The Yahoo User Interface (YUI) library has been abandoned. In a brief announcement made on August 29, 2014, Director of Engineering Julien Lecomte stated that all development would cease with immediate effect.
What is YUI?yuilibrary.com describes the library as:
- DOM and event handling;
- MVC application frameworks;
- Data structures;
- Helper utilities and functions;
- Developer tools;
- And HTML widgets such as auto-complete fields, calendars, charts, data tables, sliders, tab controls and more.
YUI Pros and ConsOn the plus side, YUI is a complete solution for building cross-browser web applications which (mostly) work in IE6 and above. It has also given us some great side projects such as the YUI Compressor. However, the library possibly became too big and too complex. YUI locked you in and functionality was abstracted from the programmer. That’s fine when everything works but a development nightmare when it doesn’t. Finally, there were complaints about Yahoo’s willingness to accept pull requests from contributors outside the company. I’m not wholly surprised given the number of critical Yahoo applications which depended on YUI.
Why has YUI Been Dropped?Julien Lecomte admits the industry is headed in a new direction:
- Build tools such as Grunt, Gulp and Broccoli allow us to assemble smaller modules into larger applications.
- Frameworks such as Angular, Backbone and Ember approach application development in a more scalable and maintainable way.
- Vendors and standards bodies are working together; there’s less need for custom widgets on legacy browsers when HTML5 can be used.
But I Depend on YUI!Yahoo’s announcement gave no warning but there’s little need to panic. YUI is still available and will continue to work for the immediate future — presuming your application has been successfully completed. The situation is less clear for partially-finished projects. Should you continue to develop an application based on a defunct library? It will probably depend on the size of the task, how much work has been completed and your reliance on YUI. You should certainly be discussing the options and, fortunately, there are numerous alternatives to choose from. Just don’t expect to find a simple drop-in replacement.
A Lesson for Us All?It doesn’t matter which third-party library or framework you use: it will be discontinued at some point. Yes, even jQuery and Angular. That’s not necessarily an argument for developing your own system — even your own code will eventually be superseded. IT moves rapidly and the web is one of the fastest evolving technologies. It’s increasingly difficult to keep up with advances but doing something is infinitely better than doing nothing. Pick a technology stack and stick with it while it’s practical to do so. So goodbye YUI. The web has lost one of it’s more innovative endeavors but, like many, I wasn’t using it anyway.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about YUI
What led to the death of YUI?
What can developers learn from the death of YUI?
The death of YUI teaches developers the importance of adaptability in the ever-evolving tech industry. It emphasizes the need to stay updated with the latest trends and technologies, and the risks associated with relying heavily on a single framework or library. It also highlights the importance of community support and active development in the success of a project.
Is YUI still used today?
While YUI is no longer actively developed or maintained, some legacy systems and applications may still use it. However, due to its obsolescence and the availability of more efficient alternatives, its use in new projects is highly discouraged.
What are some alternatives to YUI?
What was the purpose of YUI?
YUI was designed to help developers build rich, interactive web applications. It provided a comprehensive set of utilities and controls for tasks like DOM manipulation, event handling, animation, and AJAX requests.
Why was YUI popular?
YUI was popular due to its comprehensive feature set and the backing of Yahoo!, one of the biggest tech companies at the time. It was one of the first libraries to offer features like modular design and lazy loading, which were innovative at the time.
What are the main features of YUI?
YUI offered a wide range of features, including DOM manipulation, event handling, AJAX, animation, and more. It also introduced concepts like modular design and lazy loading, and provided a robust set of UI controls.
How can I migrate from YUI to another library?
Migrating from YUI to another library involves replacing YUI-specific code with equivalent code in the new library. This can be a complex process, depending on the size and complexity of the application. It’s recommended to plan the migration carefully and test thoroughly to ensure a smooth transition.