I’ve looked at a number of proprietary AJAX frameworks during the past year with a mixture of surprise and admiration. It may be a measure of how much I’m mired in the past, but I’m still amazed when a complete client application runs in a browser. Yet, that’s what some of the proprietary toolkits have been offering for more than a year.
There are some major differences between the proprietary and open source toolkits, and whether these differences matter to you will likely be based on your level of app dev expertise and available resources — both time and money.
The proprietary toolkits also come with sophisticated debuggers. Backbase, for instance, has a built-in debugger that launches right from the user’s Web site when you click on a tiny icon. It’s bundled with the distribution during testing and is stripped out later.
Debugging the open source AJAX toolkits is not as fancy. Dojo and Yahoo can log messages to a console, whereas Google has a complete environment that runs on your local development machine.