News Wire: The Secret Origin of Ajax

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  • Just when I’d given up hope on CSS 3, Opera insider David Storey posts this run-down on the features that are up and running in their current internal build. It’s mainly selectors at this stage, but support for CSS2’s text-shadow makes up for that!
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  • WordPress 2.1 is out. The most visible improvements center around the WYSIWYG writing experience, but the added goodness is baked right through.
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  • SitePoint pal Roger Johansson gives a great summary of this two-part article series from Digital Web, offering up advice for web development shops struggling to meet accessibility standards in real-world projects.
  • The Safari development team chimes in with detailed feedback on the proposed charters for the W3C’s new HTML working groups. Dan Connolly of the W3C responds in the comments to this post.
  • Work with developers who don’t know a thing about web accessibility? Point them at this article. Free of hand-wavy notions and idealism, it offers up ten solid things the accessibility newbie can do to improve a site.
  • The popular jQuery JavaScript library has reached its 1.1 release, which comes with a slew of improvements both to the library itself and the documentation that goes with it. The 10x-20x speed improvement on selectors makes this an essential upgrade.
  • Having edited a couple of JavaScript books in my time, I knew Internet Explorer was bad at giving you access to attribute values, but I didn’t know just how bad until I read this account of one developer’s attempt to make sense of it all.
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  • At last! The Prototype JavaScript library has an official web site, documentation, and blog, all timed to the official release of Prototype 1.5 (which itself is timed to the launch of Ruby on Rails 1.2). And there was much rejoicing.
  • After much wailing and gnashing of teeth (especially SitePoint’s editors, as they put the finishing touches on our Ruby on Rails book), Ruby on Rails 1.2 is out. For me, the biggest improvement is UTF-8 text support, but pick your own favourite feature.
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  • Alex Hopmann is the man who invented XMLHTTP, the proprietary Internet Explorer feature that makes Ajax possible today. Having recently left Microsoft, he has taken the opportunity to write a memoir of how XMLHTTP came to be.
  • The newest entry in the JavaScript library race, the jury is still out on this one. Fork aspires to the sort of innovation that popularized Prototype, with the strong focus on documentation and code quality of the YUI library.
  • Microsoft shipped the official release of its Ajax extensions for ASP.NET (aka “Atlas”). Nothing much new if you’ve been following the pre-release versions, but if you’ve been waiting for that 1.0-blessed release, now’s the time to try it!
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Kevin YankKevin Yank
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Kevin Yank is an accomplished web developer, speaker, trainer and author of Build Your Own Database Driven Website Using PHP & MySQL and Co-Author of Simply JavaScript and Everything You Know About CSS is Wrong! Kevin loves to share his wealth of knowledge and it didn't stop at books, he's also the course instructor to 3 online courses in web development. Currently Kevin is the Director of Front End Engineering at Culture Amp.

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