Transmission Line Noise

What is Glow?

Sun, May 2, 2010

Glow is the BBC’s (British Broad­cast­ing Cor­po­ra­tion) in hose JavaScript library along the lines of JQuery, Scrip­tac­u­lous etc. This is not Aunty Beeb’s first library but ti is the first one they have released into the wild as open source.

When there are already a num­ber of high qual­ity libraries out there does the Beeb feel the need to both develop and release another one? Well the Beeb is a pub­lic cor­po­ra­tion and funded by licence fees from it’s users and has such has built into it’s char­ter a num­ber of goals to give gen­eral sup­port across the social board. This man­i­fests itself in Glow’s sup­port for a much wider range of browser ver­sions and a com­mit­ment to keep them use­able rather than only being  fit for the lat­est releases.

So because they have a sig­nif­i­cant num­ber of users on Safari 1.3, they refrained from ask­ing them to upgrade to Safari 2 as that would require them to buy a new oper­at­ing sys­tem (OSX 10.4).

Cur­rently they are still fully sup­port­ing IE5.5 and Safari 1.3, among oth­ers, and con­tin­u­ing to sup­port Safari 2. On top of this, they actively avoid caus­ing errors in “Level 2” browsers. No major libraries were com­pat­i­ble with these require­ments, and there was no guar­an­tee that even if they were, they would not change their policies.

The Glow library, API and doc­u­men­ta­tion is avail­able here.