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charoco
4 Jun 2007, 6:11 PM
Hey,

Stumbled across Jack's old yui-ext site yesterday looking for some help with improving drag and drop performance and then found about Ext.

I must confess, while it certainly seems that Ext is a powerful library and I am intrigued at how it can help me with my current application, I'm having a hard time finding the big picture overview of Ext.

The "Introduction to Ext" tutorial dives into syntax by the third paragraph without laying the groundwork for the scope of the library -- give me a quick overview of all of the features and benefits. Presumably, the play here is to build something of higher quality than the current big open source offerings, and to charge for it. Great! How about a chart or something telling me what I'm getting with Ext that I'm not getting with YUI, etc.?

The Examples in the Documentation Center have a dropdown with library settings of "Ext Stand-alone" then YUI, jQuery and Scriptaculous. If not for the word "stand-alone", I might assume that the dropdown is comparing the performance and capabilities of different libraries. I've seen includes of js files for other libraries, so it appears that Ext can use these as engines, but I haven't yet found anything that explains how to do this or why it's advantageous.

I'd love to learn more about this product but right now my concern is not with setRenderer and loadMask methods, but with learning -- do I ditch scriptaculous, or extend it with Ext? What would that entrail? How much time is this thing gonna save me? What can it do for me that my current library can't?

If I've missed a place where these more introductory questions can be answered, my apologies. If not, any help the community could give me would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks in advance.

brian.moeskau
4 Jun 2007, 8:39 PM
Have you watched the overview screencast? It gives a good idea of some of the major widgets and what they look like in an application context:

http://extjs.com/what-ext-javascript-library-all-about/

Ext can run on any of the three base libraries (or standalone, new in the most recent release) which can provide some base functionality like effects, ajax connectivity, etc. The reason is that if you already have an existing code base using YUI, jQuery or Prototype, you can add Ext while saving some bytes by using your exisitng library for some of the base plumbing. If you don't care about that, then stick with the standalone version.

"How much time is this thing gonna save me? What can it do for me that my current library can't?"

Well, aside from the widgets, which you can compare yourself to the quality of competing widgets, depending on what you need, the API is what draws most programmers to Ext. I'll let other community members chime in if they want to about this. The best thing to do is pick a small problem and prototype it in Ext and ask questions here when needed. That's really the only way to figure out for yourself if it's a good choice for you.

charoco
5 Jun 2007, 9:29 AM
Have you watched the overview screencast? It gives a good idea of some of the major widgets and what they look like in an application context:

http://extjs.com/what-ext-javascript-library-all-about/

Ext can run on any of the three base libraries (or standalone, new in the most recent release) which can provide some base functionality like effects, ajax connectivity, etc. The reason is that if you already have an existing code base using YUI, jQuery or Prototype, you can add Ext while saving some bytes by using your exisitng library for some of the base plumbing. If you don't care about that, then stick with the standalone version.
...

Brian, thanks for the reply. I figured that Ext can take advantage of existing libraries to save bytes. Where's the examples on *how* to configure that, the things to watch out for, notes on discrepancies in behavior, etc.? Example: I noticed that the drag-and drop example for the tree control doesn't autoscroll in an overflow div using the Scriptaculous library, though it does for YUI and stand alone.

As for watching the screencast, sure I did,. What I guess I wasn't expressing clearly enough was my thought that the site could benefit from a more traditional marketing focus when hit through the front door -- Features, Benefits, FAQ, etc. An 11 minute screencast while useful for it's purpose, shouldn't be a replacement for a more accessible overview of the tool.

Best,

brian.moeskau
5 Jun 2007, 11:30 AM
Thanks for your feedback. We definitely realize the need for more general overview information on the site -- it's just one on a list of many, many things that need to get done at some point. Our resources are limited, so working on the library and doing support tend to take priority over everything else. The site will evolve as we go, and I'm sure that improving our marketing will become a bigger focus soon.