Next Yahoo Main Page: Running ENTIRELY on JavaScript!

About two years back I was strongly encouraging readers to get familiar with JavaScript user interface toolkits. These things will be the future of web programming... forget heavy .NET or Java frameworks that draw HTML... instead, make your data and services easy to reuse (with SOAP, ReST, AJAX, or Remote Scripting), and push the UI layer right into JavaScript. That makes your code much easier to port from one application to another...

And they look pretty dang slick, too ;-)

Of course, there were so many even back then... about sixty to be precise. I placed my long bet with the Yahoo User Interface Library (YUI), for multiple reasons. First, it has a huge sponsor (Yahoo), a large community, tons of documentation, and the most liberal license out there (BSD).

Well, it turns out that the next page will be built ENTIRELY with the Yahoo User Interface library! You can preview it if you'd like... Naturally, if the YUI is fast enough and flexible enough for, then its probably a no-brainer for your site.

YUI is currently at version 2.6... but the next Yahoo home page will use YUI Version 3, which is still only in pre-alpha preview release. That's kind of a risk, but the benefits of YUI 3 compared to YUI 2.x vastly outweighed these risks:

  • Lighter
  • Faster
  • More consistent
  • More portable
  • More powerful

I'm certainly going to be watching this launch closely... if they nailed all the usability and accessibility problems with YUI 3, and its slick and easy to use, it will probably be my main choice for designing rich user interfaces in a browser.

Please note, there are many other decent toolkits out there... JQuery being probably the most popular... and there are certainly other toolkits that are easier to use. However, I'd still recommend YUI for the vast majority of enterprise users.


What does this mean to UCM?

Coincidentally someone sent me a link to a blogger talking about Oracle UCM and the upgrade to YUI 3.0

Interesting post.

a lot of UCM is already YUI

For example, the Folios feature is very much a YUI beast... altho its YUI 2.x and not 3.x. But don't worry, because YUI 2 and YUI 3 will be able to operate in parallel. Meaning you can have YUI 2 widgets and YUI 3 widgets on the same page.

Since UCM is mostly services based, and doesn't care that much about how you draw the UI, something like YUI would make a nice, portable, modifiable UI. I'd wager more and more will be YUI in the future... I can certainly see replacing the "Layouts" and "Skins" features with YUI.

That raises the question... what components will be YUI, and will they be YUI 2 or YUI 3?

That's up to Oracle to announce.

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