General Question

archaeopteryx's avatar

What is the easiest and fastest way/language/tool I can use to build high quality animated web content and web apps.?

Asked by archaeopteryx (881points) June 14th, 2009

By easiest, I also meant one that requires the shortest learning curve possible.

NOTE1: Excluding Flash, Photoshop and any other Adobe products. (Why? Well, because (a) I use Linux and (b) I can’t afford their disgustingly expensive prices, (c) I’m not welling to use Windows for it and (d) Because I hate Adobe altogether.

Plus, I really need something I can embed with my Python/Django or Plone project.

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15 Answers

jrpowell's avatar

You can do a lot with jQuery. For example.

archaeopteryx's avatar


Exactly! Thanks for mentioning it!
How could I forget about JQuery.. :D

Thanks man. :)

jumpo7's avatar

There is also scriptaculous and mootools but they are more UI only where as jQuery also has the AJAX for pulling content from the server. If all you want is animation then jQuery may be more than you need. There are also the excellent YUI tools and patterns.

I would recommend trying to stick with one as mixing and matching can be a bit overwhelming. Actually, even with using the likes of Adobe you are far better off using one of these libraries as they work better across browsers than the code from Adobe.

You can program flash on linux now as Adobe has opened up the platform (with silverlight competing). You can use the flex sdk and write code for AS in any editor. I haven’t done it myself, but the Flash editor is enough to drive anyone crazy. This thread on reddit has several people sharing what they do/use.

noyesa's avatar

If you’re just creating an interactive interface, even a developer with the humongous and expensive Creative Suite wouldn’t touch Flash for something like this. It’s highly inaccessible. Wherever possible, JavaScript is the way to go.

jumpo7's avatar

There are actually ways to make flash accessible, if you mean comply with the WCAG or section 508 requirements. I do not like gratuitous use of flash as much as the next user experience/usability person, but it can be made to work for all users… in fact with support for audio it can even surpass plain html if planned. Still I agree in part with @noyesa‘s statement as most of the time flash ends up being inaccessible and if you don’t have time to make it right then you should wait until you can.

However, javascript can equally be inaccessible as flash. Especially these JS frameworks and AJAX libraries. So if you need to comply (and you should whether by law or not) then research some techniques on google for making flash or AJAX accessible.

Here are some more links for anyone interested:
Accessible Flash
Accessible AJAX

And since we’ve taken this detour, you may also want to look into whether there are any SEO issues to be concerned about with your new animation loaded web page… it never ends!

vmj's avatar

I haven’t used jQuery/mootools/YUI, but Dojo ( feels a bit like using Django on the client side. It’s probably the modularity and the “batteries included” mentality which makes me feel that way.

noyesa's avatar

@vmj Actually, that’s because MooTools is designed, at least in part, to make JavaScript act more like Python, much the same that Prototype tries to make JavaScript behave more like Ruby. That familiar charm is all the syntactic sugar added to make JavaScript behave like our dear Python. :) If you’re interested in an approach like that, MochiKit makes JavaScript behave almost pythonic.

VoodooLogic's avatar

Learn XAMPP – My geek skills got a huge level up once I was able to do server stuff on my home computer. Props for using Linux!

archaeopteryx's avatar


Yeah, thanks for mentioning XAMPP, but isn’t that for PHP?
Plus, can I make animated content with it?

VoodooLogic's avatar

@archaeopteryx PHP and Perl. XAMPP makes it efficient when it comes time to test your web apps.

you might want to construct your creations with Blender.
I also voted up that Flash builder be ported to Linux: – but you hate Flash!

Ruby, and Ruby on Rails is the hippest language right now. It’s the fasted way to become recognized in the industry if you build the backend to your interface using it.

Hope this helps.

PS. what exactly are your goals?

archaeopteryx's avatar


I’m looking forward to establishing a Django powered website sometime in the near future, not sure exactly what would it be at the moment, but for now, I’m trying to gather a set of tools to employ in the design and development phases.

VoodooLogic's avatar

In Linux (Ubuntu) I keep going back to: gftp, bluefish editor, and freemind.

XBMC is written in python, you might reach out to those guys for tools.

sorry for hucking tools at ya.

archaeopteryx's avatar


LOL, no man.
Don’t be, that’s great! :)
Thanks. ;)

VoodooLogic's avatar

cold fusion 9 just got official Ubuntu support. ;)

stevenelliottjr's avatar

Dojo is fantastic!

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