Tuesday, November 20th, 2007

New Release of Gaia Ajax Widgets

Category: Ajax, Announcements

The folks at Gaia Innovations recently released their newest version of the Gaia Ajax Widgets suite, code named Victory. The suite, which caters to .Net and Mono developers, makes adding Ajax and UI capabilities to .Net applications substantially easier and comes in a variety of licenses.

Apart from normal upgrades and code improvements that are to be expected in a major release, the biggest enhancements for this release were the additions of ViewPorts and Aspects.

ViewPorts

Inspired in part by ExtJS, the new ViewPorts feature provides the ability to create a flexible layouts for building your web applications.

Ajax Aspects

Ajax Aspects allow you to dynamic assign unique behaviors to widgets, essentially extending out the core functionality and providing a wealth of capabilities.

You could take an Image Widget and make that image resizable, simply by attaching an AspectResizable to that image. Add another line of code, and suddenly you can respond to the resized event in you code-behind on the server!

Aspects have tripled the potential of Gaia because you can combine them to form new functions. With 7 Aspects and 33 widgets that’s theoretically 231 new features by itself ;) Of course, some aspects aren’t relevant for some widgets.

A video has been created to better demonstrate the capabilities of aspects and can be viewed here (scroll down to see it).

One area where Gaia has lacked (self-admittedly) has been on the UI. With a strong focus on server-side bindings, they’re not refocusing their efforts to improve the UI of the library:

Gaia Ajax Widgets have always suffered from being the “less visually appealing” Ajax Library since they have focused a lot on making the server-side bindings against ASP.NET and Mono and the internal core of their library have gotten more focus. Now the core or the foundation is mostly 100% finished and very stable and we can focus on more “eye-candy” and “bling” to make our library visually appear as great and beautiful as some of the more popular JavaScript libraries like ExtJS and Dojo etc. No doubt that creating the “Custom JavaScript free Ajax Library” has had it’s costs. Now let’s hope it’s time to reap.

In addition the Gaia team has worked on improving the size of the codebase reducing the code per widget by up to 60%. With load times always being a concern, that’s great news for Gaia customers.

Posted by Rey Bango at 10:37 am
40 Comments

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3.6 rating from 104 votes

40 Comments »

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How can these guys actually get people to buy their “widgets”? I mean they work so bad and they look awful. The time it takes for a client to re-style the widgets so they don’t look as bad to his users pretty much cancels out the “super fast & easy to install” points they advertise.

Yeah they have many widgets. But look at them. How many of them would actually be usable? Look at their Fisheye, Pageflakes, WYSIWYG, etc.

How can you “inspire” yourself from Ext and come up with such crap?

Comment by Michael — November 20, 2007

Wow, and they cost 295 euros.

Comment by Michael — November 20, 2007

@Michael
We’re the first to admit that the “bling” part of or library isn’t the best boy in the class, and we’re in fact writing that ourselves in that blog post. But I think you’re exaggerating it a little bit…
Like for instance our “100 ways to read ajaxian” sample;
http://ajaxwidgets.com/AllControlsSamples/Ajax-Window-Madness.aspx
I think is pretty nice in fact, even compared to many of the more beautiful ajax libraries like ExtJS, dojo and jQuery (extension) etc…
But then again I am biased…
But as we say ourselves focusing on the “server-side glue” has taken a LOT of energy and now when that’s more finished we’re definitely going to focus a LOT more on the parts that are “bling” and shiny onwards from now on :)
PS! [Rey]
Sorry, I just couldn’t let this one stay on-commented…!

Comment by Thomas Hansen — November 20, 2007

Sometimes I wish these UI libraries would not try to create windows that look like Mac OS X windows, it’s the first thing I drop. My web applications look nothing like either Windows or Mac OS X, so don’t even bother…

Comment by Mike — November 20, 2007

I have a question for you Ajaxians. Are you happy with the development pace of Microsoft’s ASP.NET Ajax and the Ajax Control Toolkit?

Because I most certainly am not. I just looked at ASP.NET 3.5 (released today) and the latest release of the Ajax Control Toolkit. 8 Months of development since the 1.0 release and no client side databinding, drag and drop, GridView enhancements or any other high profile features that several other frameworks have released.

Instead, all you hear about is Silverlight, and because that is a plugin, it needs a big installed base like Flash to actually be a viable platform for web applications.

Is anyone else becoming frustrated with the current development of ASP.NET Ajax and the Ajax Control Toolkit?

Comment by John — November 20, 2007

@ John

I have to agree. I’m just starting a new ASP.NET project and I’m not even going to mess with the ASP.NET Ajax. Instead I’m using Prototype 1.6, Scriptaculous 1.8, and Jayrock.

Comment by FragMaster B — November 20, 2007

@John && FragMaster B
Just in case there is any confusion I’d like to state that Gaia Ajax Widgets has NOTHING to do with ASP.NET AJAX…

Comment by Thomas Hansen — November 20, 2007

It’s easy judging something on the outside but it’s what’s on the inside that’s important (he, do I hear my mother talking?). But on a more serious note, I can’t judge the inside because I’m not a .NET programmer and as of now I’m not going to point my .NET colleague to this site telling him to have a look. He’s going to think I’m a fool.
But keep working guys!!!! I’m looking forward to things like this and get my (.NET) coworkers more into this kind of stuff!!!
(4 stars from me)

Comment by Marc — November 20, 2007

Wow the bias is getting pretty thick in here…. Michael it’s quite obvious you prefer another library to Gaia and that’s fine and all. But that doesn’t give you the right to flame the Gaia controls just because you don’t prefer them. It believe this library needs to be judged by what it offers to not only the hard core AJAX programmer but to the beginning Web programmer also. Personal Vitriol and knee jerk reactions should be avoided when forming an opinion about the Gaia Widgets library. I have written my own AJAX library before it was called AJAX and also have used the libraries ExtJS, dojo, jQuery, Gaia controls and many others. By far the easiest “out of the box” solution I have used so far are the Gaia Controls, the server side binding of the control functionality is extremely well done to the point that it is almost transparent. It’s so well done that someone with very little Javascript skill can put together a very complex AJAX page in just a few moments. I was able to bring up a complete noob into AJAX programming in one week with the Gaia Widgets. It might not be as polished as some libraries out there in the area of looks, but I would rather have a more solid code base than bling bling. There are some problems and those problems are usually resolved at a blinding pace. It’s not unusual for me to find a bug, post the bugs existence in the Gaia forums that day and either have the answer or a beta of the code the next day. Support is the best I have ever seen and there are no SUPER EGOS involved when I talk with support at Gaia.

(4.5 stars out of 5 from me)

Comment by Bryan Grossman — November 20, 2007

My honest opinion: Your price is way too high. Your samples don’t work very well, even crashing with some mysterious 500 error and splashing the screen with the error log. Your modal windows don’t provide any way to close them aside from refreshing the window. The treeview, when clicking on an item, takes upwards of 10 seconds to open. When it does, it pushes down below the fold and the columns come out of alignment. The accordion menu stutters like a baseball card in a bicycle spoke.
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After seeing what libraries like ExtJS can do, I have a hard time believing Bryan in saying that this is a solid codebase.
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Think of it this way — you’re competing with the likes of ExtJS and dojo, both of which don’t cost a single cent. Two libraries that are extremely well written, can be used out of the box and look like a million bucks. What can this library offer that’s worth 295 euro?

Comment by Brian — November 20, 2007

@TheWorld in regards to Brian
I really hope people here would test our samples themselves since this is just pure bull….

Comment by Thomas Hansen — November 20, 2007

You know it’s amazing how things work in so many of these forums. How egos get in the way and so many good ideas die a crib death because of a reception like Gaia Widgets is receiving by a few very loud critics.

Let me list the so called flaws that have been pointed out and respond to them if I may.

Is Gaia Widgets is new… yes it is. But wasn’t ExtJS ‘NEW’ at one time and didn’t it have bugs to and didn’t those bugs get worked out. Hmmmm

Does the Gaia Library have as polished a look as some…. no it doesn’t. You can’t tell me that ExtJS looked the way it does now when it first came out…

Are there other AJAX libraries out there that can do it better…. well the depends on what ‘better’ is to the developer. The learning curve is a huge deal… I’ts alot harder to implement ExtJS…. The day I found the Gaia controls I had a very complex AJAX app going in one hour. Not the bogus AJAX that M$ is touting as AJAX. No I am talking the real thing, a full fledged Web Application with ZERO post backs. That was including downloading and installing the Gaia Widgets and writing the code.

The cost… 295 euros… umm pardon me but doesn’t ExtJS have a commercial License? Yes there is a free version, but we all here aren’t kids coding for grandmothers recipe page. ExtJS even says for those “who want to help support the project”, bunch of cheap a**ess… I would pay 10 times 295 euros if it help me get my job done faster and make me look good. Hell dojo doesn’t charge but sure enough they are asking for donations (100$ is the default value) so even they would like to be paid for their work.

Also the whole argument that there are already other libraries that do this and what do we need with another one… Well if we were to apply that kind of thinking to cars … how many different make and models of cars do we really need in the world… I can only think of maybe 5… So why are there so many others…. Could it possibly be that most people don’t want there car to look like all the other ones? It’s pretty obvious when a page is using DOJO or ExtJS… I don’t have to look at the code to know.

Now don’t get me wrong, I am not saying that Gaia is ‘better’ than Dojo or ExtJS. But like different programming languages, the Gaia Widgets toolkit does have it’s place no matter what anyone says in this forum.

To Mr. Brian Burton in Italy:

Umm I opened all the samples you spoke of on multiple machines old and new using FireFox and IE7 and had no problems with any errors or 10 second response times on any of them. Sounds like you either need to reinstall your OS, get a new machine, close some of those porn windows( they tend to have a negative effect on ones browsing experience), or get a better connection, I am sure an ADSL connect sucks in Italy. Also that modal window can have a close button… I am just not sure why the sample doesn’t.

Comment by Bryan Grossman — November 20, 2007

@Bryan: Hi Bryan, I wasn’t quite clear what you meant by the following: “ExtJS even says for those “who want to help support the project”, bunch of cheap a**ess…”. Are you referring to us as cheap a**es or quoting something that I’m not familiar with?

Comment by Rey Bango — November 20, 2007

Don’t take Bryan too seriously, take two seconds to scroll through his site’s source code and you won’t lose time replyin to him

Comment by Michael — November 20, 2007

@Michael
I spent two minutes browsing through Bryan’s website and I even compared it with Brian’s and I must say that Brian’s was not any “better” than Bryan’s website. (which obviously is NOT Bryan’s personal one, but Brian’s looks pretty personal)
Brian’s had inline styles, sometime even combined with class declarations. Brian even had a lot of obtrusive JS in his. Sure you have some ViewState and inline JS in Bryan’s website (which appears to be a pretty standard ASP.NET website, not optimized pretty much, but non-the-less standard APS.NET with some ViewState and such)
Why don’t you Michael post your website so we can have a look at it too, or maybe it’s too dassling and great for us mere human’s eyes…? Or at least post your full name so we can try to find something you’ve done…?
That way you won’t be as anonymous as you’ve been so far, who knows, we might even start to take you serious then if you weren’t as you are now; a 12 year old kid with a keyboard…
@Rey
I understand it the way that people not wanting to pay for libraries are cheap a**… I don’t think it was Bryan’s intention to diss ExtJS, I think it was more like “if you can’t pay for something that makes your workday far better then you’re a ‘cheap’….”
I also want to make a statement in these matters in general terms, if you have a bunch of JS knowledge and you’re not on .Net or something where you could get the server-side bindings of Gaia I think (and I have done a LOT of research on these matters;) that ExtJS is probably your best bet and the best JS (Widget) library I’ve ever seen. Though if you’re on .Net I think it would be suicide not to use the bindings we’ve now spent 4 releases on stabilizing and getting 100% glued together :)

Comment by Thomas Hansen — November 21, 2007

Well i will try to stick to the topic here unlike others :p
And whats to say else than: WHAT THE FUCK IS THIS SHIT?
Good luck with it though, there might be some people out there who dosn’t know shit about ajax libraries who might spend there money on this crap!

Comment by Ronni Rasmussen — November 21, 2007

@Ronni
Did you have something concrete to criticize in Gaia?
If you have something concrete to criticize it might actually be possible to have a grown up conversation about it…

Comment by Thomas Hansen — November 21, 2007

@TheWorld in regards to Ronni’s comment
I browsed around for some info about Ronni and I found out that his company is a partner with and have the logos to both Silverlight and Telerik on their front page which might explain his motives for posting such things. Here’s the company he works for;
http://www.propeople.dk/
And here’s Ronni himself;
http://www.propeople.dk/propeople/staff#1
In addition his employer has 35 employees in Bulgaria (as of 2005) which explains their fear of Telerik being marginalized…
Telerik is a competitor of Gaia and located in Bulgaria and as of today one of the two largest Ajax Library vendors for ASP.NET meaning we’d definitely be considered a threat to them!
Have a nice life Ronni :)

Comment by Thomas Hansen — November 21, 2007

Thomas, you’re trying to discredit my opinion because I have inline styles in my personal blog? My blog is not commercial and I’m not asking 295 euro for it. You really should rethink your position here because you’re representing your company.
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My first post was level-headed and not anything as vicious as Michael’s first posts. I gave you actual user experience that potential customers are going to share. If your samples that your own programmers build don’t work well, what does that say about the rest of your library? This is constructive criticism, not an attack.
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If instead of taking that list of problems to your programmers to get those fixed you instead come out with, “Pfff, he uses inline styles, he doesn’t know what he’s talking about,” it doesn’t show a lot of promise for your company or your products. If this product is your bread and butter, priority #1 should be getting the samples to work as best they can because middle managers who handle purchasing are going to be clicking around there and won’t understand why it doesn’t work well.
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The point of saying that ExtJS is free, Bryan, is not to say that we’re all “cheapasses” or that we don’t want to pay for libraries like these. The point is that Thomas’ product is directly competing with products whose price is lower and and functionality is vastly superior. These are business basics. If I were building a .Net site, as a programmer I would much prefer to spend the time writing .Net wrappers for ExtJS than trying to clean up Gaia. Actually, if my company was ajaxwidgets.com, I’d do just that and not try to reinvent the wheel.
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Thomas, you can continue searching for reasons to discredit what I say, but these are honest opinions that you will find with many programmers. My best suggestion would be to release a free version and sell a pro version for about a hundred less than you’re asking now. Offer support contracts to bring in more income. This way you will build up your community and have more people working to make your product a powerful, robust toolset. Once it’s a product that can compete toe-to-toe with other libraries, raise your prices and switch the free version for a 30 day trial of pro. It may take a year to get there, but I believe that your company would have a much stronger foundation.

Comment by Brian — November 21, 2007

By the way, Thomas, what is the obtrusive javascript that you found in my site? If you experienced any javascript errors, please let me know what they were so that I can get them fixed.

And Bryan Grossman, why do you feel the need to launch into personal attacks? I have personally attacked no one. No one is talking about you, your site, or your company.

Comment by Brian — November 21, 2007

@Brian
I owe you an apology, it was rude of me to attack you instead of Michael, I guess since Michael was not “available” to attack I attacked the one possible…!
Sorry :)
In regards to the part with you saying “functionality is vastly superior” I think you really need to check out Gaia, that sentence is pretty self-explaining in regards to that you cannot possibly have checked out neither the code nor the usage of Gaia Ajax Widgets which is a shame since it actually IS Open Source (GPL) and can be downloaded and checked out if you’d like to take the time…
A very large portions of the stuff we’re doing on our samples section is _impossible_ to do in _any other_ Ajax library in this world!
Secondly if you had problems loading the sample website I think Bryan is pretty dead on, there’s NO WAY you can have checked out the samples and gotten those kind of results since first of all those samples are generating 1000 unique visitors per day and you are the second person in the world to say this. (the other guy had really much hatred towards us)
Also we’re constantly testing both the online version and the local version for 4 browsers (Opera, Safari, IE and FF, only newest version though)
You might have been “unlucky” and hit the website during IIS reset/recycling of the process or something, but that’s also pretty unlikely. I suggest you test them once again :)
But the main USP of Gaia is not the “bling” it’s the code and maintainability of that code and the expressiveness you experience in regards to what you can do. Not how it looks. If you want it to look great that’s no problem neither since it’s basically just a CSS job…
Third when you consider our pricing policy, I realize it might be steep for some but fact is we have customer statements of how Gaia reduced Time2Market by 80%. That means with a normal salary you’d save in the costs within a couple of weeks. Also we have no “extra charges” for support, everyone (even our GPL users) gets free support in fact. But Gaia isn’t for everyone, Gaia is mainly for ASP.NET and Mono developers, if you’re on another platform go ahead and use something else. But please don’t post lies and/or misinformation about our samples website and scare of those who might actually benefit from using Gaia…

Comment by Thomas Hansen — November 21, 2007

@Brian
You had some onclick=”something();” in your elements, I guess it’s “pushing” the limit in regards to what’s considered obtrusive though, it was colored by my incentive and affections rather than my logic… ;)
BTW the business model you describe is an _exact match_ of what we’re _actually doing_…
You should browse a little bit around on our website before judging… ;)
Anyway I thank you for constructive criticism all though it’s pretty hard to see when you made those quotes about or samples…

Comment by Thomas Hansen — November 21, 2007

Thomas, you’re absolutely right that I don’t have any real world experience with your products and that does limit the actual weight of my comments above. Any potential customer should give your products a test drive before making any final decision. My comments come from just using the examples.

Ah, I had only seen the 30 day trial, not the free GPL version. Forget what I said above, you guys are doing well. It’d give you guys some good mojo if the GPL version was more advertised on the front page. I think it would build a lot more interest.

Comment by Brian — November 21, 2007

If someone is looking for .net controls that wrap extjs look no further.
http://www.extendersamples.qsh.eu/
see the example project there you have a link to the project page and to my blog. Its a free and open source pack of controls.
I have sent this link to the ajaxian site ..but they never published.

Comment by Rodrigo — November 21, 2007

@Brian
Thank you :)
I guess we could be friends after all ;)
In regards to having higher visibility of our GPL version we’ve had bad experiences in regards to that since many developers do not understand the difference between the “Free as in Freedom” and “Free as in Free Beer” logic the GPL in combination with a commercial license poses. So historically before we made the GPL version “less accessible” (meaning you’d have to look a little bit for it or know that we have one from before) more than 90% downloaded our GPL version and only 10% downloaded our Trial version. And this in combination with the fact that we’ve mostly marketed our product against “commercial developers” felt odd to us. And also a lot of our users have proven to not know the difference between the GPL and “free as in free beer” licenses. So therefore we added up a couple checkboxes which you had to check out before enabling the GPL download, we blogged extensively about it and sent info in a couple of newsletters and so on. And after that about 25% are downloading our GPL version and 75% our Trial :)
Which is a more “correct” and probable number…
So we thought it was correct to make sure no one downloaded the wrong version according to their needs and then ran the risk of running into legal issues with their closed source applications built on top of GPL libraries…
But we have lots of “back doors” to the GPL version in all the correct forums where we’d expect 90% of all users to KNOW what the GPL means like for instance at freshmeat.net, mono website, freesoftwaremagazine, etc…
So that’s the reason why it’s not advertized more than what is the case :)

Comment by Thomas Hansen — November 21, 2007

@Michael

I didn’t wright the code you are looking at, that is the homepage of the company I work for. BELIEVE me I have been trying for the past year and a half to rewrite that piece of crap of a page. But the company wont let me, that has become a political issue and taboo to talk about. (It’s interdepartmental) Sadly all the pages I have written are on intranets and are not viewable on the Internet.

@Rey Bango

go to this link http://extjs.com/store and view the paragraph titled “License Options”, that is where I lifted the quote. But if you need more you could also go to http://extjs.com/license and look at the paragraph titled “Commercial License”. You see most people want to be paid for there work… Some of you think just because you can get it for free means you shouldn’t pay. These libraries you so love are made by real people that have bills just like you and me. They spend time on maintaining these “I don’t have to pay a cent libraries” you love so much. If you create a page and you are making money from there work, then I feel they need to be compensated. I just think we should be supporting them and not taking advantage of them. I know that this can be such a strange concept for some.

@Brian

Sorry about personal attack… I get a little punchy sometimes.. But I feel that the Gaia Widgets although not as mature as some libraries deserves the right to exist and does serve a need, that is why I am here to defend it.

The thing I don’t think most understand about the Gaia Widgets is how tightly bound they are to the .NET server side. For some this is a bad thing, If you use something other than Visual Studio to write your pages then Gaia probably isn’t for you. But if someone is using Visual Studio, noob to Ajax, don’t know alot about Javascript then Gaia is for you. Dojo and ExtJS are fantastic libraries but extra steps need to be taken to interact with the server side like a wrapper of some sort. Gaia has implemented a framework that does this so well that it is transparent.. But the client code is dynamic enough that is is extensible. Complete noobs can write an AJAX page without knowing a scrap of Javascript, this is threatening to some.

Comment by Bryan Grossman — November 21, 2007

@Thomas

Lol, stop it with “personal attacks”, and no I’m not a 12 years old kid with a keyboard. If I posted my website, you would compare it then what? This is an ajaxian post about your widgets and all you are argueing about is comparing websites. Who cares if X’s is better than Y’s? Will that give people a good reason to purchase your widgets?

The point is, the average user does not care about how well your javascript is coded. All he wants is the thing to work. And what we see in Gaia widgets, is a bunch of ugly, non-constant themed widgets and they don’t look nor work good (I’m talking about the user’s interaction with the widgets, not the javascript; i.e.: Fisheye widget).

Also, in your testimonials, how about you post the pages where your widgets are actually used?

Because right now I’m sorry, but I’d save more money and be way more confident in hiring a mexican freelancer to make Ext work on my site (assuming I don’t know Javascript and don’t care about learning it) rather than purchasing Gaia widgets.

Comment by Michael — November 21, 2007

@Michael
“This is an ajaxian post about your widgets and all you are argueing about is comparing websites. Who cares if X’s is better than Y’s?”
Excuse me, you started the comparison, I just finished it…!
“Also, in your testimonials, how about you post the pages where your widgets are actually used?”
At the moment it’s mostly intranet websites and/or projects in development, Gaia wa released the first time 5th of February this year and getting customers takes time! But MultiCase (http://multicase.no) will run 65% of the entire e-commerce in Norway in Gaia in less than a year from now!
And our website have lots of Gaia controls in e.g. the forums, screenshots, contact us form, registering logic etc. And we have about 1000 unique visitors per day!
And within a couple of months one of the 5 largest websites in Norway will run on Gaia…
“Because right now I’m sorry, but I’d save more money and be way more confident in hiring a mexican freelancer to make Ext work on my site”
Great, at your current flaming level you’re _NOT_WELCOME_ as a customer of us, but feel free to have a nice life, and may your energy be better spent in the remaining parts of your life than what it was up till now :)
But only a COWARD posts incognito…!!
COWARD!!!!

Comment by Thomas Hansen — November 21, 2007

@Bryan: I guess I’m still confused as I’m with the Ext project myself. I’m not quite sure if you’re supporting our stance on commercial options or your not.

@Everyone: Please settle down guys.

@Thomas: Please refrain from personal attacks.

Comment by Rey Bango — November 21, 2007

Just a thought, but would any of this flaming have gone on if Gaia didn’t charge any money?

Comment by Scriptor — November 21, 2007

@Thomas
Coward? I’m sorry I don’t have a website online at the moment. I’m the kind of person that likes to work locally and not get stuff on the web until it works good, you know what I mean?

Even if I had started on the “comparison”, I’m just someone who posts his opinion, and you’re the one who’s trying to sell a product shall I remind you.

Aside from that, you know you’re not going to attract customers by saying “Soon a top 5 largest site from Norway is going to be using Gaia”. What we want to see is stuff that appeals to our eye, and stuff that works good.

My criticism mightn’t have been of much help until now, but I have a few suggestions:

– The fisheye widget on your screenshots page, maybe you could improve it so that elements can grow from a center point, rather than staying fixed in the top-left corner and growing from there

– The “Ajax Window Pageflakes” drag and drop behavior should definately be changed imho. The delay is annoying, and it just behaves stupid. Try this: Select a box, move it around just a little, then drag it back to like 10 pixels up its original location, then release your mouse. Instead of not moving (like it should because it is closest to its original location than to another element), it’s going to switch with another element.

– You seriously, really need a constant theme. You can have multiple themes if you want, but allow users to choose their theme or something, but by default please leave a constant theme. Just look at your WYSIWYG editor or the “trigger happy” popup that appears when you view the Pageflakes page.

And please change that ugly arrow in your date selection widget :)

Comment by Michael — November 21, 2007

@Rey
Sorry, I just can’t “fix it” when people become “personal” and non-constructive :(
@Scriptor
Thank you ;)
@Michael
Thank you, those are really relevant and constructive criticism that actually helps us out and makes it possible for us to create something better and improve! I’ll add all of those up on our TODO and try to see what we can do to fix them :)
The arrow in the DateTimePicker I could probably even do myself ;)
Regarding the eye-candy parts we know about it and it is a huge problem for us. We just had a process for the redesign of the entire website which went very well (we think that is ;) where we had a new Logo and changed the entire design of the site. As of from now we are focusing a LOT on upgrading the bling parts of the samples and we’re also in discussions with getting help from professional designers and such. (BTW if anybody here knows about great designers with a “development understandment” get them to contact us :)

Comment by Thomas Hansen — November 22, 2007

@Michael
“And please change that ugly arrow in your date selection widget”
I am working on the samples right now in fact and I thought I’d do this one since it’s a pretty easy one to fix. I am though not sure which of them you mean, we have (sigh!) three different themes on the page and all of them have different themes for the drop down button. Do you mean _all_ of them or just one of them…?
Post a URL or something to the one you mean and I’ll try to fix it (with my limited knowledge of design that is ;)

Comment by Thomas Hansen — November 22, 2007

@Michael
“Try this: Select a box, move it around just a little, then drag it back to like 10 pixels up its original location, then release your mouse. Instead of not moving (like it should because it is closest to its original location than to another element), it’s going to switch with another element.”
Fixed…! :)
http://ajaxwidgets.com/AllControlsSamples/Window-Panes-Parts.aspx
The problem was that our Mac OS X theme is actually a lot larger than “what it appears” to be, I just fixed it by exchanging the Mac OS X theme with our “Light Blue” theme… ;)
The other issues you pinpointed needs a little bit more time to be fixed…

Comment by Thomas Hansen — November 22, 2007

Interesting point about people downloading the GPL version when they really needed a commercial license. I bet the majority of commercial web apps developed on top of Ext, Dojo and so on are not actually using the toolkit in accordance with the license. Sadly, the crime to punishment ratio for that is probably pretty low because the BSA only cares about piracy of fully closed-source software, and the FSF lacks the resources to go after all but the highest profile abusers.

The toolkit itself looks like a nice product. If I was developing in ASP.NET, I would seriously consider using it.

Comment by Joeri — November 22, 2007

@Joeri
I think you’re 100% correct here, but I think that Open Source (and especially the copylefted version like GPL/LGPL) will get a lot more attention onwards from now. More and more SW companies are using them as the basis for their commercial products. According to Gartner Group FOSS software is growing (in _REVENUE_) 4 times as much as “traditional” software meaning some way down the line people’s attention and understanding of the different licenses will _have_ to increase and more people that illegally uses FOSS software and components will at least _know_ they are doing it. I don’t think there’s many people who are using (L)GPL software illegally today are doing it intentionally :)
But then again I am an optimistic guy who choose to believe in the good of mankind ;)

Comment by Thomas Hansen — November 22, 2007

@ Thomas

There are still probs with the drag and drop :(

If you drag a box to another’s and the headers/title bars perfectly match, they’re not going to switch.

And maybe increase the tolerance a little before switching boxes (you can drag one like barely 10 px into another, and they will switch).

For the arrow, I meant the one that looks like this upside down: ^ :)

As for the themes, I meant perhaps (consider this for your next, eye-candy release :) ) use one constant theme so that all your widgets look like they belong to the same package. Of course, you can have more than one theme, but in this case allow the user to select, and stick with one by default. (pretty much like Ext does) That would really help for users to take your site more seriously.

GL with the project :)

Comment by Michael — November 22, 2007

@Michael
The advice you’re giving us about sticking to one theme is really brilliant and I think we’ll definitely going to follow that one, I haven’t really thought about it that way. It’s more like we’ve thought about it as “show everything” kind of which obviously creates a lot of confusion… ;)
But instead of showing off flexibility we’ve probably more shown the “lack of consistency”…
About the Drag’n’Drop operations in the “Flakes” sample it’s done as a part of the “client-code” in the codebehind (C#) and we’re basicaly calculating overlap of the top/left corner. If the top/left corner is inside any other window they animates and shift places…
It’s not meant as a complete “PageFlakes” sample, it’s more meant to show of the capability of Gaia!
But I take your hint here too… ;)

Comment by Thomas Hansen — November 22, 2007

4 times as much as “traditional” software meaning some way down the line people’s attention and understanding

Comment by koreanplywood — December 25, 2007

I am a web developer on a small team that supports a bunch of civil engineers and some other scientists. We are currently looking at a bunch of frameworks to help us complete an employee portal. Gaia has been a godsend so far. Most of the people in our organization use Mac OSX or some other type of UNIX OS and it has been an uphill battle for me coming in with an ASP.NET background. While I like .NET, we simply can’t use Windows alone here. Not only that, toolsets like Telerik are almost four times as expensive, require twice as much work and won’t work with anything but Visual Studio. I applaud the Gaia team for supporting Mono so that the rest of us won’t be left out. I don’t have much time but I have to say one more thing–developers aren’t worth their pay in my book if they can’t put their feelings aside and not try to pound a square peg into every round hole. Gaia will be my recommendation to my boss next week.

Comment by djhurricane — January 19, 2008

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