Chapter 12. Professional Tools

With the rise of JavaScript has come a corresponding increase in the availability of tools for developing complex JavaScript applications. Only a few years ago, these kinds of tools were few and far between. For instance, it is a sobering thought to realize that the Firebug plugin didn’t even exist until as late as 2006! At the time, it was something of a revelation to be able to inspect the inner workings of your code without resorting to alert() dialogs. Nowadays, every major browser ships with a highly capable native console. Developers of JavaScript now expect the same kind of toolset that developers of C, Java, Python, PHP, Perl, and other languages have enjoyed for years.

Since YUI focuses on developing sophisticated applications, it should be no surprise that it provides additional tools designed to help you develop JavaScript professionally. When you hear someone say “YUI,” he is usually referring to the library APIs. However, YUI is actually a family of projects. YUI 3 is the most prominent example, but YUI also includes utility projects such as YUI Test, YUI Compressor, and YUI Doc. These are the same tools that the YUI team uses to build, test, maintain, and document YUI itself.

YUI tools are not coupled tightly to YUI 3 itself. You can use YUI Compressor to compress any JavaScript code, or YUI Test to test any JavaScript code. Even if you prefer some other JavaScript library, the standalone YUI toolset can still help you produce high-quality ...

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