By Kevin Yank

News Wire: Dojo, jQuery, and YUI forge ahead

By Kevin Yank
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  • A free 30 page PDF primer on building Rails applications using REST. The English is pretty patchy given it has been translated from German, but some of the examples are great. (thanks, mattymcg)
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  • A list of tools to help you find a great domain name. (thanks, SRTech)
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  • A handy tool for calculating font-size values in ems to achieve desired sizes in pixels at the browser’s default font size. Offers a nice, visual way to factor in the effects of inheritance. (thanks, bsytko)
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  • iText, the powerful, free, and open source Java library for manipulating and generating PDF documents has just announced its 2.0 release. This version adds support for a number of Acrobat 8 features, and removes a number of obsolete classes and methods.
  • Client-side validation can drastically improve your forms, but it can lead you to write twice as much validation code. This article shows how to use the DWR Ajax library to use the same server-side code for client- and server-side validation.
  • The jQuery library is now compliant with the developing OpenAjax standard, which actually doesn’t yet have anything to do with Ajax. The current standard is simply designed to ensure that JavaScript libraries can coexist peacefully. (thanks, andrewk)
  • A neat little ActionScript library that lets you output debug messages from your Flash movies directly to the FireBug console in Firefox. (thanks, andrewk)
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  • A quick round-up of some of the new CSS properties that are supported in current nightly builds of Webkit. Text strokes, box shadows, and multi-column layouts are all looking to appear in the next major release of Safari!
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  • Jack Slocum’s Ext project, which previously provided extensions exclusively for the Yahoo! UI Library, will now also be able to run atop jQuery! Witness the first spark of commoditization in JavaScript libraries.
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  • A massive update to the Yahoo! UI Library: experimental Back/Forward button history management, a DataTable Control for adding interactive features to HTML data tables, a Button Control for creating rich, consistent button controls, and lots more.
  • An illuminating—if a little heavygoing—treatise on the two main algorithms for regular expression processing, and why the one in use in most languages (Java, JavaScript, Perl, PHP, Python, Ruby…) is hopelessly broken from a performance standpoint.
  • Yahoo! launches a service that allows users to interactively create ad hoc feeds by combining sources of information including web content, existing feeds, and more. Undeniably useful, but inherently difficult to explain to the layperson.
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  • An amazingly comprehensive collection of practical examples of what you can do in an Apache .htaccess file.
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  • Based on clean, valid code and standard CSS, this method for generating speech bubbles is ideal for styling comments.
  • For hard-core JavaScripters, the research (and associated benchmarks) that Dojo’s Alex Russell did to create a performant CSS DOM query system is fascinating. Alex is right, though: this shouldn’t be necessary, and browser vendors continue to let us down.
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  • The Dojo library is set to split into three sub-projects: dojo core (well documented, reliable features that make JavaScript better), dijit (the Dojo widget library), and dojox (experimental libraries that extend the capabilities of current browsers).
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  • SitePoint regular Tommy Olsson discusses the fundamental differences between Graceful Degradation (designing hi-fi first and then adding in fallbacks) and Progressive Enhancement (start compatible and add hi-fi features unobtrusively).

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