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Essential JavaScript Frameworks

Essential JavaScript Frameworks

JavaScript is an extremely popular prototype-based scripting language, used to write software applications that can run inside a web browser. It provides for enhanced user interfaces and dynamic websites. JavaScript can, for example, check information entered into a form to ensure it conforms to what is expected by a database. JavaScript is a trademark of Oracle Corporation.

JavaScript should not be confused with Java. Whilst both are used to write computer software that can run inside a web browser, they are unrelated programming languages; Java offers a lot more than simply a programming language.

Whilst some people disable JavaScript in their web browsers due to concerns over security, it remains an important element in creating professional websites. Further, some web sites do not function as well if JavaScript is disabled.

There is a wide range of open source JavaScript frameworks that are available to help speed up the development process of websites. The purpose of this article is to help newcomers to JavaScript narrow the field to a manageable number to explore. The frameworks here have a wide range of features, such as Document Object Model querying and manipulation, Asynchronous JavaScript and XML (Ajax) request handling, and an interface widget library being a few examples.

To provide an insight into the quality of software that is available, we have compiled a list of excellent JavaScript frameworks. All of the software featured here is released under a freely distributable license, although some also are available in commercial editions. We give our highest recommendation to JQuery, Ext JS and Google Web Toolkit.

So let's explore the JavaScript frameworks at hand. For each framework we have compiled its own portal page, a full description with an in-depth analysis of its features, together with links to relevant resources and reviews.

JavaScript Frameworks
JQuery Designed to change the way that you write JavaScript
Ext JS Cross-browser JavaScript framework for building rich internet applications
Google Web Toolkit Used by many products at Google, including Google Wave and AdWords
DHTMLX Rich JavaScript framework offering a complete set of UI components
Prototype Aims to ease development of dynamic web applications
Dojo Toolkit Modular JavaScript framework designed to ease the rapid development
MooTools Designed for the intermediate to advanced JavaScript developer

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Last Updated Tuesday, March 25 2014 @ 02:39 PM EST


We have written a range of guides highlighting excellent free books for popular programming languages. Check out the following guides: C, C++, C#, Java, JavaScript, CoffeeScript, HTML, Python, Ruby, Perl, Haskell, PHP, Lisp, R, Prolog, Scala, Scheme, Forth, SQL, Node.js (new), Fortran (new), Erlang (new), Pascal (new), and Ada (new).


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