That’s where the new dojo.E extensions effort comes into play, aimed at making Dojo more declarative so that it can be more easily implemented by a wider array of developers.
The effort is spearheaded by enterprise Ajax developer Nexaweb and comes at a time when the technology is extending deeper into the mainstream of enterprise development efforts.
At the same time, Dojo has emerged as a major force in Ajax, having become one of the mostly widely used toolkits, thanks in part to the backing of major vendors including IBM, Sun and AOL, as well as Nexaweb.
Another benefit of building applications against the dojo.E abstraction layer is that it makes it simple for developers to switch out the underlying Dojo library if it’s upgraded, Buffone said.
While dojo.E will help individual developers in some ways, it’s also intended to assist the vendors with their Ajax tooling efforts.
“The reason why it’s important is it lets Nexaweb, as a software provider, build tooling on top of Dojo — a visual editor for the markup that let developers drag and drop like a WYSIWYG editor,” he added.
Nexaweb is contributing the dojo.E effort to the Dojo Foundation with the hope that others in the open source Ajax community will pick it up.
Foundation officials were positive about the potential for Nexaweb’s contribution to simplify development.
“I do believe that dojo.E gives a class of enterprise developers that love XML the opportunity to do more than what is normally offered by Dojo’s widget system and DojoX.Wire,” said Dojo co-founder Dylan Schiemann, who is also CEO of Dojo Foundation member SitePen. “We believe that choice and flexibility are what this is all about, so yes, we support the efforts of Nexaweb in this endeavor.”
“The Dojo Foundation strives to support all types of developers, and at the same time, we try to limit the constraints we force on our users,” Schiemann told InternetNews.com. “We believe that each additional feature comes at some cost, whether it be a learning curve or performance.”
Schiemann added that some of Nexaweb’s code for dojo.E “has already made its way into the Dojo Toolkit code base for the Dojo 1.2 release due later this month.”
The Dojo 1.1 release came out in April and was focused on stabilizing the Dojo Toolkit. With dojo.E, the 1.2 release will offer users a new way of working with the tool.