Yahoo’s gift to developers

I mentioned back in December that I had the pleasure of attending an internal developer’s conference at Yahoo UK. I wrapped up my summary of the event by saying:

This is just the start - expect to see lots of cool JavaScript stuff coming out of Sunnyvale.

What I was hinting at then has come to fruition today. Yahoo have thrown open their gates, allowing the developer community to share in the fruits of their labour. The Creative Commons licensed design patterns contains the collective wisdom of untold man hours. Add to that the user interface library (now open-sourced) and you’ve got a fantastic set of resources being handed to developers on a platter.

This openness is very welcome. There’s no obligation on developers to use the utilities or widgets from Yahoo, but just the fact that they are on offer (with documentation) is a good thing for the developer community at large.

Yahoo have been leading the way on the server-side with their multitude of APIs. Now client-side developers have an equally valuable resource.

As a JavaScript developer, I should really be celebrating the release of the code behind the user interface library as the big event. But, to be honest, I think it’s the knowledge contained in the design patterns that’s really valuable.

The truth is that when you, as an individual developer, address user interface questions (“how do I make this intuitive?”, “how do I indicate what this widget can do?”), it makes a lot of sense to stand on the shoulders of a large organisation that has faced the same problems in real-world situations.

Let’s be honest: there’s no shortage of great JavaScript libraries out there, as acknowledged by Yahoo:

A rising tide lifts all boats. We’ve been inspired and motivated by the work done on other open-source JavaScript libraries — Sam Stephenson at Protoype, Thomas Fuchs at Scriptaculous, and Alex Russell at Dojo, to name just three.

The accumulated wisdom of over 100 engineers is the real gold dust. Visit the Yahoo User Interface Blog, bookmark it, add your comments, and make the most of this generous gift.

Posted by Jeremy on Tuesday, February 14th, 2006 at 10:03pm


This is amazing! Thanks for sharing the links. I am quiet impressed they released all this information. :)

# Posted by Laura Zucchetti on Thursday, March 9th, 2006 at 4:36pm

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February 2006

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