Part I. Base and Core

This part of the book provides a guided tour of Base and Core, the elements of the toolkit that comprise a powerful JavaScript standard library. Base is the kernel of the toolkit and is optimized to include an awesome amount of functionality that comes across the wire at under 30KB. Every feature included in Base has been scrutinized for utility, speed of execution, and size. You'll quickly find that once you start using Base, you won't want to live without it—nor do you have to: getting Base into your page is as simple as writing a single SCRIPT tag that can even be cross-domain loaded from one of AOL's geographically edge-cached servers. In addition to providing the logical base of the toolkit, everything in Base is included in the base-level dojo namespace, so finding the most commonly used functions and data members is always just a few keystrokes away.

Core supplements Base with additional functionality that you will certainly be using sooner rather than later, but in an effort to keep Base as lean and mean as possible, Core was packaged separately because its features are not quite common enough for all use cases. Still, pulling in resources from Core is just a dojo.require function call away, which is similar to #include from C programming or import from Java; from then on out, it's as though you had it all along. And as you'll see in Chapter 16 on Util, you can actually use the Dojo build system to combine exactly which additional non-Base resources you need into a single script; thus, Core functionality need not be any further away than Base for production settings. The kinds of features you'll find in Core include animation machinery (dojo.fx ), drag-and-drop facilities (dojo.dnd ), a data management layer (dojo.data ), cookie handling (dojo.cookie ), and more.

Familiarity with the arsenal of tools in Base and Core is absolutely essential to becoming a productive Dojo developer, and the chances are good that this machinery can supplement your swath of tools and techniques, regardless of their origin or how long you've already been using them. After mastering Base and Core, you'll spend less effort on the common, mundane tasks that many developers squander precious time on, and spend more time on the far more interesting aspects of your project that require creativity and out-of-the-box thinking.