AJAX toolkit selection criteria

David Bolter david.bolter at utoronto.ca
Thu Apr 5 14:04:24 UTC 2007

Colin Clark wrote:
> Hi Antranig,
> On 4-Apr-07, at 2:21 PM, Antranig Basman wrote:
>> The need for a lot of the event frameworks would seem to be
>> considerably mitigated by use of a more closure-based programming
>> style - that is, having ones handlers be simple null-arg functions
>> which instead of relying on "this" have all of their relevant
>> context closed over already.
>> ...
>> Are there any other aspects of event handling that we think could
>> usefully be abstracted? So far I do not seem to have run into any
>> of these requirements yet in the RSF widgets I have built so far,
>> which just use the standard DOM events - they are many of them
>> admittedly quite simple things.
> This is an interesting point, and I will admit that I don't have the  
> experience to know if the various event systems in current toolkits  
> are actually valuable. Most of them seem to provide some event  
> support beyond the standard DOM events. Perhaps we shouldn't consider  
> this a particularly important criteria, then? Does anyone have any  
> opinions about the event model in Dojo or other toolkits?
First, thanks to all who clarified
 > diff -u
- even abstraction
+ event abstraction

Banter follows:

Well, I was going to reply as Antranig did with something vaguely 
similar but not nearly as coherent or deep. A quick introduction about 
myself here... I'm working specifically on dojo accessibility (ARIA, and 
keyboard access). With the bugs I have worked on so far, I haven't 
developed a strong opinion or deep understanding of the dojo event 
system as it is actually implemented. As Antranig discusses elsewhere in 
his response regarding YUI and"this", I can say Dojo provides similar 
support through "hitch" (of whether that's good or bad I don't have an 

I haven't made use of dojo's publish and subscribe system yet and 
haven't formed an opinion. The site is down at the moment so I can't 
brush up on my knowledge for a more informed response.

With browser events generally, I think any toolkit is probably going to 
want to provide a developer with wrapper API for browser normalization. 
Dojo wraps. 

e.g. dojo.event.browser.addListener(node, "contextmenu", this.hitchedOpen);

This function does some event normalization including some handy key 
event normalization etc.

I hate IE.


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