Leveraging Yahoo’s UI Library to Speed Development

Often, government agencies suffer from “not built here” syndrome. It’s
similar to “not an enterprise vendor” disease. Not built here syndrome
significantly slows web development as it forces developers and
designers to recreate the wheel every time they want to release a new
feature. There are plenty of reasons why government has this attitude,
but it’d serve us well to remember that the outside world and the
relatively open developer community on the web has probably solved 99%
of the problems before you encountered them.

So it disappoints but doesn’t surprise me that no big government agencies are featured as users of Yahoo’s User Interface Library
(YUI). It’s good enough for LinkedIn, JetBlue, and Marketwatch, but
it’s “not built here,” so developers spend mountains of time solving
problems that have free, open-source solutions that are compatibility-tested by one of the world’s premier internet companies.

provides CSS frameworks to speed design, javascript libraries for rapid
interaction development, and examples/best practices to create
compatible, open websites. I tell government web departments all the
time to let YUI do the easy stuff so you can focus on the interesting

And, to prove that I eat my own dogfood, all of my sites are build using the YUI Grids stylesheet.

it a try – I think even the most experienced front-end developer will
be surprised at how much it speeds development. Finally, am I missing
anyone in government who is actually using this?

One thought on “Leveraging Yahoo’s UI Library to Speed Development

  1. Greg,
    There’s been a fair amount of use of YUI by public agencies, although not as much as in the private sector. We’ve seen it in use on campaign sites (including Obama’s) and at a lot of universities. Let us know if you find gov’t sites using it, and we’ll add them to our “In the Wild” series.


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