I just spent a couple of hours (re)exploring the Ext.Net/ExtJs frameworks. I drilled down into new and updated examples at the Examples Explorers of both the frameworks, as well as had a good look at updations to the ExtJs docs.

Gosh, I undertook such a comprehensive exploration for both the frameworks only sometime back (in the first quarter of calendar year 2010 somewhere), and the changes are many. Many new Controls (Components/Widgets or whatever you want to call them), countless new plugins (by ExtJs community), important updations to the API (at both ExtJs & Ext.Net), impressive new samples, the list would never end…

I had my first tete-a-tete with Ext.Net (then & still called Coolite officially, as I write this, but soon to be rechristened) probably 2 years back. I can still recall the learning curve during each day of these years for both the frameworks, and that I still consider myself an Amateur at both the frameworks (looking at their rapid pace of development, Novice would have been a better tag here). Wonder how a complete newbie would approach any of these frameworks from scratch!!!

Especially so for Ext.Net. ExtJs still has a large community outside the core ExtJs team (including elite members like Animal, Saki, jgarcia and many more), who provide wonderful community support at the forums there. Not to forget the large amount of documentation available from ExtJs itself as well as third-party bloggers.

Ext.Net on the other hand has a very small core team (probably comprising of only 2 people, Vlad & Geoff, I haven’t seen a third one in years). And they have the responsibility of handling the Toolkit development (handling ExtJs, ASP.NET, MVC and what not simultaneously), plus documentation (which is scarce for Ext.Net as of writing this), plus answering premium & non-premium members on the forums.

No wonder, Coolite home page hasn’t been updated in a while (for probably more than a year now).

But let’s not take away the credit for the wonderful work Ext.Net team has done (is doing)!!!

I have already built multiple large web apps (one can be categorized as an ultra large CMS) using Ext.Net, and frankly enough, I would have had second thoughts if I needed to build them using pure ExtJs.

Remember, the large number of plugins that Ext.Net team integrates into the Toolkit seamlessly with ExtJs. I don;t remember how many times I browsed to ExtJs docs for something I found in Ext.Net, only to be stumped to know that it was a plugin, not supported by ExtJs natively.

So, despite the good work by both the Toolkit teams, I seriously sometimes find myself in the middle of no-where, at the rapid pace of development of these toolkits (almost explosive). It has become really hard to manage & develop projects spread across multiple versions of these toolkits (from Coolite 0.6 to Ext.Net 1.0, from ExtJs 2.x to upcoming ExtJs 4.x).

Just wanted to express this… So, wrote this post. thanks for reading along!!!