4.6. Reasons to Build Your Own Library
Control is the most common reason to build your own library; you want things to work in a specific way. Usually this is a matter of making AJAX fit into the ideas of a current Web development framework. You might also build a library to get a specific set of features, although this need generally presents itself only when minimizing library size is also a goal. This lack of feature want occurs because many of the large open source libraries already have such a large feature set. The need for control is often centered on intellectual property. There are cases when owning the copyrights to all your development is more important than cutting down the amount of work you need to do. In these cases, you're forced to start from scratch, although generally it is a good idea to look at libraries with liberal licenses because they offer many of the same intellectual property benefits as writing the code yourself.
Sometimes, you may also find that no AJAX library meets your needs. This is more likely to happen if you're developing a project on a nomainstream language. It can also happen if your project needs low overhead in terms of code size and has limited feature needs. Few AJAX libraries go the minimalist route because it's hard to meet a large number of people's needs in this fashion. Most single-purpose AJAX code supports only a single type of request and has little to no configuration. This is great if the code is written for a single application, but it generally isn't useful for a wide range of development tasks. Building your own AJAX library makes sense for many projects, but don't underestimate the amount of work that building a library takes. While the initial development may be easy, tracking down browser bugs in older browsers, or browsers with a small market share, is a time-consuming process, and it's this widespread compatibility provided by these workarounds that maximizes the cases where you can use AJAX.