Like Robert, I have a very cautious attitude when it comes to the wholesale use of third-party libraries. Let me clarify something , though: I am not anti-library. I just think that they need to be used correctly by people who know how they work (an attitude that Stuart Langridge characterises as “elitist”).
Building up your own library, on the other hand, is something I wholeheartedly approve of. I’m pretty sure it’s something that just about every developer does anyway, but it really is a great way of accumulating wisdom… wisdom being knowledge over time.
Something I very much like about libraries is that they provide a motherlode of code from which developers can pluck the gems they like. Rather than an “all or nothing” approach, I think it’s healthy to see people sifting out the bits they really like, be it an elegant Ajax shortcut or a time-saving replacement for long-winded DOM methods.
I haven’t really looked very closely at the licenses under which the major libraries are released, but I’m assuming that this kind of scrapheap scavenging is allowed, or possibly even encouraged. Of course, I could be completely wrong about that so I’d better go and have a closer look at the fine print before I decide to appropriate a useful function for my own personal code collection.
Posted by Jeremy on Thursday, January 11th, 2007 at 1:09pm