The collection of features in the Yahoo library is solid but not as large as Dojo’s. It has many of the standard tools, such as an animation library and a tree collection, but there are few of the larger, more substantial tools such as an editor or a live table.
Yahoo does add some nice touches. The animation library, for instance, also interacts with some standard tools, such as a text scroll device that allows you to automate the behavior of some part of the HTML — say, a box filled with text. The Connection manager will automatically assemble all of the data from a form and put it into the right format for a GET or POST application.
Despite the lack of an editor, these interactions give Yahoo’s library a smoother feel, compared with the rough-and-tumble state of Open Rico or Zimbra. Whenever you dive into the code with Yahoo’s toolkit, you usually come away feeling that the company has spent a bit more time optimizing the functions and adding some real depth to the libraries.
Opening up the future
As these open source AJAX packages evolve, I think we’ll see more of a difference between the ones that are directly tied to one corporation and the ones that remain outside the control of one particular company.
I expect that Google, Microsoft, and Yahoo will continue to exert tighter control and editorial guidance over their AJAX projects, compared with the neutral packages. This control will help people who like a bit more polish and better documentation, because I expect that the vendors will include the efforts of regular staffers.
The neutral packages, meanwhile, are bound to grow more varied as they attract more contributions. Some parts of Dojo are already ports from smaller open source efforts that were rewritten to use the core parts of the Dojo packages. I expect that more people will work to add their few lines of code to these projects, if only because it will make it easier for them to leverage the libraries with their own projects. The neutral packages will likely continue to be the ones that offer the most creative ideas and the cutest widgets at the quickest rates.