3.0 beta 2

ActiveWidgets - Development too slow?

I'm just trying to understand the development path for ActiveWidgets. I've followed ActiveWidgets for years and I became really impressed with the functionality and its ease of use. Recently I purchased a commercial license envisioning that the toolkit had a future.

But that vision is disappearing fast. Other toolkits, which were not better than ActiveWidgets in the beginning have not only overcome all their shortcomings but have moved on to create better abstractions in code.

[edit: links to the competing toolkits deleted (Alex)]

My COMPLAINT is that while ActiveWidgets had a competitive edge over both these libraries, its losing it rapidly by its slow development pace. <b>How long ActiveWidgets Developers (including me) have to put up with incomplete documentation, incomplete or missing GUI Widgets (Tree, TreeGrid, Calendar, Progress etc...) and an exorbitant price tag?</b>

If you think that I'm evaluating ActiveWidgets harshly, then just check out the above two libraries to understand what the competition is like. And if noone copes up with these shortcomings now, it would only mean a furthur eroding of ActiveWidgets community when developers switch to other tookits.
Sumit
December 12,
Sorry Sumit, I had to delete the links to other toolkits from your post. While I appreciate your opinion and somewhat agree with your comments - this is not the right place to advertise for competing products.

I have a lot of respect for developers of other toolkits and I understand too well how difficult this task is, so their achievements are absolutely fantastic. However I still see that each new toolkit emerging in the previous months is very different from the others and each has its own niche.

Is there a niche for ActiveWidgets? - I am sure there is and the development does not stop where we are now.
Alex (ActiveWidgets)
December 12,
Hi Alex,

I'm not trying to advertise/sell any other toolkits but rather trying to put myself in the shoes of a developer evaluating current AJAX toolkits before committing development towards one platform.

Thanks for reading my post and I'm happy that giving these concerns a thought.

Sumit
December 12,
On a more technical note - I would describe ActiveWidgets as a client-side datagrid and not as a broad/generic AJAX toolkit. If you are looking for a single development platform then ActiveWidgets certainly does not fit. However if you need compact and fast client-side datagrid - I think that ActiveWidgets grid is still quite unique in flexibility, performance and code size.

I would appreciate your input regarding in what direction ActiveWidgets should evolve. Personally I always had a preference for speed and simplicity rather than trying to do too many things, however I still see large areas where ActiveWidgets could be improved, for example, integration with the server side code, or new data layer or tree/tree grid.
Alex (ActiveWidgets)
December 12,
This is a pointless discussion. Web development is moving at fast pace. It 's challenging everyone, including Alex.
December 12,
I think this discussion is important and we should really take a look at ActiveWidgets and other toolkits out there.

My expectations are not on the scale of complete HTML/JavaScript abstraction, nor implementing wrappers for browser independent dom. I believe that ActiveWidgets should provide a complete widget suite (and it is moving in that direction).

So, really the only problem is what is mentioned in the title. I think the evolving rate is slow as compared to other toolkits I mentioned in the domain of Javascript GUI Widgets.

Honestly, when I compare it with other toolkits, we don't even have complete documentation yet and I remember countless hours at AW forums trying to find workarounds. The treegrid has been requested many times, the tree implementation is not yet complete, other essential widgets still don't feature on the schedule etc.

Why do you base this toolkit around a single product - the Grid? I think the grid has evolved to a fairly decent level and probably the time is to concentrate on filling the gaps. But my concern is if that's not done fairly soon, then it'll be quite difficult to make a case to use AW in a enterprise environment. I really want this product to break out in the open and not restricted to some niche areas.

Just my 2 cents.
Sumit
December 12,
Alex himself told you "it's a client-side datagrid not a complete ajax toolkit"; so it's a component, that's all.
December 12,

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