This post is a very brief overview and introduction to some terminology related to WinJS. It’s my personal take and it’s certainly not official. All of the official documentation can be found at the Dev Center.
What is a WinJS app?
In my recent expereince there is often some confusion about Windows 8 apps in general, so let’s begin there.
Windows 8 apps are similar to what you would find on Windows Phone, iOS, or Android, in that they are sandboxed and they have to declare to user when they use more advanced APIs (like location awareness for example). The only way for users to get Windows 8 apps is through the store.
WinJS includes lots of helpful bits:
- an implementation of CommonJS Promises/A.
- some advanced UI controls
- DOM utilities
- navigation and xhr helpers
- and more
Technically, you don’t have to use WinJS. If you wanted to, you could ignore it. In practice though, it can be pretty useful.
Likewise, don’t go looking through WinJS for standard controls; just use the native HTML controls that you already know and love.