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From a UX design perspective (design freedom, interaction polish, usability, skin-ability, etc.), what JavaScript UI framework is best? Particularly, we are looking at ExtJS and JQuery. And, yes, we need a good grid control, so I'm leaning toward Ext.

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closed as off topic by Rahul May 20 '12 at 14:53

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Don't you mean jQuery UI? –  rick schott Aug 19 '10 at 19:28
    
jQuery UI has a bunch of controls, but you would probably need to extend out to other plugins depending on the situation. –  Glen Lipka Aug 20 '10 at 1:03
    
jQuery is not comparable to ExtJs, it's better to compare it with jQuery UI. –  Afshin Mehrabani Dec 15 '12 at 6:37
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6 Answers 6

up vote 10 down vote accepted

Im on the jquery evangelism team as well as a speaker at the upcoming Extjs conference. We use ExtJS extensively at Marketo.

If your requirements are simple, publically accessible, and being done by web developers, then use jQuery.

If this is a more complex situation, you have more hard core engineers, behind a username/password, then I suggest ExtJS.

ExtJS is a lifesaver for our flagship product and we clearly fall into the latter camp. However, for our public website, We use jQuery because its more lightweight and easier.

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Do you have any experience with Dojo? –  Jim Jarrett Aug 20 '10 at 11:07
    
Any comments on the levels of support from any of these libraries? (From the community in the case of jQuery UI and Sencha in the case of the commercially licensed library.) –  Jim Jarrett Aug 20 '10 at 11:09
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Ive tried dojo. Its complicated like extjs, but without all the great components. Regarding support, both have been very good. The Jquery community is stellar, plus stack overflow works great as a fallback. –  Glen Lipka Aug 21 '10 at 16:04
    
This is a bit off topic, But what is the serverside technology you use with Ext JS? –  user6434 Jul 12 '11 at 6:23
    
Am I a year late in responding? :( Sorry. It's PHP, although we aren't super happy with it. –  Glen Lipka Jul 6 '12 at 21:58
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If you need a powerful grid than look at dhtmlx framework: http://dhtmlx.com It has a very good set of UI widgets, and the grid control is one of the best JavaScript grids I've seen.

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I know you want to know ExtJS vs jQuery, but I'd have a serious look at the BBC's glow framework. The BBC considers usability and accessibility top priorities, and has designed its javascript framework around those elements in order to meet its own standards & guidelines.

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Seems like a nice library, with laudable goals. However, our needs are quite different, not requiring nearly as much browser compatibility. –  Jim Jarrett Aug 20 '10 at 11:10
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I think both have what you need. Try both of them for a while and see which works better for you and by using which framework you feel better!

ExtJS has more controls built in it but jQuery UI core is a little child and you should extend it by plugins ( plenty of them around internet!! ).

But I prefer jQueryUI, it is simple and light weight.

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+1. Absolutely correct. Its actually about the requirements. –  Afshin Mehrabani Dec 15 '12 at 7:28
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From a UX design perspective, you are never going to beat something that has been designed for your users' specific needs.

Because of that, if you really had to pick between jQuery UI and ExtJS, I'd go with jQuery, since it is more about providing the basic skeleton that you need. ExtJS is over-designed.

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The subclassing system lets you modify the existing behavior, which is what we did extensively. It still saved us a ton of time versus building it all from scratch or starting with a jQuery plugin. –  Glen Lipka Aug 20 '10 at 1:02
    
We invest a lot of effort in building and customizing things to real user needs. What we need is a great library for the basics. Not all of the screens in our products are "core" and deserve the investment of engineering time. I'm designing patterns and archetypes that can be used for all the other stuff, like form fill-ins, data table display and manipulation, etc. –  Jim Jarrett Aug 20 '10 at 11:13
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of all the frameworks I have seen ExtJS has the best controls. So if you need nice data bound controls ExtJS is what you are looking for.

If you need nice animations, menu and plain old UI effects jQuery is better simply because there are much more plugins.

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