Visual Studio Toolbox
- By Terrence Dorsey
The Major Frameworks
Beyond that, the differences between these frameworks boil down to implementation details and development philosophy. Which is best? It depends on your project and your preferences.
Perhaps the best way to sort them out is by comparing their strengths and weaknesses. Fortunately, the Internet is full of critics.
One highlight of my research was finding the JSFiddle-like Knockout tutorial at learn.knockoutjs.com, as shown in Figure 1. I love interactive learning tools like this that let me get a feel for the code, experiment a bit as I go and see real-time results -- without committing to any setup. More like this, please.
New Kids on the Block
And while not a framework exactly, the Offline.js library looks like a great tool for gracefully handling lost connections in an increasingly mobile world. It indicates connection status, queues AJAX requests that can't go through, and retries them when connectivity resumes.
Let's Not Forget jQuery
The big, new feature of this release will be internal support for Asynchronous Module Definition (AMD), which enables asynchronously-loaded dependencies and should provide significant performance benefits. This was a major behind-the-scenes update and, as a result, there are no API changes with these releases. It's all upside.
jQuery UI (the Web interaction widget library that works with jQuery) and jQuery Mobile (a UI development framework for HTML5 mobile apps) also continue active development. It's mostly iterative updates for jQuery UI, but significant work is being done on the jQuery Mobile side, and Dragan Gaić has a great summary of "What's New in jQuery Mobile 1.4" if you're working on cross-platform mobile apps.
Weird and Wonderful
Terrence Dorsey is a technical writer, editor and content strategist specializing in technology and software development. Over the last 25-plus years he has worked on developer-focused projects at ESPN, The Code Project, and Microsoft. Read his blog at http://terrencedorsey.com or follow @tpdorsey on Twitter.