Enyo: a component-oriented JS framework

Enyo first made an appearance on the HP TouchPad and was the framework used for WebOS applications.  However, after HP killed the TouchPad and put WebOS development on hold, HP has spun off Enyo into a standalone open-source JS app framework on Github.

The framework is being billed as device agnostic, that is web applications built with Enyo should work great on mobile, but also will live happily on tablets, laptops, and elsewhere. This is a good position to take, as increasingly web application developers are having to consider a wide range of target devices rather than just focussing on mobile and/or desktop browsers. For installed mobile apps, the project recommends using PhoneGap to package Enyo applications with native wrappers.

Another key feature is a component-oriented model, where you can take parts of your site and encapsulate them as reusable components – for example a common form layout or a common control type. This looks like an interesting way to create DRY web applications at the client side.

Enyo is still at quite an early stage of release, and most critically is missing the UI Widget components. Until these ship (according to the FAQ they should be out next month) there isn’t a great deal of point using Enyo unless the idea of component-oriented design is something you’re really into. However, looking forwards it could be an interesting competitor to frameworks like JQueryUI and JQuery Mobile.

I don’t know to what extent the original HP team are still involved in Enyo, but the project seems to be attracting attention on Github and a community is forming around it. It would be good to see some part of the WebOS dream live on.

For more information, check out the Enyo site.

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