Blogs

jQuery 1.2.2 - A Happy 2nd Birthday Bug Fix Release

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In case you haven't heard, today is the 2nd birthday of jQuery. Stop on over at the blog of John Resig, creator of jQuery, to read about how jQuery made it to prime time.

To celebrate this event, a new release of jQuery is out - version 1.2.2 - which is primarily a bug fix release (contains over 122 bug fixes). Not to mention, some 300% speed improvements to $(DOMElement):

Browser 1.2.1 (ms) 1.2.2 (ms)
Firefox 2 0.041 0.015
Firefox 3 0.033 0.01
Safari 3 0.017 0.005
Opera 9 0.023 0.004
Internet Explorer 6 0.04 0.03

Read more about this release on the full announcement.

Google unveils new, slicker, faster iPhone-specific interface

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Over at last100.com they have posted information on the new Google interface for the iPhone. The interface looks very slick and is apparently very fast (not being a lucky iPhone owner I can't test it out, but if any body wants to send me one let me know).

Below is an excerpt from the story.

Vic Gundotra, a vice president of engineering at Google, told CNet that — as a result of lots of people getting iPhones for Christmas presents — the number of queries on Google search from iPhones surpassed the number of queries from Symbian-based phones for the first time.

Think about it. Symbian is the market leader, used on phones from Nokia (the world’s No. 1 handset manufacturer), Motorola, Samsung, and Sony Ericsson, among others. The iPhone’s user base is comparatively teeny-tiny since the phone’s introduction last June.

Of course the “Christmas crossover”, as Google calls it, lasted only a few days, but as CNet rightfully notes,“It shows the impact the iPhone is having on the telecommunications industry and provides a glimpse into its future market potential on the Web.”

“It’s about usage, not just units,” Gundotra said in an interview with CNet. “The data proves that people are using the browser on the iPhone.”

igoogleBy providing a quicker, slicker user interface, more customization, iGoogle gadget integration, and more speed for all apps, Google is acknowledging the iPhone’s rosy future. iGoogle on the iPhone can be reached by pointing the phone’s browser at google.com/ig/i.

The standard mobile version of Google, made available just over a month ago, is still available at google.com/m, but it’s more limited and is available only in the U.S. It brought together a suite of applications like search, Gmail, Calendar, and Reader into one easy-to-use interface.

With Google for the iPhone, users will get an improved UI optimized for the touch screen, customization of default tabs (easy access to favorite applications), faster Gmail (email automatically show up, no refreshing needed), a speedier Calendar (including a new month view), and iGoogle.

You can see the new interface by pointing you iPhone (or computer browser) to http://www.google.com/ig/i.

You can read the full post by clicking here

Snipplr - a public source code repository

Snipplr is a public source code repository that gives you a place to store and organize all the little pieces of code that you use each day and It lets you share your code snippets with other coders and designers.

Snipplr was designed by Sitening, a Nashville Web Design company originally to store their code snippets in one place. They currently have around 3605 snippets in the following categories:
* ActionScript
* ActionScript 3
* Apache
* AppleScript
* ASP
* Assembler
* Bash
* C#
* C++
* Cold Fusion
* CSS
* Diff
* Emacs Lisp
* eZ Publish
* Forth
* Fortran
* Groovy
* HTML
* Java
* JavaScript
* Lisp
* Lua
* MatLab
* NewtonScript
* Objective C
* Open Firmware
* Other
* Pascal
* Perl
* PHP
* PicBasic
* Python
* Rails
* Regular Expression
* Ruby
* SmallTalk
* Smarty
* SML
* SQL
* SVN
* TCL
* TYPO3
* VB.NET
* VHDL
* Visual Basic
* W-Language
* XML

Click here to visit to the Snipplr code repository and let us know what you think.

Game Development using the Yahoo! User Interface

As with many people that get into programming, I started programming because I wanted to make video games (in-fact I have had a few games published about 10 years ago). Now that I am in the web development industry, I from time to time like to look at the developments in Video Game development as it pertains to the web.

The Yahoo! User Interface is a great library for development of JavaScript based applications, including Ajax applications. The library has quite a few methods to help with animation that can be very useful in developing games. Today, I'm not going to go into much detail on using the library to make a game (this will be in a later post), however, I do want to show you how well these games can look.

Check out the below games that where made using the Yahoo! User Interface.

I was amazed at how close these games are to their Flash counterparts. Of course the advantage to using JavaScript over flash is that no plug-in is required to play the game.

You can read more about the Yahoo! User Interface here.

If you've seen any other cool games built using the Yahoo! User Interface I would love to hear about it. If you sign up for a free account you can blog about it on this blog or you can leave them in the comments.

SaphireSteel releases new Ruby on Rails IDE based on VS 2008 Shell

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Ruby In Steel, an IDE for Ruby on Rails, has been released by SaphireSteel. The IDE is based on the Visual Studio 2008 Shell and will sell at a starting price of $49 or $199 for the developer edition (you can get more information here).

Below are the minimum system requirements to run the IDE.

Minimum Requirements: Windows XP (service pack 2) or Vista. Visual Studio 2008 Standard Edition or above is optional - if you don’t own Visual Studio 2008, Ruby In Steel will install a standalone Ruby-language edition of Visual Studio 2008.

You can get a list of all the application features here.

Below are a few excerpts from the InfoWorld article: Ruby on Rails IDE geared to Visual Studio 2008 users.

"We put all our support into Visual Studio so the end-user gets a Ruby-flavored edition of Visual Studio," with its attendant capabilities, Collingbourne said.

Use of the Visual Studio Shell gives SapphireSteel a chance to compete with Eclipse-based IDEs, such as CodeGear's 3rdRail, which also is billed as a Rails IDE, SapphireSteel said.

The IDE is a great tool for those that like the Visual Studio IDE and would like to develop Ruby on Rails applications.

Google Chart API Tools

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You have probably heard a lot about the Google Chart API. Well, there are a few tools and scripts that are available that can be useful in creating charts using the API.

The first tool is a chart creator made by Dion Almaer (you may know Dion from Ajaxian). The application is a nice little chart creation tool that was created using Ext 2.0 and the Google Chart API. The application is aptly named ChartMaker.

Below is a demo of the application:


You can read all about the application at Dion's personal blog. Also, you can go to the application by clicking here or click here to get the code.

Nice job Dion, as this application is a great use of Ext 2.0 and the Google Chart API.

The second tool that I found was posted over at Wait till I come! and is a script that takes data from a HTML table and converts it into a chart.

Below is an excerpt from the post.

Generating charts from accessible data tables and vice versa using the Google Charts API

Google have lately been praised for their chart API and my esteemed colleague Ed Eliot has a workaround for its restrictions in terms of caching and server hits.

I played around a bit with it and thought it very cool but it felt a bit clunky to add all these values to a URL when they could be in the document for those who cannot see pie charts. This is why I wrote a small script that converts data tables to charts using the API and a wee bit of JavaScript.

Using this script you can take a simple, valid and accessible data table like the following and it gets automatically converted to a pie chart.


<table class="tochart size300x100 color990000" summary="Browsers for this site, March 2007">
  <caption>Browsers</caption>
  <thead>
    <tr><th scope="col">Browser</th><th scope="col">Percent</th></tr>

  </thead>
  <tbody>
    <tr><td>Firefox</td><td>60</td></tr>
    <tr><td>MSIE</td><td>25</td></tr>

    <tr><td>Opera</td><td>10</td></tr>
    <tr><td>Safari</td><td>5</td></tr>

  </tbody>
</table>

Simply add the script to the end of the body and it’ll convert all tables with a class called “tochart”. You can define the size (widthxheight) and the colour as a hexadecimal triplet as shown in this example. If you leave size and colour out, the script will use presets you can alter as variables in the script itself.

You can view a demo of the above by clicking here and you can download the demo code by clicking here. You can read the full post here.

It is great to see some good development in the Google Chart API arena.

If know of any other cool applications that use libraries like the Google Chart API we would love to hear about them. You can leave them in the comments or if you sign up for a free account on this blog, you can blog about it on Ajaxonomy.com.

Acid 3 Test on the Horizon

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You may be familiar with the Acid 2 Browser Test, but the news is that an Acid 3 test in the works. Announced earlier today on John Resig's blog, a new Acid test is being created and a pre-pre-pre-alpha development version is available here

Here's an excerpt from John's post:

Traditionally, the Acid test has served as a way to get browser vendors in line by testing them on really-annoying edge cases. This can, sometimes, get people tied up in knots but it actually serves as a devious way of getting people to meet a large part of a spec.

For example, in order for a browser to have some weird padding/margin test case solved - in CSS - they must also have a working box model. So while an Acid test may not, explicitly, test for a working box model, it will be done implicitly (by testing edge cases that result from it).

With that in mind, it's time to take a look at Acid 3 which primarily focuses on technology that I find to be interesting: ECMAScript and the DOM.

Go read the full post for more information and to see just how badly the major browsers perfom on the test!

I went ahead and submitted the Acid 3 test url to browsershots.org and ran it through a few different browsers/operating systems, you can check the results here.

Cross-Site XMLHttpRequest in Firefox 3

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Over at John Resig's blog (you may know John from his work on jQuery) he has an interesting post about using the XMLHttpRequest object to get cross-domain data without a cross-domain proxy in Firefox 3 (currently in beta). The built-in cross-site XMLHttpRequest feature is new to Firefox 3.

Below is an excerpt from John's post.

In a nutshell, there are two techniques that you can use to achieve your desired cross-site-request result: Specifying a special Access-Control header for your content or including an access-control processing instruction in your XML.
More information can be found in the documentation but here's a quick peek at what your code might look like:
An HTML document (served via PHP) that specifies an Access-Control header: (Demo - FF3 Only)

<?php header('Access-Control: allow <*>'); ?>
<b>John Resig</b>

An XML document that specifies an access-control processing instruction: (Demo - FF3 Only)

<?xml version="1.0" encoding="UTF-8"?>

<?access-control allow="*"?>
<simple><name>John Resig</name></simple>

Now what's especially nice about all this is that you don't have to change a single line of your client-side code to make this work! Take, for example, this page which requests an HTML file from a remote domain - and, specifically, the JavaScript within it:

var xhr = new XMLHttpRequest();
xhr.open("GET", "http://dev.jquery.com/~john/xdomain/test.php", true);

xhr.onreadystatechange = function(){
  if ( xhr.readyState == 4 ) {

    if ( xhr.status == 200 ) {
      document.body.innerHTML = "My Name is: " + xhr.responseText;

    } else {
      document.body.innerHTML = "ERROR";

    }
  }
};
xhr.send(null);

You can read John's full post here.

As a person that loves the powers of web services from different domains (one thing I love about JSON is that by using DOM manipulation to load the code you can get around cross-domain issues without the overhead of a server side proxy) I hope that this feature catches on with more browsers as new versions of each browser is released so that it would have cross-browser support.

[Save The Date] Ajax Experience 2008 has been announced

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"Yes Virginia, there is an Ajax Experience planned for 2008"

Announced today, Ajaxian will be holding its Ajax Experience conference this year. The dates have been set as September 29 - October 1, 2008 and the venue will be the Renaissance Waterfront Hotel in Boston, MA. They have opened the Call for Papers until January 31, 2008.

If you're thinking about submitting a paper:

Approved speakers get a free pass to show and a stipend towards airfare and hotel. See our Call for Papers page for more details on how to submit a talk.

Read the full announcement over at Ajaxian

Fix your IE6 Transparent PNG Issue and More with IE7.js

Dean Edwards has published an IE7 JavaScript library to make Microsoft Internet Explorer behave like a standards-compliant browser. It fixes many HTML and CSS issues and makes transparent PNG work correctly under IE5 and IE6.

Usage

IE7.js
Upgrade MSIE5-6 to be compatible with MSIE7.
<!--[if lt IE 7]>
<script src="http://ie7-js.googlecode.com/svn/version/xx.x/IE7.js" type="text/javascript"></script>
<![endif]-->

IE8.js
Upgrade MSIE5-7 with advanced CSS features missing from MSIE7.
<!--[if lt IE 8]>
<script src="http://ie7-js.googlecode.com/svn/version/xx.x/IE8.js" type="text/javascript"></script>
<![endif]-->

Note: You do not need to include IE7.js if you are using IE8.js

PNG Note: The script only fixes images named: *-trans.png

Download
http://ie7-js.googlecode.com/svn/version/

Demo
http://ie7-js.googlecode.com/svn/test/index.html

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