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Yahoo updates YUI tool for slick Web interfaces

Yahoo's User Interface library, used by the Internet pioneer and many others for interactive Web site design, just turned 3.0.

Yahoo on Tuesday released version 3 of its Yahoo User Interface library, a software collection programmers can use to endow Web sites with fancy user interface elements written in JavaScript and Cascading Style Sheets.

"YUI 3's core infrastructure and its utility suite are all considered production-ready with today's release," Yahoo's Eric Miraglia said in a blog post Tuesday. "The code we're shipping today in 3.0.0 is the same code that drives the new Yahoo Home Page, and it goes out with confidence that it has been exercised vigorously and at scale."

The YUI libraries are open-source, freely available, and used widely around the Internet for Web site tasks including animation, drag-and-drop, fetching data from various types of sources, and responding to events--chores that are more complicated but that often are useful as the Web moves from static Web pages toward interactive applications.

Compared with YUI 2, the new version is smaller, faster, easier to program with, and more secure, Yahoo said. It's easier to break code into minimum-size pieces through a dependency configurator or YUI's ability to download required components on its own. Also, Yahoo is working to add widget abilities for creating small programs.

A convenient YUI feature is that Yahoo is willing to host most of it on its own servers, saving hassle and Web server bandwidth.

The new version is the first ground-up reworking of the software since 2005. No doubt YUI will be the subject of discussion at Open Hack Day and YUIConf, both in October.

This chart illustrates the smaller file sizes of one YUI 3 library that helps with retrieving data from various sources.
This chart illustrates the smaller file sizes of one YUI 3 libary that helps with retrieving data from various sources. Yahoo