The Framework Issue Expands

With Sproutcore gone, Javascript MVC is next on my list. It's a cleaner looking package that doesn't appear to try to do so much (Sproutcore had a million kinds of controls and other stuff to go along with it). I watched their introductory videos (this is a great new trend in software) and think it might be ok.

But, while I was at it, I looked around for other information about the topic and ran into the guys at Yahoo who are doing YUI, or more specifically the next version, YUI3. This is not a Javascript MVC replacement. It's more of a jQuery targeted at serious application development. jQuery can, and is, used by plenty of serious people, but here is another level of complexity. I am more familiar with YUI's renegade child, EXT JS. From what I can see, they are similar in intent.

EXT JS was amazing. It allowed one to, in a very, very short time, create highly capable tables of data with a lot of tasty controls and features that just came straight from the framework. It was very, very complicated to learn, but the guys that did so (I was a novice), were able to crank up some serious business. It is my understanding that YUI was a precursor to EXT JS and is striving toward much the same goal.

Listening to the YUI3 people doing a presentation to some sort of user group, I was impressed by their intention to make YUI work in a way that is very consistent with the basic ideas of the DOM. Since this is the foundation of every web browser presentation layer and, thus, every application, that seems like a really good thing. Further, the main thing I thought about EXT JS was that it felt like none of my previous knowledge really helped me master it.

The other thing they talked about, that I had forgotten about and that I liked very, very much, was the ability to create custom events. It's nice to have "onclick", etc, but sometimes I want to have an "onStupidUser" event that allows me to do something outside the normal flow. I used this a lot in my work with EXT JS. The YUI guys talked about some good improvements upon the theme.

What's it all mean? Well, two things. First, it reminded me that I may not be satisfied with only jQuery. Second, it reminded me that I may not be satisfied with only jQuery and Javascript MVC. It seems fully possible that I will want to add YUI3 or EXT JS to the kit. That would push jQuery back to the role of user interface sugar maker, good for decorations, etc, but leaving the heavy lifting of data display and interaction to one of the more formalized user interface systems.

But, it's a series of decisions for another day.