Friday, September 5th, 2008

The JavaScript Framework Long Tail

Category: Framework, JavaScript

One of the reasons Dion is such an effective editor here at Ajaxian is his sense for filtering all of the available news from the Ajax community down to about three stories a day. Truth-be-told, with all the submissions we get and what we find on our own, we could easily post 10 stories a day. But in today’s saturated environment, we find three stories is about the right number to keep from overwhelming our readership with too much noise. We hope you agree, and we’re interested in hearing if you feel otherwise.

A consequence of this arbitrary filtering is that some of the lesser known frameworks and libraries simply don’t get covered. We never try to be king-makers, nor do we have that kind of clout–we simply can’t cover everything.

We enjoyed Six Revisions’ recent round-up of 10 new/up-and-coming JavaScript frameworks, many of which we’ve never covered, like Midori, Archetype, JUNE, UIZE, Simple.js, and fleegix.js.

The adventurous among you should take a look! Not too long ago, an up-start named jQuery shook up the existing players… some of these may be next.

Posted by Ben Galbraith at 9:00 am

3.6 rating from 38 votes


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I enjoy the fact that Ajaxian doesn’t toss every story up there under the sun. I don’t have time to filter through every bit of Ajax news that hits the internet. It’s nice to know if I miss a day or two of checking up on here, I wont need to shift through dozens of stories, most of which are not relevant to my interests.

Keep up the good work!

Comment by shypht — September 5, 2008

You’ve got the right idea with limiting the amount of content. I think it’s a perfect balance right now. If you posted 10+ items a day I would unsubscribe in a second.
my $0.02

Comment by manicexpressyv — September 5, 2008

Filtering is good and much appreciated! You could also provide minor news via a (weekly?) digest post that mainly collects links.

Comment by rauschma — September 5, 2008

Where do you see the balance between a lot of advanced functionality on the one hand and being well known on the other hand?
If it needs to be wellknown before achieving any coverage, it becomes a catch 22, which is hard to bypass.
The framework I’m involved with is superior to some others in some ways, but it’s hardly as wellknown.

Comment by Mikael Bergkvist — September 5, 2008

One of the things I love about this site is that I rarely regret taking the time to read the articles. I find both quality information and interesting things I was not looking for but that I’m glad I was made aware of.

Comment by JeromeLapointe — September 5, 2008

I like the setup you have going on now. I guess 1 or 2 more stories a day would be acceptable, but beyond that your feed is gonna start looking like Slashdot’s.

Comment by tj111 — September 5, 2008

UIZE looks promising. At this point in my js work, I’m really not looking for a dom focused lib like jquery.. I need something high level, with a consistent pattern for developing components. Right now this is the exclusive domain of Extjs/Dojo and maybe Yahoo (excluding commercial toolkits)

Sproutcore was slow and full of errors on IE7, so right away thats off the list.

Thanks for the good post.

Comment by ilazarte — September 5, 2008

I <3 Spry

Comment by V1 — September 5, 2008

I could easily read *WAY* more than 3 stories at per day, though I might be special since this (Ajax) is my main obsession. Though what I would hope for is for you to be more broad in your coverage of libraries. The Moo guys(/cheerleaders) have pointed this out many times for one. I think I tend to agree with them, though here too I am probably not your “average reader” since I have my own Ajax library which I often send you links about and you occassionally do write about… (which I am extremely happy for BTW ;)
I am not really sure if there’s an “easy fix” for this either since the four/five largest libraries in the JS/Ajax worls are so extremely large which means that many of your readers cares about them specifically. But I do think that by not writing about much of the other stuff that much you’re “alienating” a potential HUGE crowd which uses those libs…
The guys that have used jQuery/Prototype/whatever_huge.js for years doesn’t need convincing about Ajax superiority I guess. Though the guys that have been doing non-web/JS/Ajax development might be lurking around Flex, Silverlight, ActiveX or something else. Those are the ones we need to convince. And by reaching out to those I think we might get those on board too … ;)
This doesn’t mean that you should start writing about Silverlight, Swing or WinForms or something similar though. But it might mean you should maybe write about “border line” stuff like how to combine ORM through (n)Hibernate with Ajax. How you can write Ajax in jBoss or how you can write a killer video plugin in ASP.NET not using Silverlight but purely HTML5 and JSetc…
I probably spilled my guts here, also in such a way that I may not be understood completely. But I think what I am trying to say is that “Ajax is too important to be left for the JavaScript developers” ;)
(Rewriting of; “Wars are too important to be left to the generals”…)

Comment by ThomasHansen — September 5, 2008

I want to throw in gara Javascript Toolkit. I just working on that as a SWT/JFace (Eclipse) webclone. See the demo :)

Comment by gossi — September 5, 2008

Keep up the great work.

Comment by holts — September 5, 2008

V1, it seems like you think that the technologies like Flex and Silverlight are somehow “worse” than the “Mighty Ajax”. Argue please!
Especially – within different contexts – e. g. why is it better to have an Ajax app for an intranet portal or app than the same one in Flex?

Comment by VasiliyRuzanov — September 5, 2008

I like the number of posts. If I want more, the JavaScript section of reddit is always loaded full.
I do wish ONE of the contributers to Ajaxian would take the weekend shift, though.

Comment by Nosredna — September 5, 2008

qooxdoo was used in gmxmail. I didn’t know that. That’s actually a pretty nice piece of work.

Comment by Nosredna — September 5, 2008

It’s not about being “better”. It’s about building your apps on an Open platform like the Open Web or a closed proprietary system owned by one big player with all the disadvantages that carries.

Comment by ThomasHansen — September 6, 2008

>>A consequence of this arbitrary filtering is that some of the lesser known frameworks and libraries simply don’t get covered.

I find it hard to believe that the filtering process is “arbitrary.”

Comment by Nosredna — September 6, 2008

It’s easy for editors to get stuck in a particular path — they post articles about X, Y, and Z, and when they measure response they see that their readers love articles about X, a lot of Y, and a little less about Z. But you can’t measure the popularity of something that doesn’t exist.

With standard AB Testing, you may want the alternative to show up a lot less frequently than the primary, but you need it to show up sometimes to get the measurements. Maybe what you should do is make a regular, once-a-week article specifically about a lesser-discussed topic that would include these libraries. “Future Directions and Betas” or some such, as a weekly thing on Fridays. If a particular topic gets a good response, you’ll notice and it will slowly work its way into the general posting.

I love what you do. I hope this idea helps.

Comment by quixote218 — September 6, 2008

I too would like to see some exciting information on lesser known frameworks. How about queuing up some of these articles to be posted as a group on the weekend? I’m most interested in intranet, business application frameworks and these are not the most “popular” so throwing something in along those lines periodically would be great. I still enjoy your postings and thank you for your efforts!

Comment by davidj6 — September 7, 2008

# of posts is just about right. i wouldn’t be able to handle much more than you’re currently offering.

the idea of a weekly ‘what’s up and coming’ could be interesting. i could probably handle one extra post per week.

Comment by jlbruno — September 9, 2008

yet another great js framework!

Comment by webflake — September 12, 2008

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