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Which UI Toolkit and Why

Gregg Bolinger
GenRocket Founder
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Joined: Jul 11, 2001
Posts: 15286
    
    6

I had asked in a thread about Dojo and Dijit. I didn't get too many replies but in that thread I had specifically asked not to suggest anything else because I really wanted to keep that thread focused. This thread is different. I want to know what JavaScript UI Toolkit you prefer and more importantly why you prefer that toolkit. And just to keep this thread clean, any post that claims another toolkit "sucks" will be heavily moderated. So let's keep the flame war to a minimum and focus on helping a guy out today.


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Bear Bibeault
Author and ninkuma
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Joined: Jan 10, 2002
Posts: 60053
    
  65

I primarily use jQuery UI and other jQuery plugins because I use jQuery extensively and can leverage my rather extensive knowledge of jQuery. As noted in the other topic, jQuery UI's online documentation doesn't have the quality that the core library's documentation enjoys, but if you're willing to shell out the cash for jQuery in Action, the coverage of jQuery UI is extensive, thorough, and written using actual inspection of the code (rather than relying on incomplete documentation).

Of course, more often than not, I end writing my own UI elements using jQuery core.


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Balaji Loganathan
author and deputy
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Joined: Jul 13, 2001
Posts: 3150
jQuery UI. We simply like it.


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Gregg Bolinger
GenRocket Founder
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Joined: Jul 11, 2001
Posts: 15286
    
    6

Let me give one small example of something about jQueryUI that really bothers me.

http://jqueryui.com/demos/button/#splitbutton

If you click the right side button, you get a nice dialog alerting you to the effect that the jQueryUI team didn't take the time to fully implement this widget. Now some of you might say that is a good thing because now we have a choice as to what happens. But common sense says do what most users would expect and allow for an override. And technically, for the most common use case of a widget like this, it isn't really a splitbutton. It's a combo button. But I digress. I don't want to this thread to be the hundred reasons I don't care for jQueryUI. But I thought a little context might help the discussion.
Eric Pascarello
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Joined: Nov 08, 2001
Posts: 15376
    
    6
My Experiences:

I use JQuery with jQuery UI and a custom Framework built on top of UI to make it work 80% better. There are tons of widgets that you can use, but 99% of them are pure crap and looking at the code of them makes you wonder how they work.
jQuery UI is bad, sort of kicking myself for thinking it would be improved in a years time, but that has not happened.
Developers of it sometimes are one sided when you say XXX is a bug and they say XXX is not a bug. Submitting fixes for bugs is painful.

I love YUI widgets, but not a fan of the YUI core. I know a bunch of devs that use this in production. Only complaint they had is when they swicthed to v3 and all their code had to change.

Ajax Toolkit for .NET.
more bugs than developers supporting it. Tried to submit bug fixes, but there submission application was broken and they took too many months to fix that. Stay away from it if you are a .NET developer. lol

I hated Dojo years ago, but I have not used it since than and I am sure it has changed. Widgets are nice and they seemed to try to remove a lot of the fluff that was in the widgets. [Reason I hated it years ago. Did everything under the sun and than some.]

I personally hate EXT because the widgets look nice, but the markup is horrible. Listen to them with a screen reader if you have time. Support is lacking even when you pay for it. Not uncommon for the response saying, why don't you fix it. lol

Bear Bibeault
Author and ninkuma
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Joined: Jan 10, 2002
Posts: 60053
    
  65

Gregg Bolinger wrote:Let me give one small example of something about jQueryUI that really bothers me.

I don't think that's a fair "bother". If that were a true "split button" widget, I'd agree with you, but it's not. It's a demo showing how you can use two button widgets to create the button component of a composite split button. If the demo were also to show how to create a menu for the split button, it'd over-complicate the demo, which is just about the buttons.

So I'd argue that the widget is not incomplete, it's the demo that only shows a portion of how you might go about using the button widgets in a certain way.
David Newton
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Joined: Sep 29, 2008
Posts: 12617

I think YUI is the most complete and clean, if you need a complete framework, and don't want to write everything yourself. jQueryUI has been pretty hit-or-miss for me, and I don't have the time to write/fix/clean up everything I'd like to use, and not everything is designed with extensibility/customiseability in mind. I'm not too familiar with any of the commercial ones, although I had good luck with DHTMLX or something like that for a few controls I needed.
 
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