What's up with all the javascript widgets?

A coworker asked me today, "dude, what's up with the javascript tag widget?" I am not sure what they meant, but since they asked...

I have been doing a lot more work with Javascript lately and I discovered something I really didn't expect: Javascript is a really great language. Developers really owe it to themselves to take a look at this language again, because I have a feeling that most developers are like me in that they last time they used it the most compicated thing you could reliably do was to create cheesy rollovers for images on a web site.

Well, those days are long behind us.

Of course you would have to be living in a hole in the ground not to realize that on your own. Just look at all the "Web 2.0" applications that are being built where javascript is a fundamental component of the application.

But I admit it, even with apps like Flickr, the apps of 37 Signals, and the many more that clearly demonstrate how powerful Javascript can be, I had a hard time shedding the stereotype of javascript not being "real" programming language.

But in my latest endeavor I began feeling the pull of Javascript so that I could incorporate functionality I had seen elsewhere that I really liked.

I first turned to the experts for guidance. And by "guidance" I mean that I needed good code to steal. There are a lot of good resources for Javascript these days that one could learn a lot from, but Yahoo has done one of the best jobs of packaging and documenting their Javascript widgets for others to use. So using Yahoo's code as a template and guide, I developed my own Javascript Controls or Widgets.

The process of creating the Tag Widget and Filter Widget has given me a new found respect for Javascript as a language. It is surprisingly flexible. Plus, when using Yahoo's UI Framework, which adds a nice event, connection and dom handling framework - it makes the building robust, interoperable javascript applications and components much, much easier.

So why all the Javascript Widgets? Because Javascript is important. Just look around you - this is not a language for amateurs anymore. And if you are going to [re]learn a language, learn how to do it right. And that's why I embarked on this exercise.

4 Comments

Yeah, I'm with you on this. Work has me doing scads of javascript lately and it's actually been OK. No more goofy rollovers. Now if there was only a good IDE.

Qooxdoo is technologically far out ahead of every other JavaScript framework. Really nice OO extensions, supports models for many component types, supports theming, supports layout manager, can style without CSS and no HTML required. Go with Qooxdoo over HTML/JQuery/Prototype - because: when's the last time you used assembly language?

i am looking for how to generate these for my site ? any clues anybody ?

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