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Javascript Libraries (AJAX For Dummies)

Well, not quite for dummies, but there are several new javascript libraries that will give daunted developers a head start in creating their own animated scrolling, sliding, and fading divs. Want your web apps to share the spotlight with favorites like flickr, gmail, and tiddlywiki?

Here are some toolkits / libraries / APIs I came across today that are worth a look. Please add to the list if you know of another. Some of these may be beyond the average web designer’s ability to utilize, but larger teams with dedicated developers will make good use of them.

Dojo Toolkit
(a demo mimics Apple’s Dock)

moo fx: a superlightweight javascript effects library
“moo.fx is not a replacement for script.aculo.us or other effects libraries. It’s just a little alternative for people (like me) that do not need more than just simple, basic effects (and want to keep their filesize small).”

script.aculo.us builds upon the Prototype Javascript Framework

WebWork
“WebWork is a Java web-application development framework. It is built specifically with developer productivity and codesimplicity in mind, providing robust support for building reusable UI templates, such as form controls, UI themes,internationalization, dynamic form parameter mapping to JavaBeans, robust client and server side validation, and muchmore.”

Just found Wikipedia’s entry for AJAX, which has a big list of libraries including some of the above but many more.

PS:
I would like to know if anyone has seen a guide to replicate flickr’s “edit a photo title without refreshing” behavior. Their javascript for this is beyond my desire to reverse-engineer, but this functionality would come in very handy in a web app I’m building the UI for.

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  1. Hey Ben, that’s some cool stuff. So you’ll have to share with us the cool stuff you’ve been building in Ajax (if you can) sometime.

  2. Edit a photo title without refreshing would be AJAX. You could use prototype which has some AJAX stuff built in to do what you need.

  3. Thanks much for the article Ben.

    As a designer just getting his head around the frameworks/ajax arena, it’s helpful to get a bird’s eye view of where things are.

    I find the Ajaxian, Carson Workshop, Vitamin podcasts invaluable, and hope to keep finding helpful articles like yours before I venture forth.

    Now, if only someone can explain pros and cons of Django vs. Dojo vs…..

    Jae