Simon Willison’s Weblog

Items tagged javascript in Feb

Filters: Month: Feb × javascript ×


We write a lot of JavaScript at Basecamp, but we don’t use it to create “JavaScript applications” in the contemporary sense. All our applications have server-side rendered HTML at their core, then add sprinkles of JavaScript to make them sparkle. [...] It allows us to party with productivity like days of yore. A throwback to when a single programmer could make rapacious progress without getting stuck in layers of indirection or distributed systems. A time before everyone thought the holy grail was to confine their server-side application to producing JSON for a JavaScript-based client application.

David Heinemeier Hansson # 8th February 2020, 8:10 am

If you want the fastest website despite implementation difficulty, the answer is: SSR behind a CDN with assets in best compression formats (webp, Brotli, woff2) served over http2 (or 3) from same origin with JS as enhancement only

Mike Sherov # 15th February 2019, 7:12 pm

owlsnearme source code on GitHub. Here’s the source code for our new owlsnearme.com project. It’s a single-page React application that pulls all of its data from the iNaturalist API. We built it this weekend with the SuperbOwl kick-off as a hard deadline so it’s not the most beautiful React code, but it’s a nice demonstration of how React (and create-react-app in particular) can be used for rapid development. # 4th February 2018, 10:33 pm

Wouldn’t an ASCII cellular automaton in javascript be the simplest starting point to teach/learn programming?

Absolutely not. The first step in learning to program is understanding that a computer can be quickly made to do something useful by executing lines of code. Personally I’m a big fan of firing up something with an interactive prompt (like Python, or even Firebug or the Google Chrome JS console) and demonstrating that typing a line of code hitting return will get a useful response.

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How do you change page content and URL without reloading the whole page?

This can only be done using JavaScript. You use XMLHttpRequest to pull in new information from the server (also known as Ajax—most people use a JavaScript library such as jQuery to handle this) and then use the HTML5 history API, in particular the pushState method, to update the URL.

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How can I parse unquoted JSON with JavaScript?

Unquoted JSON isn’t JSON—the JSON spec requires that strings are quoted (with double quotes, not single quotes).

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Was CoffeeScript invented to help Ruby programmers get over that dirty yucky feeling they get when working in JavaScript?

The original Prototype JS library might fit that description—more than CoffeeScript, at any rate.

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How long until Ruby developers are as cheap as PHP developers? is it already happening? should I still learn it or it only has a couple years left and I’m better off with SSJS?

If you want to be a highly paid engineer, you should worry less about your expertise in a specific language and more about developing broad and deep skills across a wider range of development topics.

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Before events took this bad turn, the contract represented by a link was simple: “Here’s a string, send it off to a server and the server will figure out what it identifies and send you back a representation.” Now it’s along the lines of: “Here’s a string, save the hashbang, send the rest to the server, and rely on being able to run the code the server sends you to use the hashbang to generate the representation.” Do I need to explain why this is less robust and flexible? This is what we call “tight coupling” and I thought that anyone with a Computer Science degree ought to have been taught to avoid it.

Tim Bray # 10th February 2011, 6 am

Node.js, redis, and resque (via) Paul Gross has been experimenting with Node.js proxies for allowing web applications to be upgraded without missing any requests. Here he places all incoming HTTP requests in a redis queue, then has his backend Rails servers consume requests from the queue and push the responses back on to a queue for Node to deliver. When the backend application is upgraded, requests remain in the queue and users see a few seconds of delay before their request is handled. It’s not production ready yet (POST requests aren’t handled, for example) but it’s a very interesting approach. # 28th February 2010, 11:02 pm

kriszyp’s node-promise. Another elegant approach to managing asynchronous flows in Node, including running things both in parallel and serial. # 28th February 2010, 3:50 pm

“Do” it fast! Tim Caswell’s Do library has been upgraded for compatibility with Node v0.1.30, and now has a clever Do.convert() method which wraps Node’s low-level APIs with the Do libraries “continuable” abstraction. # 22nd February 2010, 7:02 pm

node-v0.1.30 (via) A very significant new release of Node.js: the Twisted/Dojo-style Promise abstraction has been removed entirely, causing backwards incompatible changes to a bunch of core APIs. This means the pseudo-blocking Promise.wait() method is gone too, making it even harder to accidentally block your event loop. Instead, user-level libraries are encouraged to add Promise-style abstractions. I’m pleased to see Node sticking to the low-level stuff. # 22nd February 2010, 7 pm

do. A library for Node that adds a higher level abstraction for dealing with chained and parallel callbacks. # 17th February 2010, 5:43 pm

How To Node. New blog about Node.js, with a superb series of tutorials aimed at both experienced and new JavaScript developers. The stuff on managing callbacks (including running them in both series and parallel) is pretty eye-opening. # 17th February 2010, 5:42 pm

Plupload (via) Fantastic new open source project from the team behind TinyMCE. Plupload offers a cross-browser JavaScript File uploading API that handles multiple file uploads, client-side progress meters, type filtering and even client-side image resizing and drag-and-drop from the desktop. It achieves all of this by providing backends for Flash, Silverlight, Google Gears, HTML5 and Browserplus and picking the most capable available option. # 10th February 2010, 12:53 pm

Glitch is built in an entirely new and different way for a game. The back end (java at the lowest level, with game logic scripted in Javascript) is designed for maximum flexibility and ease of deployment. That means we’ll be able to push new content — new items, new places, new characters — on a daily basis. It also means that we’ll have lots of APIs with which the game can be expanded and extended.

Glitch # 10th February 2010, 11:40 am

Lou’s Pseudo 3d Page. Spectacularly detailed exploration of the road graphics used in racing games prior to true 3D. This is a potential gold mine for anyone looking for a fun project to try out with canvas. Bonus points for comet integration—I’m still looking forward to the first real-time multiplayer game in the browser using comet and canvas. # 8th February 2010, 11:21 am

dogproxy. Another of my experiments with Node.js—this is a very simple HTTP proxy which addresses the dog pile effect (also known as the thundering herd) by watching out for multiple requests for a URL that is currently “in flight” and bundling them together. # 3rd February 2010, 1:05 pm

Comet (long polling) for all browsers using ScriptCommunicator. More Comet from the Plurk team: 80 lines of dependency free JavaScript implementing long polling using script tags (hence working cross-domain) across IE6+, Firefox, WebKit and Opera. The clever bit is the code to detect loading errors. It doesn’t try to fix the infinite loading indicator problem—is that still a cromulent usability concern? # 3rd February 2010, 12:37 am

Plurk: Instant conversations using Comet (via) Plurk’s comet implementation sounds pretty amazing. They’re using a single quad-core server with 32GB of RAM running 8 Node.js instances to serve long-polled comet to 100,000+ simultaneous users. They switched to Node from Java JBoss/Netty and found the new solution used 10 times less memory. # 1st February 2010, 10:13 am

jQuery source viewer. A neat way of browsing the source code of jQuery itself, complete with hyperlinks to other jQuery methods. Kind of a single-purpose IDE. I can see myself using this a lot. # 1st February 2010, 10:01 am

HTML 5 audio player demo. Scott Andrew’s experiments with the HTML5 audio element (and jQuery)—straight forward and works a treat in Safari, but Firefox doesn’t support MP3. Presumably it’s not too hard to set up a fallback for Ogg. # 1st February 2010, 9:58 am

jQuery Sparklines. Delightful Sparklines implementation, using canvas or VML in IE. A neat nod towards unobtrusiveness as well: you can specify your data as comma separated values inside a span, then use a single jQuery method call to convert the span in to a sparkline image. # 27th February 2009, 8:43 pm

Magic properties make Firefox synchronously load the Java plugin. Even defining a function called sun() (or several other symbols) will trigger the Java VM to be loaded, dramatically hurting the performance of your page. # 27th February 2009, 4:03 pm

Accessibility and Degradation in Cappuccino. Ross Boucher from 280 North responds to Drew McLellan. # 26th February 2009, 9:39 pm

The Cost of Accessibility. Drew McLellan comments on the seemingly inevitable march towards JavaScript dependent applications, and argues that JavaScript frameworks such as Cappuccino have a duty to integrate accessibility in to their core. # 25th February 2009, 10:31 pm

Oscars 2009: the interactive results | guardian.co.uk. My latest project for the Guardian, put together on very short notice. Updates live as the results are announced, and allows Twitter users to vote on their favourite for each category by sending a specially formatted message to @guardianfilm—jQuery and Ajax polling against S3 under the hood. # 23rd February 2009, 2:19 am

I think you overstate the usefulness of the [jQuery Rules] plugin. Using this plugin, users are now limited by what selectors that can use (they can only use what the browsers provide—and are at the mercy of the cross-browser bugs that are there) which is a huge problem. Not to mention that it encourages the un-separation of markup/css/js.

John Resig # 22nd February 2009, 11:11 pm

jQuery.Rule (via) jQuery plugin for manipulating stylesheet rules. For me, this is the single most important piece of functionality currently missing from the core jQuery API. The ability to add new CSS rules makes an excellent complement to the .live() method added in jQuery 1.3. # 22nd February 2009, 5:53 pm