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Yahoo! Releases OSS Ajax and Design Tools 164

Cocteaustin writes "Today Yahoo! released the Yahoo! User Interface Library. This library is comprised of a number of dynamic HTML utilities and controls for building rich web UIs and Ajax applications. They are made available under an open-source license. In addition, Yahoo! released the Yahoo! Design Pattern Library. This collection of design patterns for Web interaction is intended to provide Web designers prescriptive guidance to help solve common design problems on the Web. Both are free in both senses of the word."
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Yahoo! Releases OSS Ajax and Design Tools

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  • by gd23ka ( 324741 ) on Tuesday February 14, 2006 @10:19AM (#14715548) Homepage
    awesomely generous. Hope there are no patent string attached.
  • show me the money (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Douglas Simmons ( 628988 ) on Tuesday February 14, 2006 @10:24AM (#14715576) Homepage
    With google's toys they all have mass appeal and drive traffic to the site, ultimately helping google's brokerage. This, while nice for some of us, doesn't. Why would Yahoo bother?
  • by generic-man ( 33649 ) on Tuesday February 14, 2006 @10:37AM (#14715657) Homepage Journal
    Because they want to improve their image in the open source community, making people think better of Yahoo! when it comes time to choose between Yahoo!, Google, and Brand X for their next enterprise service purchase. I also imagine that they could release code in the future that makes it easy to incorporate Yahoo!'s ad technology so that Web 2.0 developers can contextually-advertise and make money from their efforts.

    Google's acts of "driving people to its site" do nothing for Google's bottom line. Google, like Yahoo!, is an advertising company which makes the vast majority of its income from other web sites besides their search engines / portals.
  • by m50d ( 797211 ) on Tuesday February 14, 2006 @10:39AM (#14715671) Homepage Journal
    Yahoo has always been like this, it's just people didn't notice while google was the new hotness. Seriously, they seem to be doing the Right Thing, and it's about time they got some recognition.
  • Nice Accessibility (Score:4, Insightful)

    by aliens ( 90441 ) on Tuesday February 14, 2006 @10:40AM (#14715676) Homepage Journal
    If you look through their Design Patterns you'll see that each has an Accessibility section. Very nice addition and often over looked.

  • by rtilghman ( 736281 ) on Tuesday February 14, 2006 @10:48AM (#14715740)

    This is a collection of, count em, THREE main scripts folks. There are free libraries of javascript code out there with orders of magnitude more DHTML functions and scripts. Sure, Yahoo offers some derivatives of each of their primary functions, but one of the categories is a collection of "vented menuing" scripts that could have been written five years ago. Only a multi-national company bent on branding (and yes Google, you're in the same boad) could put up a page like that and call it a Library.

    To be honest, I'm consistently frustrated by the status of OSS code with regard to the DHTML components necessary to support open source RIA technology. If you want to do a vented menu, have a slider control, or YADDA you can find about 450 million scripts scattered across the javascript repositories of the web.

    What it comes down to is this; if you want to do a collapsible menu or drag and drop then you're in luck, we have the widgets in OSS for you! OSS RIA won't be feasible until SVG stabilizes and is as ubiquitous as the Flash plug-in.

  • Re:Design Fixes. (Score:3, Insightful)

    by aug24 ( 38229 ) on Tuesday February 14, 2006 @10:55AM (#14715782) Homepage
    Total Arse.

    Patterns are nothing to do with languages. Patterns are not meant to fix problems in languages, they are conceptual repeating patterns, like 'the need to store', 'the need to display', 'the need to pass data'.

    If your language of choice happens to implement one of these languages (roughly like struct or Object for the DTO pattern), then so much the better.

  • Oblig. Grinch (Score:1, Insightful)

    by neveragain4181 ( 800519 ) on Tuesday February 14, 2006 @11:19AM (#14715936)
    I for one welcome the new script (overlords), but I can't help myself (oh, and I tried) but point out that because of the nature of the technology (client side jscript) then there isn't actually a good way *not* to release the source code for re-use, at least for the Beer part.

    Now I do think Yahoo has done a smart thing in doing this under a BSD license, but it's worth remembering that this might be because they don't really have a way to protect their IP anyway. You can muss up script to be less readable, but basically it has to execute and therefore scarf-up-able to those that want it.

    If this was a server-side technology then I don't know if Yahoo would have been so willing to go both kinds of free? At the very least this messes with Microsoft's Atlas people's heads, so should be good to sit in the peanut gallery for this one.

    Am I being too cynical for a Tuesday?

  • by slashkitty ( 21637 ) on Tuesday February 14, 2006 @11:23AM (#14715966) Homepage
    It breaks things on webpages and is really pissing me of on their site. If you don't need to drag and drop things, why have them? If you don't need to open a page in a new window, why do it? I'm starting to really hate some of this AJAX stuff.
  • by ursabear ( 818651 ) on Tuesday February 14, 2006 @11:27AM (#14716014) Homepage Journal
    I sincerely appreciate the comments of those who know (much more than me) about web UI, techniques, technologies, and patterns. As a server-side engineer and developer, I don't spend a lot of time on the front end. It's nice to see how /.ers digest this type of information and re-present it from lots of angles.

    With that said, I'd also like to say that the pages are pretty well done. It is obvious that a great deal of time and effort was spent conceiving, writing, and, producing these beginnings of libraries and instructions. I found the effort to be commendable and interesting.

    For someone like me, these types of efforts actually help me understand quicker and keep me interested.
  • by DarenN ( 411219 ) on Tuesday February 14, 2006 @11:54AM (#14716243) Homepage
    I hate the blink tag too, but don't knock HTML, I just want to go on a rampage and kill the developer and everyone involved in the site. The moral of the story is, blame the developers, not the framework/language. AJAX has some great ideas. It'll take time to mature, though!
  • by AKAImBatman ( 238306 ) <> on Tuesday February 14, 2006 @12:15PM (#14716423) Homepage Journal
    * AKAImBatman thwacks nagora upside the head

    The back button doesn't work if you land directly on the page. Breadcrumbs also provide information to the user about their location independent from the ability to move to those locations. Pay attention, young padewon.
  • by wk633 ( 442820 ) on Tuesday February 14, 2006 @12:38PM (#14716636)
    Very good point. There's absolutely no reason to not provide a keyboard interface to re-order modules. Drag and drop makes no sense to a blind user, but re-ordering the linear content sure does. Unfortunately, sometimes it takes a lawsuit to get anything done in this country. ite+inaccessibility/2100-1030_3-6038123.html/ []

  • by Wee ( 17189 ) on Tuesday February 14, 2006 @01:02PM (#14716871)
    Very true. Their developer APIs are the best of any major offering.

    Not really. Have you ever looked at their ads API []? It can't even bgein to compare to what Google offers [].

    It takes about 90 seconds to sign up and start getting access to advertising data via Google's API. It's SOAP, so pretty much every programming language besides BASIC and Forth are supported. Google has loads of documentation online regarding their ad API program. And it's free. You get to do what you want with the data that you get back.

    Yahoo has had an advertising API for 5 years now, but what does it do? What does it take to get access to it? We know it uses REST, but what data can you get back from it? How much does it cost? Where is the sample code? Is there a support forum where I can talk to other developers? What are the terms of service? Can I use it to get 3rd party access to others' data? Are there any other restrictions on using it?

    The API page linked above doesn't answer any of those questions. Hell, the ads API isn't even listed on the developer resources page you linked to. Why is that?

    So if I email and ask the above questions, how long before I get a response? Will all my questions be answered, or will I get more questions back then answers? Try it. I did last spring. It's an interesting response to say the least.

    You're right in that Yahoo has some very nice developer resources. But this is one area where Google substantially outshines Yahoo. Send a short email to the above address and ask to get access to the Yahoo ad API. Seriously. Just send a one-liner. Take a moment to read through the canned response you get back. And then ask yourself "Why don't they just put all that info on a web page somewhere out in the open?" That you even have to email someone to begin with is odd (and annoying). What is Yahoo hiding? Why are they being so cagey?

    Compare that email response to the AdWords API page at Google. Now step back and take in the Yahoo ads API page (and, I suppose the one other page regarding their API). Add in the email repsonse. Now take in all the info on Google's API. Notice a difference? Just a small one, maybe?

    There's just no comparison whatsoever. Google is open, free and easy with their ads/cost data sharing. Yahoo is, to be kind, not so much any of those things.

    Anyway, even if you DID manage to get API access, you better not hang your hat on that since access could get pulled for any number of spurious reasons. Take a look here [] for an interesting read. Yeesh.

    Yahoo itself might have a decent suite of APIs, but such notions haven't as yet affected the folks who came over from Overture.


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