Warping it up!

Fini Alring's Glossy Tech Zine

AJAX based site built on Prototype

Saturday, September 3rd, 2005

Nader Cserny at bandnews.org sent me a notice that he and his team have just released their site. The reason he told me is that it is using AJAX extensively, and as he said “Unlike all the hyped websites we tried to use Ajax in an intelligent and useful way.” This of course lit my appetite and the rest is history.

The site acts as an RSS aggregator for music bands. This could of course easily be refurnished for other purposes, but I think it’s quite neat idea, which might also make RSS feeds more accessible to the non-techies out there (because they won’t know it’s RSS before it’s too late!! he he)…

The website uses yet another “AJAX” / Rich-App framework called Prototype (JavaScript toolkit for class-driven development). I am not sure what to think of this framework myself, but perhaps it’s because I am too much in love with my own. The code is pretty much stripped from comments, making it hard to grasp all the cool stuff (No, manuals are not enough when trying to read sourcecode, not even a single line describing each class! truly bad code habit). Ok so I don’t think Prototype can be called an Ajax framework, since it does so much more it’s more proper to call it Rich-App framework. Personally I would have divided stuff up in more modular parts, i.e. there is a toColorPart() function in the same framework as Ajax and Event code.. This makes me itch, but ofcourse it’s just me flaming other peoples code, which I’m sure will haunt me in my dreams… Check out their own demos, and also a host of fancy UI components made by others with the use of Prototype, such as Rico. There is some really great stuff there.

Bandnews.org – Search & Read Music News.

Prototype JavaScript Framework

Introduction to AJAX

Saturday, August 13th, 2005

I started as a Web Developer in 1996, and quicky found the wonders of JavaScript, and has since been doing tons of stuff with it. When doing more complex stuff it has always been an issue of how to get the code to communicate between client and server, as well as between frames and what have you.. In the beginning we had to use hidden frames and iframes to send data back and forth, without reloading the main window. But one of the best features for doing that has only been widely used for 3-4 years in cross-browser enviroments (IE 5.0 introduced it). It’s the XMLHttpRequest API which allows the client to send and recieve XML documents thru ordinary HTTP GET & POST methods. The IO is handled asyncronously and uses events calls to inform the client of the status.

This introduction was taken from the pages of my own AJAX API, which I am releasing very soon, stay tuned!!

WarpXML 2.0 – AJAX on Steriods.

Interview: Google Maps Creator

Friday, July 29th, 2005

“Addressing a crowd of developers in Sydney today, Google Maps creator Lars Rasmussen encouraged them to embrace bleeding edge technology in browser software. He cited the example of how Google Maps can command Internet Explorer to use VML (Vector Markup Language by Microsoft) to display a blue line between geographical points, but use a PNG graphic format and a linear description for the Firefox browser.”

From the article: “Firstly, the Web allows rapid deployment and there is no software for users to install. It’s also much easier to make sure code runs on multiple browsers compared with multiple operating systems like Mac OS X and Windows. The downside is that browsers don’t give programmers full access to a computer’s resources such as memory, process power and hard disk space. This is a bottleneck the engineer sees being removed in future, although he thinks the simplicity of the current Web browsing experience needs to be maintained.”

Take browsers to the limit: Google

Slashdot | Google Maps Creator Takes Browsers To The Limit

JavaScript – The past and beyond

Tuesday, June 21st, 2005

Brendan Eich writes about JavaScript and it’s future especially concerning JS 2.x.

Brendan writes “With DHTML and AJAX
hot (or hot again; we’ve been here before, and I don’t like either acronym), I am asked frequently these days about JavaScript, past and future. In spite of the fact that JS was misnamed (I will call it JS in the rest of this entry), standardized prematurely, then ignored and stagnated during most of its life, its primitives are strong enough that whole ecologies of toolkit and web-app code have emerged on top of it. (I don’t agree with everything Doug Crockford writes at the last two links, but most of his arrows hit their targets.)

* Brendan’s Roadmap Updates: JavaScript 1, 2, and in between

Dojo – The Browser Toolkit

Monday, June 13th, 2005

Oh, well you can’t mention ’em all except one, so here’s the AJAX / browser UI toolkit briefly mentioned in the previous post. I haven’t tried this or any of the other mentioned Ajax API’s because I have written my own a long time before all this Ajax talk, I won’t promise when I’ll release it, because it seems I have to evaluate the feature sets of quite a number of api’s first.. One’s api has to be superior ofcourse (Seriously I will probably go for a multi-layered architecture, attempting to base a complex Ajax core upon a low-level core, allowing for the many uses XML data has on a website)..

* Dojo Toolkit