We quickly saw that Dojo, ExtJS and MochiKit were not used at all by these sites, which lead us to focus on the other four in this article.
- The New York Times
- Fox News Channel
JQuery is a framework that has received a lot of attention due to its speed, size and smart modular approach which has led to a big library of plugins. Of the websites in this test, 11 used the JQuery framework.
Yahoo! UI Library (YUI)
Websites that couldn’t decide
Some of the websites didn’t just use one framework, but several. This will force all visitors to download more than needed and should be avoided.
The reason for using more than one framework could either be that they want to use the best parts of several frameworks or that they simply started developing using one framework and then later decided to use another one and haven’t been able to migrate all of their code yet.
The ones using more than one framework were Digg (Prototype and JQuery), Bebo (MooTools and YUI) and YouSendIt (Prototype and YUI).
Prototype turned out to be the most-used framework in this survey, with JQuery not far behind. It was also interesting to see that several sites are using the Yahoo! UI Library. We had imagined that this number would be lower and that far more websites would be using Prototype and JQuery.
How the test was performed
We made a list of websites consisting of the Alexa US Top 100 and also Webware’s Top 100 Web Apps (minus actual applications such as Firefox and Skype). Using a special tool we then looked at all the websites after specific keywords to identify the frameworks.
For example, for Prototype we looked for the strings “prototype.js” and “/prototype” which should cover most variations of including the framework, unless the word “prototype” has been completely removed.