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JavaScript Weekly Issue 3
November 26, 2010
Welcome to issue 3 of JavaScript Weekly - thanks for reading and a big, special thanks to everyone who's recommended the newsletter to people over the last week. It's helped a lot! Other than that, no announcements this week, straight on to the news..
This week's top news
Prototype 1.7 Released (For Real This Time) Last week, I preempted the Prototype 1.7 release after noticing the version bump in the code itself, but now the release has gone official with a full blog post by the Prototype team.
Launching the JS1K Xmas Contest JS1K is a family of 1K JavaScript demo contests and the second, a 2010 Xmas special, is now open. Your entry must be Xmas themed and be pure JavaScript clocking in at 1024 bytes or under. The deadline is midnight on Christmas Eve.
40% off Pragmatic Bookshelf Books November 26 Only Sadly I'm getting no cut on this ;-) but the esteemed publisher Pragmatic Bookshelf has a one day only 40% sale on TODAY (using code 'turkey'). They've got tons of cool books (and e-books) but, in particular, this offers lets you pick up the 'Pragmatic Guide to JavaScript' from just $7.80 (for the e-book only). The sale ends midnight Pacific time (GMT-8).
This week's top articles
Implementing an HTML5 Canvas-based Tilt-sensing Snow Globe Pedro Freitas shows off and explains a great HTML5, Canvas and JavaScript demo in a gorgeously visual blog post. A must read, and Xmas themed too.
Yehuda Katz Discusses SproutCore [video interview] jQuery core team member Yehuda Katz recently left Engine Yard to join the Sprout Systems team - the team responsible for the SproutCore 'desktop-class Web application' JavaScript framework. In this interview with InfoQ, Yehuda talks about what Sproutcore is, how it works, and its future.
Face Detection using jQuery Face-Detection is a jQuery plugin that detects human faces in images. Besides the main algorithm that does the recognition, it uses HTML5 Canvas element to grab the image data so it'll only work on browsers with Canvas support.
How to Build a CoverFlow Effect Component with jQuery UI and CSS3 Addy Osmani, the author of 'Essential JavaScript And jQuery Design Patterns', presents a walkthrough of building an iTunes-style 'CoverFlow' effect jQuery component using jQuery UI and CSS3.
Box2D JS: HTML5 and JavaScript Physics Guide Box2D JS is the Javascript port of the Box2DFlashAS3 library, which in turn is a port of the Box2D C++ library. Simply, Box2D JS lets you apply 2 dimensional physics behavior to objects on your HTML5 canvases. Tony Lukasavage shows us how.
Immediately-Invoked Function Expression (IIFE) Ben Alman describes a common JavaScript pattern that he believes is misleadingly called a 'self executing anonymous function' and considers a new approach: the 'immediately-invoked function expression.'
Interesting new libraries and tools
node.io: Data Scraping Framework for Node.js node.io is a data scraping and processing framework for Node.js inspired by Google's MapReduce. It streamlines the process of parsing and filtering large amounts of data, as well as scraping data from the Web. Lots of interesting examples are included. Thanks to Jonathan Magen for recommending this.
Canopy: Parser Compiler for JavaScript Canopy is a parser compiler for JavaScript based on Parsing Expression Grammars (PEGs). Essentially, it lets you create parsers for languages of your choice by providing it with a defined grammar for the language. It's heavily influenced by the popular Treetop parser toolkit for Ruby.
xc.js - A Canvas Game Framework xc.js is a framework for HTML Canvas games in Javascript. It uses Ruby to generate the base project files but can also be tested online direct on the xc.js site. There's also experimental support for iOS devices.
WebGL Inspector: Developer Tools for WebGL WebGL Inspector is a tool inspired by gDEBugger and PIX with the goal of making the development of advanced WebGL applications easier. What Firebug and Developer Tools are to HTML/JS, WebGL Inspector is to WebGL.
Endtable: ORM for CouchDB on Node.JS Ben Coe, who's a self-confessed hater of relational databases, describes his new JavaScript library as 'a ridiculously simple Object Mapper for Node running on top of CouchDB.' Using these technologies? Check it out.
nude.js: Nudity Detection in JavaScript In a similar vein to the 'face detection' article linked above, nude.js gives you detection of a different physical attribute: nudity. Interesting work but quite slow and still in its early stages.
A Blast From The Past
Netscape and Sun Announce JavaScript: The 1995 Press Release Someone on Hacker News dug up an archive.org to the first press release announcing the first publicly available version of JavaScript. A blast from the past.
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