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Adobe’s Spry Framework for AJAX

By Drew McLellan | May 12th, 2006 | Filed in Adobe TF, General, Validation

Adobe Labs Spry Framework for AJAX – friendly to use, but poor support for standards.

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Adobe Labs have introduced a preview of their new Spry Framework for AJAX, which aims to demystify AJAX for a non-technical audience. Adobe are attempting to enable anyone with basic HTML, CSS and JavaScript skills to be able to harness the power of AJAX within their pages.

(October 2007: It should be noted that since this assessment, the Spry Framework has undergone revision. We are currently assessing the newest version and will report our findings.)

Sadly, at this initial stage it seems that the goal of easy-of-use has been held higher than even the most basic principals of valid markup and accessibility best practise. Opting to make implementation as simple as possible, Spry uses custom attributes and old-school obtrusive JavaScript techniques, welding the behaviour layer firmly to the content.

On the subject of custom attributes, Adobe’s Donald Booth responds:

We were trying to stay away from custom attributes for validation reasons. But, there was no way to implement if...then statements with out one. And we were defining the datasets within the class attribute. This was troublesome, and since we were already breaking validation with the if...then, we decided to go to all custom attributes.

Replace “breaking validation” with “breaking our customers’ pages” at your own discretion.

Of course, Spry is just a preview and Adobe are actively soliciting feedback. As it currently stands, the framework is certainly not ready for prime-time, and if it’s the sort of framework you’d otherwise find useful, we’d encourage you to investigate it and offer constructive feedback.

Your Replies

#1 On May 12th, 2006 4:55 pm