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Learning The Yahoo! User Interface Library

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Sort by: Showing all of 4 Customer Reviews
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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 2, 2008

    Excellent Book on YUI Library

    The Yahoo! User Interface Library is a free resource provided by Yahoo! for web developers. It's a collection of utilities that enable developers to build cross-browser web applications quickly and easily. This library has been around for a few years now and is very extensive. It contains utilities, components, controls (widgets), and CSS tools. This can be very confusing for the developer who has no previous experience with using these types of tools. Even though Yahoo! has some very good online documentation, it still can be difficult to get started using some of these many online tools. Dan Wellman really explains the main core components of YUI Library very well and would be very helpful to anybody wanting to quickly get started using the YUI. Dan starts off with a great overview of YUI, with some simple examples. Then in the next chapter (2), the author goes into the CSS tools that it provides to help the develop create consistent web pages of layout and design. The next chapter (3), explains many of the DOM and Event manipulation classes that are provided. This is a very useful chapter because many web pages that use JavaScript require manipulation of web elements on the page. Using many the DOM methods in YUI make it very easy to access any element on a web page. Continuing with the book, Dan then focuses on the Ajax and Connection Manager classes. Ajax has almost become the defacto-standard of displaying and access data on a web page and using classes explained in this chapter make it very easy to understand many of the useful examples the author use such as a log-in page, newsreaders, etc. I was able to following along very easily and create similar examples based upon the author¿s explanations. The rest of the book goes into many of the other useful classes such as: Animation, Buttons, Navigation Trees, Content Containers, and Drag-andDrop, and Auto-complete. You can create almost any type of web interface from the components that are explained from this great book. If there is one library you use, it should be the YUI Library because it is backed by Yahoo! so you know it is not going anywhere and fully tested and this should be your book that you buy to truly understand it. A great buy!

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 15, 2008

    useful tools and widgets

    Perhaps as a way to gain mindshare amongst programmers, Yahoo has released a user interface library. It lets webpage coders take advantage of a set of free and extensively debugged routines and widgets. Wellman explains how these are geared towards those who use CSS and, especially, JavaScript in their pages. At a purely pragmatic level, you need have essentially nothing to do with Yahoo, or with using its main set of domains (like for email). It's not like you'll be endorsing Yahoo with your uptake of its YUI library. Wellman points out that you need to be already conversant with CSS and JavaScript, and with Ajax. Though the book does a good book explaining Ajax from scratch. Of the various classes and widgets in YUI, you can pick and choose for your needs. The simplest and most useful might be reset.css. This does 'element normalisation'. The programmers at Yahoo surveyed the major browsers and the typical platforms on which these run. From this, they made reset.css. It acts as a default stylesheet, giving roughly the same presentation results across the browsers. Removing a major pain for you. Potentially a big time saver, as it might let you avoid a lot of low level miserable grubby details about checking out your pages on various browser + operating system combinations. The most complex section of the book is clearly the chapter on drag and drop. No surprise to any of you who might have coded DND, whether for a browser or for a desktop application. DND is often simply a real pain to code, in any language or environment. The YUI DND does help, somewhat, but still nontrivial.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted March 18, 2009

    My Review of YAHOO User Interface Book

    The book was definitely informative. It explained the subjects rather thoroughly. My biggest issue was that the book did not include the latest javascript widgets created by yahoo.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 11, 2008

    A good primer to learning the YUI

    The Yahoo! User Interface Library sits comfortably amongst its peers, which include Prototype, jQuery and Mootools amongst many others. Arguably it can be said that the YUI library is the king among the JavaScript and CSS-libraries. With a vast number of well documented examples and near 100% compatibility amongst modern browsers, it would be difficult to find a comparable library. It is one thing to be a well documented library, but it is another to know how to use the libraries to construct a user interface. This is the niche Dan Wellman fills with his book. Although not necessarily for the beginner, since you need a knowledge of CSS, JavaScript and a little AJAX, Wellman does a good job of explaining the concepts, especially AJAX, from scratch. Wellman provides an A-to-Z of the library and assumes, rightly, that the reader has little or no knowledge of the library. To that effect, he does a long introduction of the YUI, following an overall review of its components, listing them in the first chapter. He then picks up a selection of some of the most established utilities, for example navigation, animation and AJAX utilities and in the following chapters he covers one or two examples for each of them. Importantly, the book teaches the reader how to not only use the DOM manipulation and event handling aspects of the library, but also the CSS tools of the library. Wellman does a good job of introducing the technical aspects at the beginning of each chapter, but not dwelling too long before moving on to real usage and methods. What I would have liked to have seen is more interaction between different components written about in the book. Clearly building a fully-featured application that incorporates most or all of the key components would be unweildy, but individual and isolated examples doesn't equate real-world scenarios either. For example, it is quite conceivable that autocomplete and drag-and-drop components would be utilised on the same page it would have been good if Wellman had explained the pains or pitfalls that may be encountered with such combinations. The negativity aside, the examples are of a good quality. The book does contain a number of errors, but since this is the first edition you can probably forgive the editors from missing them. A major gripe I have with this book, indeed all technical books is the lack of colour throughout. It is far easier to read and understand the example code when code colouring is employed, allowing for easier understanding of the key elements in the code. Surely modern publishing techniques can mitigate against the extra cost of colour. Indeed, I would pay more for a well-written coloured technical book. A great summary chapter on graceful degredation versus progressive enhancement would also have been welcomed, since many developers may not consider the usability and accessibility issues of using JavaScript. This book is certainly a good read for anyone who has basic knowledge of JavaScript, HTML and CSS and who wants to learn how to apply the YUI library in their projects, making them more interactive for the user.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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