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strayhand
26 Jan 2011, 8:39 AM
Problem:

I really like the functionality offered by ExtJS, but I have a few reservations about running everything client-side. I understand that it makes sense for a full-blown Web app. BUT, what about when you want to have multiple "widgets" on a page? You could write it all in ExtJS and connect it to some server-side data-store, but then you'd run into issues of:


Accessibility - Making your data available to screen readers etc.
SEO - Making your content visible to search engines like Google.
Analytics - Understanding what your clients are clicking on (Well, there are ways around this but I'll mention it anyways).

In addition, I don't want to have to rebuild parts of my widget serverside just so that I can have an initial state for the widget content. That seems like a huge waste of resources.

Questions:


How are other people overcoming these challenges?



Is anyone out there running ExtJS serverside?


Possible Solutions:

Here are some potential solutions that I've come across (But to be honest none of them look very attractive right now).

Node.js

http://nodejs.org (http://nodejs.org/)

Kind of the new kid on the block, Node.js describes itself as an Event I/O platform, but what interests me is the fact that it interprets JavaScript on the server. It looks cool in principle but the documentation is thin, and I have not idea where I'd even begin to try and render ExtJS with node.js.

Jaxer

http://jaxer.org (http://jaxer.org/)

A JavaScript server sponsored by Aptana. Looks like exactly what I would need to execute some ExtJS severside. BUT, it hasn't been updated since 2009, it's main sponsor was Aptana (Which just got bought out) and it's slower than PHP (It uses the Mozilla JavaScript Engine).

Narwhal

http://narwhaljs.org (http://narwhaljs.org/)

A Javascript platform for building JavaScript applications outside of the browser. This is very much like node.js in that it looks really cool and promising, but also very bleeding edge and risky. There isn't a tone of documentation and again I'd have no idea where to start.

Ext4yii

http://www.ext4yii.com (http://www.ext4yii.com/)
http://www.yiiframework.com (http://www.yiiframework.com/)

An extension of the PHP framework Yii. Ext4Yii is a commercial product that basically allows you to render ExtJS components on the server by defining an XML document. This seems to resolve some of the my issues with having widgets render solely in the client. However it's kind of a bolt on of a bolt on. I mean I'd have to get use to ExtJS, Yii and Ext4Yii. YIKES!

I'm looking forward to any feedback that you may offer. Thanks.

strayhand
27 Jan 2011, 8:49 AM
It's looks like YUI3 is beating all of the other JavaScript frameworks to the server:

http://yuilibrary.com/projects/nodejs-yui3/

David Glass has assembled some libraries that allow developers to write JavaScript so that it can be used on the server, or in the client with YUI3 and Node.js. I haven't tried this yet but these videos look pretty interesting.

http://developer.yahoo.com/yui/theater/video.php?v=yuiconf2010-glass (http://developer.yahoo.com/yui/theater/video.php?v=yuiconf2010-glass)
http://developer.yahoo.com/yui/theater/video.php?v=yuiconf2010-taylor

I realize that this is an EXTJS forum but has anyone out there tried these? Does Sencha have any plans to take their framework serverside?