[dojo-contributors] what is the raison detre for dojo 2.0.

Kenneth G. Franqueiro kgf at dojotoolkit.org
Fri Oct 5 13:26:10 EDT 2012

+9001 to Peter's "tech levels in Traveller" comparison.  This has been
the big thing in my mind.

I hear some people complain about this, sometimes with slants that are
completely unfair, basically like saying "Dojo fails because it isn't
popular."  (To be clear, I am NOT at all saying you are saying this,
Peter, I am saying this is basically the complaint I've heard before
though, and I am agreeing with your point as you stated it.)

The popularity complaint is rubbish; Dojo is a success as many people
here would quickly point out, popularity contests are stupid, and Dojo
will not easily be popular with the 95% of people writing JS who don't
even realize yet what they ultimately need (while Dojo already has them

The real (and real tough) question that comes out of this is... how do
we make that 95% realize that they need this stuff?  It took me a year
or two of working on a Dojo-based app to realize "hey wow, this totally
saved our asses" - a story I still need to dig out of my memory (as I
unfortunately lost the presentation I gave at my previous company on the
topic) and write about at some point.

With that said, while I feel I am wholly inadequate at coming up with an
answer as thorough as some of the ones that have already been presented,
the number one thing that comes up in my mind is something that Dojo is
NOT, and should never be: a cheap sell-out full of bling just for the
sake of appearing popular.  Dojo has a reputation of being a strong
toolkit which does not prescribe, but enables people to solve lots of
tough problems, some of which they don't even know they have yet.  Yes,
that freedom can also cause confusion, and I think Dylan's point about
shipping with solid demo apps following best practices could help with
this to an extent.  But we should NOT "dumb down" or "bling up" Dojo
because that would betray the solid foundation (and existing userbase)
it has already established.

(And before anyone takes offense at this, I am not saying anyone has
strictly said Dojo SHOULD be a sell-out - I just want to make it clear
that the goal should be to keep it that way.)


On 10/5/2012 11:15 AM, Peter Svensson wrote:
> I liked it (the below statement) a lot, but would also (as previous
> commenter) see something unique(ish) there. The problem with describing
> what's really popping out in Dojo (Data stores, widget system,
> cross-platform gfx, insanely epic grid, AMD-way-before-AMD resource
> mgmt, etc, etc) is that most developer don't know what those things are
> either.
> It's like tech levels in Traveller, how do you explain a compiler to
> someone who is on tech level 1 - they don't think they care, even. And
> they might be right.
> A lot of discussion I have on and offline is about Dojo providing all of
> new framework or library x, y and z, but it's just one thing - so you
> don't need to support a frankenframework for the lifecycle of the
> application.
> Maybe emphasis on 'building applications - not webpages' in some way is
>  enough. 
> OK, so that wasn't very helpful. Just my 2c, though :)
> Cheers,
> PS
> On Fri, Oct 5, 2012 at 5:07 PM, Kitson Kelly <me at kitsonkelly.com
> <mailto:me at kitsonkelly.com>> wrote:
>     I would +1 it.
>     The one thing that isn't self evident though in the statement (and I
>     don't know if it is a requirement or not) is others=["jQuery",
>     "MooTools", "Backbone", "Prototype", "GWT", "Dart", "TypeScript"];
>     others.forEach(function(other){ console.log("How is it different
>     from what %s is doing?", other); });
>     On 5 October 2012 15:48, Tom Trenka <ttrenka at gmail.com
>     <mailto:ttrenka at gmail.com>> wrote:
>         This is by far the best "mission statement" I've heard to date;
>         maybe we should adopt it?
>         -- Tom
>         On Thu, Oct 4, 2012 at 11:46 PM, Rawld Gill <rgill at altoviso.com
>         <mailto:rgill at altoviso.com>> wrote:
>             > what is the raison d'etre for dojo 2.0?
>             JavaScript is pervasive, primitive, variable in different
>             environments, and evolving quickly. This has been the status
>             quo forever, and it makes JavaScript program construction
>             hard and expensive. Dojo 2.0 provides a unified family of
>             powerful libraries that normalize and progressively extend
>             the JavaScript environment--browser-hosted and otherwise--to
>             higher and higher levels of abstraction. These abstractions
>             make program construction easier, faster, and less expensive.
>             <><><><><>
>             General Observations (stimulated by other responses).
>              * If we layer the abstractions correctly, it shouldn't be
>             hard use lower layers. We must lose the "it's awesome but
>             hard" label.
>              * Normalizing the environment is required; but it is not
>             enough.
>              * To be great, we need the JavaScript community to someday
>             march on the standards body castle and chant, "make how Dojo
>             does xyz part of the standard!"
>              * If we don't finish the last 20% (docs, tests) and market
>             the crap out of it (meaning more than Dylan and SitePen), at
>             best we'll be an also-ran.
>             --Rawld
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