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JavaScript Weekly Issue 15
February 25, 2011
It's issue 15 of JavaScript Weekly and it's our biggest yet - too much awesome stuff is going on! I hope to improve the organization a little soon because JavaScript is only going to get more popular as time goes by..
P.S. Some subscribers have reported GMail has put this newsletter into their Spam folder.. if this happens to you, please mark it as "Not Spam" so Google can learn about our non-evil nature - thanks! :-)
News
Cappuccino 0.9 Released: Many New Controls Cappuccino is a JavaScript framework that lets you build desktop-level apps for the Web browser. 0.9 is a significant release featuring several new features and controls, as well as a production-quality table view.
Google's Chrome 10 Offers Faster JavaScript Google has released Chrome 10 to the beta channel. It includes the newly-Crankshaft-enhanced V8 JavaScript engine which gets around 66% extra performance and lower CPU usage overall with JavaScript applications.
jQuery 1.5.1 Released: Now With Full IE 9 Support jQuery 1.5.1 is the first minor release on top of jQuery 1.5 and is primarily a bug-fix release. The biggest overall change is that jQuery now supports Internet Explorer 9 as a 'top level browser.'
Node 0.4.1 Released Node 0.4.1 is a minor release that includes a few minor improvements, upgrades to V8 and libev, as well as some bugfixes. It continues a long run of almost weekly updates for the popular JavaScript framework.
Sencha Labs Releases PhiloGL Framework for WebGL Development Sencha Labs has announced the availability of a new open source framework for WebGL development. The framework, which is called PhiloGL, makes it easier for developers to adopt WebGL and integrate its functionality in Web applications.
Articles
JavaScript Array 'Extras' in Detail Dmitry Soshnikov (a pretty serious ECMAScript spec guru) demonstrates some of the functionality made available by the new array object methods standardized in ECMA-262 5th edition (ES5). Most are usable in the current batch of modern browsers.
Unit Testing 101: Are You Testing Your JavaScript? In a post for Microsoft's ScriptJunkie blog, Christian Johansen introduces unit testing within the context of JavaScript. It goes into a lot of detail and also explains why unit testing is worth the time investment.
MVC Architecture for JavaScript Applications Peter Michaux takes an in-depth look at the MVC (Model, View, Controller) model, how it can be used by JavaScript developers, what the best books to read are, and dissects a simple example.
Is Node.js Becoming a Part of the Stack? SimpleGeo Says Yes. An interview with a developer at SimpleGeo, a location-aware app service, on their increasing use of Node.js as a backend service component, replacing code that would have at one time been written in Java, Python or Ruby.
Implementing Layers in CamanJS CamanJS is a pure JavaScript canvas manipulation library and in this blog post its creator explains how he implemented the 'layers' feature so effects could be layered up on a single canvas (or so it seems..)
The Learning WebGL Blog Learning WebGL is a blog by Giles Thomas entirely about WebGL, the 3D equivalent of Canvas (sort of). He's frequently putting up lots of links to demos and examples as well as tutorials. A must-read if WebGL is your bag.
HTML5 Games 0.3: Seeing the Future Bruce Rogers of Facebook looks at how WebGL can give a massive performance benefit to regular 2D sprite rendering. The benefits appear to be significant but WebGL is still in its early days support-wise.
Code and Libraries
The Smallest DOMReady Code, Ever Dustin Diaz has created a 'DOM ready' method that works in all major browsers in just 74 characters - check it out here. There's some funky JavaScript magic going on right here.
Dust: Yet Another Templating Engine (That Looks Good!) Dust is a JavaScript templating engine designed to provide a clean separation between presentation and logic without sacrificing ease of use. It is well-suited for asynchronous and streaming applications.
JSHint: A Community Driven Fork of JSLint Anton Kovalyov and Paul Irish have been working on a fork of Doug Crockford's JSLint (a tool that finds errors in your JavaScript code) called JSHint. They thought that JSLint was getting too opinionated and wanted a more developer-friendly alternative.
JavaScript InfoVis Toolkit The JavaScript InfoVis Toolkit - by Nicolas Garcia Belmonte - provides tools for creating 'interactive data visualizations' for the Web. Treemaps, multi-trees, space trees, radial graphs, and more are included. Looks awesome!
node-microtime: Microsecond Times Currently, Date.now() in Node will only give you accuracy in milliseconds. node-microtime brings microsecond level time checking to your fingertips.
jQuery Waypoints Waypoints is a small jQuery plugin that makes it easy to execute a function whenever you scroll to an element. It makes a solid base for modern UI patterns that depend on a user's scroll position on the page.
TileMill: A Modern Map Design Studio Powered by JavaScript TileMill is a modular, open source 'map design' framework pulling together multiple great projects like Backbone.js, node.js, Mapnik, and express. If whatever you do involves creating maps, this is a must see.
Brunch: A Framework of Frameworks For Cohesive Development Brunch presents a lightweight approach to building HTML5 applications with an emphasis on elegance and simplicity. It pulls together CoffeeScript, Backbone.js, Docco, jQuery and more to make it easier to build full, cohesive JavaScript apps.
LoadRunner: JavaScript Loader and Build Tool for Browsers LoadRunner is a JavaScript loader by Dan Webb that's 'plain old JavaScript', asynchronous, JS framework agnostic, and can load any script (no package conventions required). Looks interesting.
Last but not least..
Neat Algorithms: Flocking A delightful demonstration of a 'flocking' algorithm written in CoffeeScript where the focus is a live demo rendered right in the page. If you haven't been convinced by CoffeeScript yet, this code provides a gorgeous example of how it can look.
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