Google To Host Ajax – JavaScript Libraries

With the Google I/O developer event kicking off in San Francisco, announcements from Google are coming thick and fast. The two interesting ones for the day are the release of Ajax Libraries API and the scheduled release of GWT 1.5.

The official description for the AJAX Libraries API is “It is a content distribution network and loading architecture for the most popular open source JavaScript libraries. By using the Google AJAX API Loader’s google.load() method, your application has high speed, globally available access to a growing list of the most popular JavaScript open source libraries including: jQuery, prototype, script.aculo.us, MooTools and dojo Google works directly with the key stake holders for each library effort and accept the latest stable versions as they are released. Once we host a release of a given library, we are committed to hosting that release indefinitely. ”

Dion Almaer from Google explains “Whenever I wrote an application that uses one of these frameworks, I would picture a user accessing my application, having 33 copies of prototype.js, and yet downloading yet another one from my site. It would make me squirm. What a waste!…”

What if we hosted these files? Everyone would see some instant benefits:
1) Caching can be done correctly, and once, by us… and developers have to do nothing
2) Gzip works
3) We can serve minified versions
4) The files are hosted by Google which has a distributed CDN at various points around the world, so the files are “close” to the user
5) The servers are fast
6) By using the same URLs, if a critical mass of applications use the Google infrastructure, when someone comes to your application the file may already be loaded!
7) A subtle performance (and security) issue revolves around the headers that you send up and down. Since you are using a special domain (NOTE: not google.com!), no cookies or other verbose headers will be sent up, saving precious bytes.

So the next time you use an open source Ajax – Javascript framework like jQuery, prototype, script.aculo.us, MooTools and dojo; consider using Google as your host instead of serving a fresh copy from your servers. Considering Google’s following in the developer community, one can expect the Google hosting of Ajax libraries to become the defacto standard for popular hosted JavaScript libraries.

Yahoo has been providing free hosting for its impressive Yahoo UI Ajax framework for quite some time. Visit http://developer.yahoo.com/yui/articles/hosting/ for details.

Related:
*
Creating a new Google Web Toolkit (GWT) application
* Offline Ajax Applications Using Google Gears
* Web 2.0 using Google Technologies & APIs

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  • Ignacio Coloma

    You surely notice that dynamic languages have not yet proved a better ability to scale for Real Big projects? It’s a requirement for mass adoption.

    I’m not talking about theoretical conversations (disclaimer: I like groovy), but more about ‘hey, we are here at bank XYZ with our team of 50 code monkeys, and life has never been easier’.

    IMHO that would prove Brooks’ NSB argument wrong so don’t expect it to happen too soon. in the meantime, it should follow the standard adoption curve for any technology.

  • fedmich

    Hi. that is some good news and some good review you got there.
    Actually we are already implementing almost same approach since last year. see here http://fedmich.com/js/

    I haven’t documented it yet, but simply put it merges all the checked js files into one file (meaning one http request only)

    Thanks. Pls do give some comments with it via my gmail or reply in here. wait wheres the subscribe to comment? I thought this was wordpress, well Ill just check later on then huh.