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JavaScript Weekly Issue 1
November 12, 2010
Welcome to the inaugural issue of JavaScript Weekly - thanks for signing up! I've had great fun with Ruby Weekly and wanted to branch out to a more recent programming interest of mine - JavaScript!
If there are things you want (or don't want) to see in JavaScript Weekly or if you just have suggestions, e-mail me at With that, onwards..
This week's top news
jQuery Mobile Alpha 2 Released jQuery Mobile is a touch-optimized framework (iOS and Android are currently best supported) that uses jQuery and jQuery UI for its foundation. Today, John Resig has announced a second alpha release and suggests a final 1.0 release will occur in January 2011.
jQuery 1.4.4 Released jQuery 1.4.4 has been released and focuses on basic tweaks and bugfixes. The only new feature is a new Effects function called fadeToggle() that brings built-in toggling to fading effects. jQuery 1.5 is now the team's focus with an early 2011 release in the works.
Infrastructure Company Joyent Invests in Node.js node.js founder Ryan Dahl reports that he has made an 'agreement with Joyent that officially puts Node under their roof' with the company sponsoring his work on the popular JavaScript framework.
New Firefox 4 Beta Boasts Crazy JavaScript Performance Mozilla has rolled out a new Firefox 4 beta release with the biggest improvements coming in JavaScript and graphics performance. Firefox 4's JavaScript engine now clocks in at between 3-5 times faster than 3.6.12 on various JavaScript benchmarks. Also, WebGL (think Canvas but 3D) support is now enabled by default.
Announcing a Node.js Book Project Yahoo! developer Tom Hughes-Croucher has announced a preview release of his upcoming book, Up and Running With Node.js. It's still early days with only about 25 pages shared but it shows promise.
Introducing the new YUI Test Yahoo has announced a new YUI Test project with a goal to create a complete JavaScript testing solution that encompasses all parts of the testing process. It even includes a Selenium driver.
Rebecca Murphey Offering jQuery Fundamentals Course jQuery guru Rebecca Murphey has teamed up with CodeLesson to offer a jQuery Fundamental course, starting in January 2011. It costs $395 but you get four weeks of jQuery tuition and Rebecca will be on hand throughout.
This week's top articles
Building a Simple Node.js Web Service [Video] Keir Whitaker presents a 10 minute video on building a simple Web service (to perform operations on numbers) with Node.js. Compellingly short, and he says "huge dump" half way through too.
Organizing a jQuery Application Justin Meyer presents a walkthrough of using JavaScriptMVC to organize a jQuery-based JavaScript app, based around the separation of concerns.
Roll your own PubSub with DNode James Halliday demonstrates how to use the DNode remote method invocation library to build a publish/subscribe messaging service with JavaScript and Node.js.
Learning JavaScript with Object Graphs (Part 3) The third in a series of great articles by Tim Caswell digging into JavaScript's object system. This time around, Tim compares JavaScript's object model to that of Ruby.
37signals' Chalk Dissected Sami Samhuri tears apart 37signals' purely Web based "Chalk" drawing app and looks at how it works. A good teardown of a well designed but small JavaScript and HTML5 project.
A JavaScript Starfield on Canvas Charles Leifer presents a quick demo of a "starfield" effect (think the intro to Star Trek) built using JavaScript and Canvas. The code is shown inline and provides a short, well structured example of producing a basic Canvas-based effect.
Listing Your GitHub Projects using JavaScript Andrew Davey demonstrates how to create a simple JavaScript widget to put on your site in order to show off your GitHub projects.
Building a GameBoy Emulator in JavaScript Not new this week but this series of articles about building a Nintendo GameBoy emulator in JavaScript is a compelling and on-going project.
Interesting new libraries and code
Introducing node-canvas - A Server-side HTML 5 Canvas API Node-canvas is a Cairo-backed Canvas implementation for Node.js. Essentially, imagine the typical browser-based Canvas API but having it server side. It comes with several great examples.
jsii - Full Text Search in 1000 Lines of JavaScript jsii provides an in-memory inverted index within approx 1000 lines of JavaScript. Some more lines are necessary to set up a server via node.js, so that the index is queryable via http and returns Solr-compatible JSON or XML.
backbone-couchdb: Give your CouchDB app some Backbone backbone-couchdb is a Backbone.js connector that overrides the default sync-behavior of Backbone and connects your app to your CouchDB database. The result? You don't have to write any server-side if you don't want to.
Dynamically generated MIDI in JavaScript Sergi Mansilla is working on a JavaScript library to let you produce MIDI files that you can play directly in the browser. It's very new and support is patchy but an interesting project nonetheless.
DNode - Asynchronous Remote Method Invocation DNode is a node.js library for asynchronous, bidirectional remote method invocation across the network. Transports for network sockets and WebSocket-style connections are available. Think Ruby's DRb but for JavaScript (and on steroids).
Snippet - A JQuery Syntax Highlighter Snippet is a jQuery syntax highlighting plugin built on top of the SHJS script. Snippet provides a quick and easy way of highlighting source code passages (in languages like C, CSS, HTML, Ruby, XML, SQL, Python and more) in HTML documents.
Silly link o'the week
Enterprise JavaScript Enterprise JavaScript provides a barrage of proven high performance, enterprise-level and scalable JavaScript tips and best practices. Or not.
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