DOMAssistant – Why bother?

Maybe I’m just writing this because I’ve been feeling a bit low lately, but I do wonder if there’s any idea that I put any more time into DOMAssistant.

Last night we held another Geek Meet here in Stockholm, with a staggering 70 persons or so showing up. Great fun, and I really love meeting so many dedicated souls in real life, and learn from them!

However, what came up from two persons working with/for two different large web sites here in Sweden is that they both tried DOMAssistant, and it worked out fine for them, but at the end of the day they needed to have a JavaScript library which was well-known with a large community. This was especially important when we’re talking going international with their products. They are both now using jQuery.

And previous to them, one of Sweden’s most visited web sites removed DOMAssistant, not because they didn’t like it, but because other parts/products used Prototype and they needed a consistent approach.

And really, I definitely have no hard feelings about this, and completely understand where they’re coming from. It’s about motivating it to your managers and protecting your investments. Why would they choose a JavaScript library from a local boy, just to be nice? That’s not real business sense.

Why I created DOMAssistant

The reasons I started working on DOMAssistant are three-fold:

  • I felt that they JavaScript libraries on the market could be leaner with less bulk.
  • I wanted to give something back to the web development community, and to make people’s life easier.
  • I wanted to learn and get better at JavaScript and, consequently, CSS selectors.

Where to go from here

The thing is that I feel I can’t compete with DOMAssistant against the other major JavaScript libraries that are out there. It doesn’t matter if it’s one the smallest libraries available, while having full CSS 1-3 selector support, or if most people who have used it have really liked the functionality, code syntax and feature sets.

Where I fall short is in areas like the fact that something like jQuery has one million downloads or so of the latest version and has co-operations like this. I can’t compete with that, with maybe 1000 downloads of DOMAssistant. Don’t get me wrong, I’m happy that a 1000 people are using it/trying it out, but given the time it takes to maintain it, test it and all the time that I could put into other things (like having a life), I’m just not sure if it’s worth it.

To be honest, I know of very few people who use DOMAssistant in production, but I’d love to know more about it, to have an actual list of implementations to base my decisions on. But while I’ve always felt good about offering an alternative, I’m just not sure what price it’s worth to pay for just a few people ending up using it.

Is it over now?

I really need some good advice here: what do I need to make DOMAssistant get a much wider user base, and compete with the major players? Or should I just let it go, leave it at its current state; feel content that I could prove to the world that I’m a decent JavaScript developer, and that’s it?

Posted in Developing,DOMAssistant,JavaScript,Technology |

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