YUI has been my favorite AJAX library for two reasons: its unintrusiveness to the server side, and the excellent documentation. It is interesting and encouraging to see Yahoo offer free hosting for YUI. While there are obviously valid reasons for some sites not to use this service (external dependency etc.), the power of yahoo’s server facility, the advanced cache control, and the on-the-fly file size reduction (up to 90% according to the announcement linked) are in no doubt going to be very appealing to many others.
This did get me thinking, though – and let me preemptively clarify that “Yahoo is evil” is definitely not what I’m about to get at. And I truly appreciate this offering as a noble intention and a community-friendly move, rather than any sleek public image stunt. Nevertheless, if we look at it in the whole bigger picture of “where F/OSS is going today”, this is yet another instance of a big corporation leveraging its muscle to support an F/OSS project. Regardless of Yahoo’s intention, in reality, there is still the feeling of a lesser leveling playground for those other projects without any backing.