OK, I admit it. Now that SPServices is available on a CDN, I’m coming around to thinking that CDNs might be a good idea in some cases. I had been balking at using them primarily from a control standpoint, and I’m still concerned with that aspect. When you host the script and CSS files you are using yourself, you know exactly what you’re going to get. You control the content, the naming conventions, the storage location, the uptime, everything. With CDNs, many of those things are no longer your problem, but you give up some control. I don’t think that CDNs are perfect in every situation, but they can sure be useful.
When I was working with Dan Antion and his team last week, I needed to quickly get something up and running while they were all staring at me, expecting me to perform. (They are the nicest people, but it’s still unnerving to be on the spot to write great code on demand. It seems that I managed to pull it off.) Rather than trying to go out and download jQuery, jQueryUI, and SPServices right then, I decided to quickly toss together a txt file I could easily point to in a Content Editor Web Part (CEWP).
Here’s what I came up with. Google hosts jQuery, jQueryUI, and all of the standard jQueryUI themes, and SPServices is now on cdnjs.
I didn’t realize it at the time, but this txt file has become a standard part of my toolkit already. I’ve added it to three client environments just since last week. It’s the A #1 fastest way to get something up and running, even if you know you’re going to host the files locally later.
You simply add a CEWP to whatever page you want to work on, and then point the Content Link to wherever you’ve stored the txt file above. I usually use a Document Library in the root site of my Site Collection called ScriptCSS or something like that. You can, of course, just paste the contents of the txt file into your master page if your use of these tools is going to be ubiquitous.