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JavaScript Weekly Issue 2
November 19, 2010
Welcome to issue 2 of JavaScript Weekly and thanks for reading. 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
Processing.js v1.0 Released Processing.js, a JavaScript port of the Processing graphical visualization language, has hit a significant landmark with 1.0, its first stable release. Processing.js is a great way to get started with producing interesting graphical effects and animations with JavaScript and the site is full of examples.
Essential JavaScript And jQuery Design Patterns - A New, Free Book 'Essential JavaScript And jQuery Design Patterns' is a new, free e-book by Addy Osmani. Only the last half is jQuery specific so even if you don't use it, it's worth checking out. This is a solid offering for free and seems well written.
JSMentors: A JavaScript discussion mailing list JSMentions is a newish mailing list for discussion of JavaScript, ECMAScript and browser scripting. Some big names are on the list helping people out already, including Garrett Smith, Peter van der Zee, Rey Bango, Remy Sharp, and Paul Irish.
Prototype 1.7 Released (Sort Of..) It hasn't been announced on the official blog yet, but the version number has been bumped from 1.7_rc3 to the full 1.7 and people are already celebrating 1.7's 'release'. It's been a long time in the making but includes full IE9 support, the Sizzle selector engine, pixel-perfect element measurement, and ECMAScript 5 compliance.
Sencha Touch 1.0 Ships - Now Free! Sencha Touch bills itself as 'the first HTML5 mobile JavaScript framework that allows you to develop mobile web apps that look and feel native on iPhone and Android touchscreen devices.' The landmark 1.0 release is now available and while it previously cost $99 to use the beta version, it's now free and open source.
This week's top articles
Higher Order JavaScript (and CoffeeScript) Esteemed developer Piers Cawley has put together a great code-driven walkthrough of some 'higher order programming' concepts using CoffeeScript.
Google Instant Previews: Under the hood The Google team explain how their 'instant previews' feature works and how they've optimized the JavaScript to make it super speedy. Techniques include JavaScript compilation, JSONP, and data URIs.
Nine New-ish jQuery Features Worth Trying Jason Gilmore highlights nine interesting and 'new-ish' jQuery features that you might not be aware of.
Writing Clean Maintainable JavaScript Ben Coe looks back at his experience in building Schedgy, a calendar application, and delivers some pointers on writing clean, maintainable JavaScript code.
jQuery's Data Method - How and Why to Use It Martin Angelov demonstrates how to use jQuery's 'data' method to associate arbitrary data with DOM nodes and JavaScript objects. Includes code and a demo.
Emulating Lossy RGBA Images with HTML5's Canvas Element Jos-Iven Hirth demonstrates how to create RGBA (regular images with an alpha transparency channel) images that use JPEGs for the RGB channels. This can decrease the file size by up to 75% and can be an easy way to speed up the loading time of your game or app. This is a clever little hack for sure.
What is currently the best book for learning JavaScript? The Reddit hive-mind ponders JavaScript book recommendations and comes up with some great suggestions for a newcomer to the language. Crockford's 'JavaScript: The Good Parts' seems to be the favorite.
Getting Started with WebGLU A blog post by Benjamin DeLillo that covers the basics of creating a WebGL powered page using WebGLU, a WebGL development library. If you want to do some 3D work in your cutting edge browser, this is a good place to start.
Interesting new libraries and code
jSignature - Web signatures jQuery plugin jSignature is a plugin for jQuery which simplifies the creation of a field that allows a user to enter a signature either via a mouse, your finger on touch enabled devices (e.g. iPhones, iPads or Android devices) or a pen input device.
glob-trie.js: High performance pattern matching for Node glob-trie.js delivers a highly optimized way to match strings against a large set of pattern matching expressions quickly. It breaks down the pattern matchers into pieces and organizes them in a Trie (prefix search tree) structure, allowing them to be searched in roughly logarithmic time vs linear time.
Douglas Crockford's JSLint now on GitHub JavaScript god Douglas Crockford has finally drunk the koolaid and started to move some of his projects over to GitHub, including JSON-js, TDOP, JSMin, and the famous JSLint.
Bonus golden oldie link
The JS Rosetta Stone The JavaScript Rosetta Stone is a single page site that shows how various tasks are performed with both jQuery and YUI, along with notes. Even if you don't need to cross between the two, it's an interesting list of basic functionality nonetheless.
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