What is it?
Where did it originate?
Dojo was begun in 2004 by Alex Russell of data integration specialist Informatica. The Dojo community took off rapidly. In 2006, IBM made a large code contribution, including internationalisation, accessibility for the disabled, extensions to the data model, and some elements of its then-internal Ajax toolkit. Sun also weighed in, contributing Ajax widgets and help with documentation, and the services of its own Ajax Architect.
Other Dojo Foundation members and Dojo users include AOL and BEA Systems.
What's it for?
Like other such toolkits, Dojo is intended to enable developers to build dynamic pages and applications quickly and easily by assembling functionality from libraries, which can then be tweaked or extended with custom-written code.
The Dojo widget library, Dijit, also provides a template-driven architecture for building widgets. Dojo Storage enables persistent storage of data on the client side.
What makes it special?
Although there is a great deal of best-practice advice and support for Dojo developers, innovation is encouraged. The Dojo Style Guide, put together collectively by Dojo's core developers, carries the rider "any violation to this guide is allowed if it enhances readability".
How difficult is it to master?
The Dojo site includes a quick-start tutorial for newcomers called "Dojo for the Attention-Impaired". Dojo has been designed to be quick and easy to use. The sheer scale of it means that learning to use it to its full potential will take time - but it can be learned on the job.
What systems does it run on?
Dojo supports Internet Explorer, Safari, Firefox and Opera Google Gears, which enables applications to work offline as well as on and the Open Ajax Alliance Hub, to ensure interoperability with Ajax applications built with other toolkits.
Rates of pay
Ajax developers earn from £25,000 to £45,000.
This was first published in March 2008