YUI 3.0 Preview Release 1

The Yahoo! User Interface development team has released the first preview version of YUI 3.0. According to the team blog, there are 5 goals for the new release: lighter code (in kb), faster code (fewer HTTP requests, more compact code), greater API consistency, more powerful API capability, and more securable code.

What's New?

  • Sandboxing: each YUI instance can now be separated from other instances via YUI.use()
  • Modularity: YUI 3.0 is architected to use smaller, more re-usable modules.
  • Self-completing: With the seed file in place, you can tell YUI what modules you want to use, and it will download them in a single HTTP request.
  • Selectors: Elements can be targeted via CSS selector idioms (much like jQuery)
  • Enhanced Custom Events: Custom Events in YUI 3.0 have been enhanced with support for bubbling, stopping propagation, assigning/preventing default behaviors, among other things.
  • Nodes and NodeLists: You can now reference elements via Node and NodeList facades, allowing a more fluid API.
  • Chaining: YUI is adopting a fluent interface style, using method chaining to achieve greater expressiveness (and compactness)

For those who don't like the jQuery-style fluent interfaces in YUI 3.0, a more explicit/verbose API is still available. YUI 3.0 will not be completely backward compatible with YUI 2.0, but there will be a limited compatibility layer.

You can download the preview release here. A final release is not anticipated until next year.

Continuous scrolling pattern using JavaScript and ASP.NET


You have probably seen some of the search engines where you can keep scrolling through your search results and they load as you scroll without clicking a next button. Well if you have been looking for a good example the Janko at Warp Speed blog has put together a good example using .Net and JavaScript.

Below is an excerpt from the post.


continuous scrollingTypically, user is notified that new content is being loaded by showing indicator in the bottom right angle of a content (as you can see on the screenshot on the left).

Generally, it looks like this: Initial content is loaded on the start. When user scrolls down to the end of the content, JavaScript function calls local WebService and a set of new items is sent back to the client.

Let's make an example. Since I use Google Reader every day, let's make something that looks like it. Ok, I admit, I stole colors for this example :)

This is going to be very simple. I have a list of countries stored in SQL database. Each country has ID, Name and number of Internet users. I would like to show the complete list in a div, and to enable continuous scrolling. Image on the left shows our example.

So, I will define CountryWS that will get the data from the database. This is the first catch and might be tricky. Since new data have to be loaded on request (precisely on scroll) I have to do paging in the database. I do that by sending two parameters to my stored procedure: PageIndex and PageSize. PageIndex will tell my stored procedure which page to query, and PageSize - how many items to retrieve.

[WebService(Namespace = "")]
[WebServiceBinding(ConformsTo = WsiProfiles.BasicProfile1_1)]
public class CountryWS : System.Web.Services.WebService
    public List<Country> GetMoreCountries(int pageIndex, int pageSize)

        SampleDAO sampleDAO = new SampleDAO();
        List<Country> countries = sampleDAO.GetCountriesPaged(pageIndex, pageSize);
        return countries;

That is "the server" part. Let's see what will happen on the client. All items will be rendered in a div that has onscroll handler defined.

<div id="content" runat="server" onscroll="OnDivScroll()">
    <%--Items will be rendered here--%>

OnDivScroll function will do a simple job - it will determine if the user scrolled down to the near bottom of the content. Then it will call CountryWS and pass the result to HandleRetrievedData function.

function OnDivScroll()

    var content = document.getElementById('<%=content.ClientID %>');
    if(content.scrollTop < content.scrollHeight - 500)

    CountryWS.GetMoreCountriesObject(pageIndex, pageSize, HandleRetrievedData );

This is a second catch. Why near? The answer is simple - if you want your user to read smoothly, you'll have to load a new content BEFORE he/she reaches the end of the content. Ok?

And for the end, HandleRetrievedData function will parse the result and render new content.

function HandleRetrievedData(result)
    var content = document.getElementById('<%=content.ClientID %>');

    for (var i = 0; i <= result.length - 1; i++)
        content.innerHTML += "<div class='entry'><b>" +
            result[i].CountryName + "</b> (" + result[i].Symbol + ") - " +
            result[i].InternetUsers + " internet user(s)</div>";

You will notice that sample code is more complex than this example, but I will let you sweat a little bit ;)

You can read the full post here.

jqPuzzle - jQuerry Sliding Puzzle

jqPuzzle is a nice puzzle script based on jQuery. The script has some very nice effects using the jQuery library.

You can get jqPuzzel as well as see a few demos here.

Ext GWT 1.0 Released

The Ext JS team has released version 1.0 of its SDK for developing GWT applications with the Ext JS library. Despite some controversy around Ext's licensing strategy (namely the switch from LGPL to GPL), Ext GWT is currently one of the better integrations between a Java web application framework and a JavaScript framework.

Ext GWT 1.0 has been compiled and tested against GWT 1.5 RC1. Downloads are located here.

Great Accordion Scripts

A very useful design element on the modern web is the accordion element. With this useful design element you can never have enough accordion scripts to use. Well, WebTecker has put together a nice list of accordion scripts.

Below is an excerpt from the post.

  • jQuery Horizontal Accordion - This is another jQuery Plugin but the accordion is horizontal. It is very similar to the XBOX 360 interface. This plugin requires you use the interface plugin.

  • MooTools Accordion - This MooTools Accordion script is very nice script that is very easy to implement. There is no additional plugins that you need to get this script to work. The one problem with this is that there is no support for this script. But you can easily figure out how to integrate by viewing the source code.

  • Horizontal JavaScript Accordion - This script requires no JavaScript frameworks and is just 1kb. It has been tested in all major browsers. This is a great an easy script to implement.

  • Accordion v2.0 - This accordion script is built with Prototype and Scriptaculous. This script handles both horizontal and vertical accordions. It can even have an accordion inside an accordion. You should check this out.

You can read the full list here.

This is a great list and many of these scripts could be useful if you want a different accordion script.

jQuery UI 1.5 - Rethinking UI

Congratulations to the jQuery UI team on their release of jQuery UI 1.5!

jQuery UI provides low to high-level interactions and themeable widgets for your rich internet applications. Since it's built on the jQuery JavaScript Library, you have a solid foundation on which to build your apps. The library revolves around different mouse interactions, including drag/drop, sorting, selecting, and resizing. Also, you can expect to find the jQuery Enchant effects framework along with some reusable widgets [accordions, date picks, dialogs, sliders, and tabs] included in this release.

What's new?

- Refactored API
95% less exposed methods means 95% less methods you have to remember.

- Increased Stability
A dedicated bug tracker, new unit tests, and the addition of jquery.simulate.js - a plugin specifically designed to fire true browser events..

- Effects
As mentioned above, this release includes Enchant as a part of jQuery UI and includes features like advanced easing, class transitions (morphing) and color animations. You also get all the effects that come standard with (blind,bounce,drop,fold,slide …), but also some new effects like transfer, explode. clip, and scale. Check out the demos.

View the changelog for a full list of features, bug fixes, and other changes in this release

Imagine you've downloaded a new UI library and are ready to integrate it into one of your applications, what's one of your big obstacles? That's right, figuring out how to get it to match your application's color scheme and look and feel. Wouldn't it be nice if you had a tool that could easily do most of the work for you?

Well get ready for ThemeRoller: a new theme creator for the jQuery UI library created by the crew at the Filament Group in Boston.

ThemeRoller gives you the ability to style your jQuery UI components in minutes. You can easily preview your theme as you make adjustments and when you're done, you can download a ZIP package containing the css, image, and demo page files for your theme. If you don't feel like rolling your own, or maybe want some inspiration, check out ThemeRoller's gallery to browse and download a variety of predefined themes.

Special thanks has to be given to the Liferay staff, who invested countless hours into the development of the new UI website, and with whom the team worked closely together to stabilize jQuery UI for all kinds of enterprise situations.

jQuery UI v1.5 Final Release:

Check out Themeroller

Image Manipulation with JavaScript


Ajaxorized has released a GPL licensed image manipulation script called Phototype. Phototype is a client/server-side library, based on prototype, which provides image manipulation functionality. On the server, it uses the PHP/GD framework to render the image. While the client is an interface that makes these features easily accessible in JavaScript, including the ability to chain effects.

l_oPhoto = new Photo().load("test.jpg").dropShadow().flipH().makeSketchy();

Phototype supports:

  • image rotatation
  • resizing
  • flipping
  • drop shadows
  • effects
  • grey scale
  • captions
  • as well as an addChuckNorris() method [for all you Walker, Texas Ranger fans]




Read more about Phototype

Animated Lightweight JavaScript Tooltip


Michael Leigeber has released an animated JavaScript tooltip script that weighs in at a mere 2kb. It's compatible with IE6+, Firefox, Opera and Safari. A detailed description and implementation guide has been posted at Six Revisions.

Click here to visit the post at Six Revisions.
Click here for the demo.
Click here to download the script.

Vista-like [not in a buggy way] JavaScript/PHP Datepicker


Over at dev.base86, they've released version 2 of their Vista-like Ajax Calendar (vlaCalendar). The vlaCalendar is an unobtrusive JavaScript library that ports the UI functionality of the Windows Vista datepicker control to the web. The library requires the MooTools JavaScript framework as well as PHP.

In their own words:
Key features:

  • Authentic Vista look-and-feel
    • Quick navigation by jumping back and forth between months, years and decades without drop-down boxes
    • Smooth transition animations
  • Customizable features
  • Lightweight (compressed 8,50kB)

New features in version 2:

  • Cleaner and more developer centered - easily editable - CSS, PHP and javascript code
    • Easily changeable date labels (e.g. different languages)
    • Easily stylable. Styles are created on top of the general style; the download include two example styles
    • Both normal and datepicker calendar can be instantiated multiple times

The vlaCalendar has been tested on:



Since Ajax applications are so popular we developers are always looking for better JavaScript tools. Well, jsLex is an eclipse plug-in that attempts to make it easier to improve JavaScript/Ajax performance.

Below is an excerpt from the jsLex site.

Why jsLex?

As Ajax is used for an increasing number of projects it is also being used in projects with larger and larger code base. When the code base of a project increases, chances are you will run into performance issues.

Working on the Apache XAP project and Nexaweb's Universal Client Framwework, which has a large code base it became apparent that hand injection of profiling code only worked so well. A new technique was needed to make it possible to capture a complete view of the performance of an Ajax application in a similar way to using jProfile for Java code.

jsLex is that tool!

  • Go to the features page for more information. Click Me!
  • Go to the screen shots page to view screen shots of the application. Click Me!

jsLex gives developers a complete picture of the performance issues with-in thier Ajax application. By auto injecting profiling code using jsLex ant task, developers don't need to modify their code to track down bottlenecks, minimizing coding erros and saving time.

Currently developers need to hand inject profiling code into their applicaiton. Though this can be easily done as in the example below. Such a technique offers limited information and requires the developer to know percisely where the problem is located. Otherwise developers need to modify their code over and over as the try to find the problem area(s).

function doLongTask(){
  var start = new Date(); 

  for (var index = 0; index < infinite; index++){
     //Do something here

  end = new Date(); 
  alert ("doLongTask took " + (end - start) + 
         " milliseconds to complete." );

You can read more about jsLex here.

I think that jsLex makes a good attempt of improving performance profiling of Ajax applications. Also, since the tool plugs-in to the extremely popular Eclipse IDE it can be very useful to many developers. If you have used jsLex, I would love to hear your experience with the plug-in.

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