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  1. #1
    SitePoint Guru CompiledMonkey's Avatar
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    Motivated by Google Maps

    Ever since I discovered Google Maps, I've been floored at how much can be done on the client in a web browser. I imagine much of what is being done takes place in JavaScript, since its client side. I'd really like to dabble a little bit and discover what can be done in JavaScript that provides a better web experience through functionality or accessibility. For example, on my blog, I think it would be cool to provide the comments to an entry in a collapsible panel, similar to what you find in vBulletin where you can collapse forum categories. Is this something that is typically done in JavaScript? If anyone could point me in a direction for online resources I would appreciate it.

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    Baby steps. You can google for beginning javascript tutorials, or purchase a book like "Javascript: A Beginner's Guide".

    You should know that one guiding principle behind commercial web design with javascript is that it should not be essential for your page to function. Lots of people disable javascript on their browsers, and because of IE security holes more people are joining them everyday. Therefore, commercial sites cannot afford to have pages that don't work for people with javascript disabled.

    Here is another example of what javascript can do:

    http://gosu.pl/demo/JsTetris/Tetris.html

    In addition, in IE, javascript can be used to make full fledged applications called HTA's(HTML Applications):

    http://msdn.microsoft.com/workshop/a...taoverview.asp

  3. #3
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    The most distinguishable component of Google maps is probably its use of Ajax methodology, namely sending HTTP requests without having to reload, but that's pretty advanced javascript.

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    SitePoint Guru CompiledMonkey's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Maian
    The most distinguishable component of Google maps is probably its use of Ajax methodology, namely sending HTTP requests without having to reload, but that's pretty advanced javascript.
    I spent some time with that concept, sending HTTP request without reloading the page, and it's fairly simple stuff. Here's the example I learned from: http://www.xml.com/pub/a/2005/02/09/...p-request.html and here's my implementation of it in ASP.NET/C#/Web Services and some enhancements for my application: http://www.compiledmonkey.com/default.aspx?p=downloads

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by CompiledMonkey
    Ever since I discovered Google Maps, I've been floored at how much can be done on the client in a web browser. I imagine much of what is being done takes place in JavaScript, since its client side. I'd really like to dabble a little bit and discover what can be done in JavaScript that provides a better web experience through functionality or accessibility. For example, on my blog, I think it would be cool to provide the comments to an entry in a collapsible panel, similar to what you find in vBulletin where you can collapse forum categories. Is this something that is typically done in JavaScript? If anyone could point me in a direction for online resources I would appreciate it.
    Google map is based on remote scripting as I said just yesterday
    http://www.sitepoint.com/forums/show...96#post1807996
    I'm amazed that people still don't realise the advantage of such techniques on big scale. I inititiated the concept and even published a java applet implementation for it in 1998/1999 for a friend's company (it's still there on jars.com and javaboutique, it's deprecated now except if you want compatibility with Netscape 3 and IE 3 because it works even under these old browsers ), we are in 2005 and it is still not widespread.

    I will assemble materials for learning on jsvca.com (acronym for JavaScript Visual Component Architecture). That will serve to initiate people for going further as I will propose a new architecture based upon that.

    The objective will be to offer an alternative to the Java J2EE framework but instead on relying on Java applet and complex protocols like Corba / RMI etc, it will rely on latest web techniques like remote scripting. I had managed projects based on Java for corporates firms so I know a little bit about their drawbacks. I find that Flash technology has been more successfull than Java to implement a usefull and pleasant experience for the web user on the client side. I don't desperate that Java will achieve the same result in a few years but I consider that Java should be contained on the server side at the moment where it does best. In all cases I will prepare bridges to integrate java and flash.

  6. #6
    SitePoint Guru CompiledMonkey's Avatar
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    Speaking of Java and Flash, check out Flex. It's quite nice and seemingly powerful. Although I still prefer the concept of designing a custom MVC architecture around XHTML/CSS/Javascipt/XmlHttpRequest, Web Services, and a server based backend (Java, .NET, PHP, Perl, etc). How long as XmlHttpRequest been around?

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    Quote Originally Posted by CompiledMonkey
    Speaking of Java and Flash, check out Flex. It's quite nice and seemingly powerful. Although I still prefer the concept of designing a custom MVC architecture around XHTML/CSS/Javascipt/XmlHttpRequest, Web Services, and a server based backend (Java, .NET, PHP, Perl, etc). How long as XmlHttpRequest been around?
    Yeah I heard of flex, I agree it's nice but the licence is not nice - except if you have very deep pockets a few months ago I read some dozens of thousands dollars tell me if it has changed
    Also it's 100% flash, some people hate flash or fear for security and deactivate it. Last but not least flash programming requires an other programming learning curve and you cannot convert easily the mass of programmers to it smoothly.

    As for XmlHttpRequest it doesn't matter how long it's been around as long as it works on the major browsers and that the Google guys have implemented is enough as for proof of concept applicable to real world

  8. #8
    SitePoint Wizard silver trophy Jeremy W.'s Avatar
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    XMLHttpRequest has been around since about 1997/98 (whenever IE5 beta'd).
    SVP Marketing, SoCast SRM
    Personal blog: Strategerize
    Twitter: @jeremywright

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jeremy W.
    XMLHttpRequest has been around since about 1997/98 (whenever IE5 beta'd).
    Did it work with Java or without Java because MS implemented also Remote scripting with Java I wonder why if they'd already implemented XMLHttpRequest ?

    And for Netscape do you know ?

  10. #10
    SitePoint Guru CompiledMonkey's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by laura2005
    Yeah I heard of flex, I agree it's nice but the licence is not nice - except if you have very deep pockets
    Agreed. I'd personally never use it because of the cost and learning curve but for a major development project, 20k isn't that big of a cost.

  11. #11
    SitePoint Guru CompiledMonkey's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jeremy W.
    XMLHttpRequest has been around since about 1997/98 (whenever IE5 beta'd).
    Wow, I'm surprised by that.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by CompiledMonkey
    Agreed. I'd personally never use it because of the cost and learning curve but for a major development project, 20k isn't that big of a cost.
    Yes it's true for a corporate project 20k is like peanuts and I guess it will go down (in fact a few months ago I rather remember something like 75k but my memory may be wrong ! ), but in Corporate world before adopting a stuff, they "study" it months and months and months and sometimes never adopt it as with a mass market a small decision error can have big impact . Personally I like Flex but I would wait that browsers mature towards rich client. Then I'm not sure that Flex would bring much advantages compared to the overhead of adopting a proprietary and costfull technology in term of training. Where Flash would be indispensable would be interactive videos and complex animations but for shopping cart stuffs for example I don't really see what would prevent standard web technologies to do the same thing as Flex.
    Last edited by laura2005; Apr 8, 2005 at 01:32.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jeremy W.
    XMLHttpRequest has been around since about 1997/98 (whenever IE5 beta'd).
    Quote Originally Posted by CompiledMonkey
    Wow, I'm surprised by that.
    Me too: at that time I remember to have BOUGHT Netscape 2 since there was no other browser especially free ! IE had being coming after Netscape historically so how could IE5 being available at that time even in beta ? It should be IE3 only because I regretted to have bought Netscape 2 when IE was getting out for FREE and that legendary browsers war began .

    Now I'm not sure when I bought Netscape 2, I just remembered I bought it as soon as it was available, maybe it was out well before 1997 ? In that case maybe there could be a beta IE5 but what is sure is that in 1998 I have initiated a remote scripting project myself and only IE3 was available for the target public.
    Last edited by laura2005; Apr 8, 2005 at 01:31.

  14. #14
    SitePoint Guru CompiledMonkey's Avatar
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    Found this about the IE5 release date. Looks like it was early 1999 or before.

    http://www.lemurzone.com/edit/converse5.htm

  15. #15
    SitePoint Zealot japonica's Avatar
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    GoogleMap now has satellite images!


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