domingo, 22 de enero de 2012

Comparing YUI vs jQuery for simple tasks

Most of the people agree on the fact that using jQuery is not enough to build complex web apps.   When building one of those apps with jQuery you will probably end up including additional libraries and tools for logging, widgets, graphs, MVC infrastructure, history tracking, unit testing, minification... or moving to a different framework like dojo, YUI or ExtJS.

So, we can not create complex apps just with jQuery, but on the other side... Should we create simple apps with those bigger frameworks?  Are they really imposing a performance overhead and making much more complex to implement simple tasks?

To answer that question I tried to implement three typical use cases of simple apps with jQuery and YUI to compare the code produced.  Those typical use cases are 1) Attaching event handlers, 2) Modifying the DOM and 3) Making async HTTP requests.

1) Attaching event handlers (f.e. to catch a click event)
jQuery: $(selector).click(function() { });
YUI:'click', function() { });
Conclusion: YUI slightly more verbose (but could be aliased as $ and the syntax is the same with both libraries in case of using event delegation). Result: tie

2) Modifying DOM (f.e. to show a div)
jQuery: $(selector).show();
Conclusion: Identical (at least for this example).  Result: tie

3) Making async HTTP requests
jQuery: $.post(url, function() {} );
YUI:, { method: 'POST', { on: { success: function() { }} } )
Conclusion: YUI slightly more verbose.  I'm also missing deferreds support in YUI.  Result: jQuery wins

* Selectors are pretty similar and didn't find relevant differences in the support included in jQuery and YUI

Regarding the size of the library, some quick information without too much investigation (minified but without considering compression):
jQuery 1.7.1: 90KB
YUI min (limited but allows deferred loading of rest of yui components): 70KB
YUI min + dom + events + animations + io (equivalent to jquery?): 150KB
Disclaimer: I'm not an expert on YUI, comments and corrections are more welcomed

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