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Web Developer Resource Index: Libraries

JavaScript Libraries, or frameworks, are sets of pre-written, bundled, and related code and data, usually with a single objective by design. By incorporating (loading or linking to) them ito your pages, it typically results in the simplification of what are often tedious tasks. Well designed and implemented JavaScript libraries can significantly increase the productivity of the developer.

Examples of library categories include Ajax, CSS, DOM traversal and manipulation, special effects and generating dynamic user-interfaces. General purpose libraries fit into one or more than one of these categories, and/or are extensible through a plug-in architecture.

Complex libraries are often shipped “minified,” meaning all extraneous whitespace and comments are stripped out of the code. This results in a smaller footprint and shorter download times, but makes the source code very difficult to read and understand. However, library authors will usually make the original version available for development environments, allowing the user to read, study, and alter the library to improve it, repair bugs, and so on, while the minimized version is reserved for staging and production.

JavaScript is incredibly popular these days. The quantity and quality of Libraries, and development, API, effects, and Ajax frameworks, have exploded in the past few years. For that reason, and because it was getting a little crowded downstairs, I’ve created this sub-category.

I’ve also taken the time to evaluate most of them—and in my opinion (I’m not alone in this assessment)—jQuery is a real standout. You don’t even have to host it yourself any longer, let Google do it for you.

Updated: Friday, January 16th, 2009 @ 12:41 AM EST



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Last updated: Friday, January 16th, 2009 @ 12:41 AM EST [2009-01-16T05:41:38Z]   home

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