Building faster TTL sites with Frameworks – jQuery and MooTools
About a year or so ago I decided to peg my web work against a framework model to save reinventing the wheel for every site I developed – the two frameworks I chose were:
- Blueprint CSS – For its’ ease of implementation (rapid TTL) and customisation
During the selection for the JS frameworks I also looked at
- Dojo – Excellent but rather large and not as well structured. IBM has since got involved with this project and it promises many good things.
- Scriptaculous – Good implementation but the features were seeming to head in the wrong direction (for me at least).
- MochiKit – Same as Scriptaculous
- Prototype – The granddaddy of them all – solid but not as extensive.
- ExtJS – Great library but not truly opensource
- Spry – Coming from Adobe it has to be pretty good, however compared to the other libraries seemed a bit bloated and less well supported from the community.
- jQuery – Great framework that still had some performance issues and lacked some functionality that MooTools provided.
Even though MooTools won, it would be foolhardy not to keep one eye on the competition and see how they grew. In the last quarter of 2008 there seemed to be an increase of jQuery posts both on Digg and dZine. Shortly afterwards jQuery 1.3 was released and my attention turnedto the explosion of articles that popped up on this framework.
jQuery grows up!
jQuery’s implementation of a frame work is slightly different to that of MooTools e.g. extensive promotion of chaining (moo can do this too); its’ community approach seems to be more about plug-ins into the 15k core script to expand its’ capability (MooTools currently weighs in at around 68k with lots of the options turned on). If you search many of the agggregate developer sites (e.g. dZine) you’ll find there’s more article son jQuery than MooTools.
That’s not to say that MooTools is irrelevant – far from it. It’s still an impressive and comprehensive framwork with lots of community support (check out ClientCide or the MooTools forum), and the development team for MooTools is extremely passionate about its’ development. However I now think that jQuery has done significant work to make it a very mature, production level framework, just as MooTools.
Today I checked out the jQuery tutorials and am now in the position of deciding whether to implement my next site design on MooTools or jQuery – both offer advantages and very little disadvantage (when you add all the plugins I’m looking to use there’s not much difference in filesize. I’ll post again when I’ve had chance to check both out head to head.
There’s no one perfect framework – each site you build needs to have a set of goals and that will help you drive the framework of choice. That being said 80% of the time it will probably be MooTools or jQuery.
As for those against frameworks – yes, you don’t get optimized code, but the trade off is well tested, well supported code which most people access using high enough speed networks, so the difference to the end user is negligable.