Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Are CDNs for JavaScript libraries a good idea?

I was reading Ajaxian and I see that Google has launched what seems to be a CDN (content delivery network) for JavaScript libraries, in particular the following libraries are currently supported:
The discussion over at Ajaxian has it's share of folks in favor as well as detractors and I understand the potential issues where you'd now be dependent on Google's goodwill and server uptime for your site to function properly, but that you could get a potential speed boost as well some caching benefits as well. I knew that dojo was available via a CDN from AOL already, so it seems at first to be a good idea to "prime the pump" of user browser caches, but I'm wondering if this is really it's cracked up to be.

The Google Ajax API entry specifically calls out speed as a benefit of this service, but the Google Ajax Libraries API doesn't list any real world, or theoretical usage stats. I'm sure Google's data centers are plenty fast, but if anyone has done any testing to back this up, I'd really like to see it so we all can see the potential in this. And if it is a Good Idea™ then I'm wondering if Adobe's Spry should jump on that bandwagon too.

So if you have any thoughts on JavaScript libraries, especially any testing done with CDNs, it would be good to hear from you. Comment away!

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