More Dojo 1.1 Highlights

By Darryl K. Taft  |  Posted 2008-04-03 Print this article Print

In addition, Dojo 1.1 includes expansions to the widget set, including a new BorderContainer widget that makes it easier for developers to build complex layouts that are difficult to construct with plain HTML and improves layout performance, Russell said. Other extensions to the widget system allow for the use of the Django Template Language. Django is a Python-based Web framework.

"The DTL system makes building data-driven widgets incredibly easy in part because it removes the need to use raw DOM [Document Object Model] APIs for most iteration and conditional display operations," Russell said. "There's even support built right in, allowing query results to be formatted easily."

And some core improvements also show through in the widgets, Russell said. "For instance, animations now feel snappier and drag-and-drop operations have been enhanced to be more fluid."

Dojo 1.1 also supports accessibility by supporting the World Wide Web Consortium's Web Accessibility Initiative's Accessible Rich Internet Applications suite, known as WAI-ARIA.

"By supporting the WAI-ARIA specification, providing keyboard navigation hinting everywhere, and providing a special high-contrast mode theme for our widgets, Dojo 1.1 enables rich apps to work for everyone, and perhaps more importantly, allows applications that build on top of Dojo to address 'Section 508' concerns with confidence," Russell said, referring to Section 508 of the federal Rehabilitation Act, which calls for federal agencies to procure technology that is accessible by persons with disabilities.

Russell said the Dojo Foundation received grants from the Mozilla Foundation and from IBM, which helped with the effort to make Dojo more accessible.

Meanwhile, Dion Almaer, co-founder of, listed several stand-out highlights of Dojo 1.1, among them were the technology's support for Adobe's AIR (Adobe Integrated Runtime) and Aptana's Jaxer, an AJAX (Asynchronous JavaScript and X M L) server.

In February, SitePen announced updates to the Dojo Toolkit to allow AJAX developers to easily deploy Web applications created with Dojo on Adobe AIR. In fact, Adobe worked with SitePen to revise the Dojo Toolkit and enable compatibility with Adobe AIR.

Adobe AIR is a cross-operating system runtime that enables developers to use HTML and AJAX, as well as Adobe Flash or Adobe Flex software to create rich Internet applications for the desktop.

With Dojo 1.1 completed, the core developer team is setting its sights on Dojo 1.2, which will feature improvements to Dijit, the widget system layered on top of Dojo; as well as to refining the Dojo Grid, Dojo Charting and creating a better approach to DojoX, which is an incubator or area for development of extensions to the Dojo toolkit.

Darryl K. Taft covers the development tools and developer-related issues beat from his office in Baltimore. He has more than 10 years of experience in the business and is always looking for the next scoop. Taft is a member of the Association for Computing Machinery (ACM) and was named 'one of the most active middleware reporters in the world' by The Middleware Co. He also has his own card in the 'Who's Who in Enterprise Java' deck.

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