SoC successes

The Dojo Foundation has been very lucky in having had so many supporters (Google, Mozilla, SitePen) and so many interested students and mentors for the summer internships. While some of them aren’t yet wrapped up, today’s announcement of the linker hitting trunk makes me want to at least give an overview of what’s been accomplished so far.

dojo.gfx — portable 2D graphics with a DOM

Unlike <canvas> based solutions, dojo.gfx.* gives you what you really want when you’re building apps: a good way to draw a shape that you can attach event handlers to. It’s also not limited to whatever rectangle you’ve carved out on-screen for the drawing area. Kun Xi, Eugene Lazutkin, and Gavin Doughtie have been cranking on this all summer and in Dojo 0.4, you’ll be able to say “give me a circle here” and you won’t be constrained by artificial box constraints or incompatible event handling. I can’t wait to see what gets built with this by people who can design beautiful things. The sky is, finally, the limit.

Plugins for Editor2

Heng Liu and Paul Sowden have been reworking the already fast Editor2 component to support plugins. In the process, Heng has added image insertion dialogs, find/replace support, and contextual menus. When Editor2 was originally designed, flexibility was lost for speed. Now it’s got both, and extensibility to boot.

The Linker

This is the holy grail of JavaScript optimization: removing “dead” code. Dojo already provides a package system to help prevent including too much and a build-time compressor to help reduce the size on the wire of what you do need, but the linker does all of this one better by analyzing the application and figuring out what functions are entirely unused. Thanks to the generosity of AOL, and the hard work of Satish Sekharan, James Burke, and Uwe Hoffman, Dojo now packs such a beast. It’s not integrated into the build system yet, and probably won’t be “prime time” until 0.5, but it works. I’m a huge fan of incremental optimization, and a linker like this will be hugely valuable to large-scale sites that want to make use of any of the JS frameworks that are helping to provide a consistent surface area for developers.

Other projects are still underway and I don’t want to jinx them by talking about them before they’ve landed, but I think that on the basis of this work alone, we can easily classify this summer a success. Huge thanks, of course, to Brian Skinner for his patient and thoughtful work in shepherding of the entire program.


  1. Posted September 6, 2006 at 5:49 am | Permalink

    Aaa fancy editor.

    Anyway, yay linker.

  2. Posted September 19, 2006 at 3:33 am | Permalink

    Well i am sure aobut “dojo.gfx library”, that will surely be inclusive with the release.

  3. ruffy
    Posted November 13, 2006 at 10:39 am | Permalink

    Say friend, maybe you’ll know;

    I downloaded the gwt sdk but have no idea how to set it up on my win2000 box.  There’s no setup.exe or the like.

    Might you know?

One Trackback

  1. […] Dojo 0.4 has almost been released and will include the dojo.gfx library. I’m a little confused by it … is dojo.gfx the same as the Dojo 2D API (a Google Summer of Code 2006 sponsored project)? Either way it’s utilizing SVG (for most browsers) and VML (for IE) to give the web developer a cross-browser way to develop active graphical objects in web pages. […]