would not have created my own client side calendar.

I think my calendar is easier to use. And mine creates the div and checks to see if it already exists.

Someone now needs a UI Design tool that allows people to easyly integrate these into a design WYSIWYG mode.

Calendar foo = new Calendar('your_id');

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