Archive for September, 2007
It’s not that there’s anything wrong with the language, but until recently, browser support has been a nightmare. I’m sure you, especially front-end developers, have had your share of hair-pulling sessions, when something perfectly legitimate works on one browser, then cracks on another. They would claim they follow standards, yet none did.
These days, browsers ironed out most quirks, they’re all mostly compatible, they all implement the Document Object Model, where each mark up element maps to an object. Only you have to be comfortable with writing recursive functions and dealing with complex trees. Personally, I’m not. I can deal with trees, I just don’t want to. Not when I’m trying to get some work done.
script.aculo.us: is the effect library built on top of Prototype. Thing like fade in, fade out, dragging and dropping. It also integrates into many frameworks. The only problem is it’s bound to Prototype.
Ext: As its homepage says, it started out as an extension to YUI. However its massive 3mb download made me hesitate. Ext has some big names on its list like Adobe, Cisco and IBM, probably because there’s a commercial license offering. It’s quite hefty for everyday’s work, but might add it to your list of potential usages.
jQuery: This is the gem I was sold on. jQuery’s philosophy is pragmatic, and its strict about its download size. The minified and gzip’ed version is about 14kb, that’s smaller than you average PNG image. To be honest, I was sold after reading a comparison with Prototype. But then I found out that Prototype isn’t so bad either, it just feels a bit more formal.
The best thing about jQuery is that it can be used with RJS templates, since it also has Prototype’s
$() function. The second best thing is Visual jQuery.
I’ve been hearing this print-is-dead meme ever since the term “blog” was mentioned on TV.
To set the record straight: No print isn’t dead. It won’t die anytime soon. Go do your homework.
One cannot unite a community without a newspaper or journal of some kind.
— Mahatma Ghandi
Print’s been the tool to reach the masses, judging by the sheer number of newspapers and journals of every kind. Mostly because advances in technology have minimalized production costs; the internet, then, nullified them.
Print is going through a phase now, a shift in focus, if you will, just like it did when TVs started to become mainstream, causing unnecessary worries to newspaper publishers. With more people reading news online, and real damage happening the newspaper and magazine businesses, the worries aren’t completely unjustified. It doesn’t mean print is going to die yet, only that certain businesses are replaced overtime, but that’s how the business world works.
Print has certain advantages of any other medium. It’s unobtrusive, it’s non-hyper, and it can be taken offline. So I can read without IM and email distractions, without slashing through a jungle of links, even when I’m waiting for the bus. Also, the nature of the medium itself forces authors to think differently, to rephrase their sentences, to be unambiguous, to make sure that you can read without resorting to Wikipedia.
Veerle wrote a great follow-up on this topic with emphasis on design. Tim O’reilly discusses how their book sales surged after Barnes & Nobles set all computer books on sale. It seems that newspaper publishing is the only area in print being affected. After all, people rarely keeps newspapers.
So buck-up little print designer, I seriously doubt your medium will go Dodo in my lifetime or yours. Get back to Quark and keep on keepin’ on, my wallet is at that ready.
— Greg Storey, Pulp
This e-age has provided alternatives to the print medium. eBooks tried to replace regular books. Blogs tried to replace news, while news tried to replace itself. Youtube tried to replace TV. But at the end of the day, these are different sides of the same Rubik’s cube.
The Open Komodo Project is a new initiative from ActiveState to create an open source platform that promotes open standards. The Open Komodo Project will fill a need for developer tools in the open web technology stack, furthering web innovation and freedom of choice for developers and end-users.
— ActiveState, The Open Komodo Project
Open Komodo is not a product, but rather a code base upon which Integrated Development Environments (IDEs) can be developed.
Sounds awfully familiar, doesn’t it?
September 8th, 2007 • General
I’m always proud of when I can explain a complex software architecture in a manner simple for a non-programmer to understand. That is the height of understanding and the basis for creativity.
— Terry Chay, Simple prescriptions and making choices
Four years ago, I used to lecture Linux and software development courses. I loved being around smart and talented people. They force me to find new ways of explaining things, to look for analogues, and have a better understanding of the subject I’m lecturing.
My courses consisted of 3-hour lectures, 32-36 hours in total, spanning over a month. But in every course I gave, there would be one relieving moment that tells me I’m doing a good job. It’s when one of these brilliant students stands up, and in two minutes summarizes everything they learned the whole month. That’s when I feel proud.
PS. Thanks Terry, you just spurred a memory.
September 5th, 2007 • General
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