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JavaScript Weekly Issue 40
August 19, 2011
Welcome to issue 40 of JavaScript Weekly. It's a bumper packed issue this week so I hope you have some time spare :-) I'm also announcing the launch of my latest e-mail newsletter below, so check that out - it might be right up your street. And, as always, thanks for reading.
Announcing YUI (Yahoo UI) 3.4.0 and the new Yahoo has unveiled version 3.4.0 of its popular YUI framework. It includes a new calendar widget, an app framework (for doing MVC type stuff), an improved loader and, naturally, "much more."
Sign up for HTML5 Weekly, My New HTML5 and Browser Tech Newsletter
HTML5 Weekly is the third addition to my newsletter stable (following Ruby Weekly and JavaScript Weekly). Issue 1 is due on August 24, and it'll be covering browser technologies from HTML5 to CSS3, Canvas, WebSockets, WebGL, and more.
Codecademy: An Interesting Way to Learn JavaScript Codecademy is a new "learn how to code" site that currently focuses on JavaScript. Right from the front page, you're thrown into an interactive coding scenario. One only for the total beginners right now, but a promising start.
Understanding 'Prototypes' in JavaScript Yehuda Katz takes us on a tour of JavaScript's object system, focusing on prototypes. He uses syntax defined in ECMAScript 5.1 but the concepts still apply to earlier standards. An interesting tour, nonetheless.
The Developer's Guide To Writing Cross-Browser Polyfills Polyfills are JavaScript shims that replicate the standard API found in native features of new browsers for those without such features. Addy Osmani discusses some of the approaches behind creating them.
Fixing The JavaScript typeof Operator Twitter developer Angus Croll gives a brief overview of JavaScript's 'typeof' operator before introducing a tiny new toType function, a fully-loaded, more reliable alternative that works directly with JavaScript's internals.
D3 Data Visualization for Mere Mortals d3.js is a powerful JavaScript data visualization library and this tutorial by Luke Francl gives a visual demonstration of how to use it to produce graphs and custom visualizations.
5 Ways to Make Ajax Calls with jQuery There are at least five ways to make AJAX calls with the jQuery library. In this tutorial, Piao Yishi compares them and demonstrates how to inspect them with Firebug too.
Test-Driven JavaScript: A First-Time Experience Jesse Miller talks about his first time experience with test-driven JavaScript development and shares some techniques and tools he found useful along the way. There's also a demo GitHub repo for you to play with if you want to give it a go too.
Using Pow with your Node.js Project Pow is a tool for OS X by 37signals that makes it easy to run Ruby webapps locally for development purposes. In this post, Assaf Arkin shows how to create a simple proxy so you can use Pow to serve up a local Node.js app instead.
Videos and Media
16 Videos from JSConf 2011, 5 from NodeConf 2011
Miss out on JSConf and NodeConf this year? Never fear, sessions from each have been released on videos hosted at See presentations from David Flanagan, Ryan Dahl, Paul Irish, Jeremy Ashkenas and others.
jQuery Custom Animations Screencast A well produced 6 minute screencast by Jim Hoskins that demonstrates how to use the jQuery 'animate' method to produce interesting transitions and movements.
Douglas Crockford on JavaScript Programming Style and Your Brain
Code and Libraries
spin.js: A Pure JavaScript 'Busy Spinner'
spin.js is a JavaScript 'processing' spinner animation library by Felix Gnass. It has no dependencies, uses no images, and works in all major browsers including IE 6.
box2dweb - Box2D Flash Physics Engine Ported to JavaScript
Box2D is a popular Flash-based physics engine and 'box2dweb' is its port to JavaScript, ready for use with your favorite Canvas element. There's a live demo to check out too.
jStat: A JavaScript Statistics and Plotting Library jStat is a statistical library written in JavaScript that allows you to perform advanced statistical operations without the need of a dedicated statistical language (i.e. MATLAB or R).
JAIL: The jQuery Asynchronous Image Loader JAIL is an asynchronous image loader that can help your page load faster. Images can be loaded on the fly as they become visible in the viewport or after certain events occur.
Evernode: A Node.js API for the Evernote Notetaking Service
pjscrape: A Web-Scraping Framework Using PhantomJS and jQuery pjscrape is a framework for anyone who's ever wanted a command-line tool for Web scraping using JavaScript and jQuery. Built to run with PhantomJS, it scrapes pages in a fully rendered, Javascript-enabled context from the command line with no browser needed.
Sprite3D.js: 3D Positioning for Elements in Webkit
Vows: Asynchronous BDD (Behavior Driven Development) for Node
Vows is an asynchronous BDD testing tool for Node, suiting Node's own asynchronous nature. The well designed homepage is full of demos and tips. Great work.
Validators.js - JS Based Form Validation Using jQuery
CoffeePack: A CoffeeScript Implementation of the MessagePack Serialization Format
Petrify: Flexible Static Site Generator for Node.js
Job Of The Week
Bioinformatics Startup seeks Full-Stack Engineers in The Mission, San Francisco WellnessFX is building the platform that will revolutionize how we manage our health and we're building out the core development team. We're on the hunt for a strong full-stack developer well-versed in modern Javascript and Rails development. Opportunities abound to build fat clients and visualize rich bioinformatic datasets.
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