SitePoint Podcast #184: JSPro.com with Colin Ihrig
Episode 184 of The SitePoint Podcast is now available! This week our regular interview host Louis Simoneau (@rssaddict) interviews Colin Ihrig (@cjihrig) about the new website from Sitepoint called JSPro.com where Colin is the Managing Editor.
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Louis and Colin talk about the launch of JSPro.com, what it’s aims are immediately, and how it aims to move forward.
Browse the full list of links referenced in the show at http://delicious.com/sitepointpodcast/184.
Louis: Hello, and welcome to another episode of the SitePoint Podcast. With me on the show today is the managing editor of SitePoint’s latest content site, which is JSPro.com, Colin Ihrig. Hi, Colin.
Colin: Hi, Louis.
Louis: Hi, and welcome to the show.
Colin: Thanks for having me.
Colin: I taught myself back in high school and, basically, every job I’ve had since then, I’ve been working with it.
— that to get everything in one place is just really hard, and we need a site that is collective of real people, or working lists such as JSPro.
Louis: Yeah, I’m looking forward to seeing the kind of stuff you’ll be covering. Have you worked with Node.js, for example?
Colin: Yeah, I have worked with it personally and professionally.
Colin: Well, Node.js is really great because a lot of people associate it with just servers, but you can do a lot of other stuff with it like run scripts, like shell scripts, instead of having to use DOS or Perl or something like that. But as far as server development is concerned, it’s really good for sites that need a lot of throughput, so something that needs to scale up to tens of thousands of requests per second, because Node.js has a fundamentally different engine under the hood than web servers like a Apache and Microsoft’s offering.
side. Are there a lot of the APIs that are very different?
Colin: And like you said, it’s not the toughest language to learn, at least not the basics.
Louis: Right. So you mentioned that there is already a fair bit of content up on JSPro. What are some of the pieces that you’ve liked the most or that you’ve had fun working with in your first little while as managing editor?
Colin: Right. So we’ve been up for, I think, around two weeks now, and I’ve been working with a couple of authors: one guy, James Edwards — he goes by “Brothercake”. He is doing some really good work on modular design and things like that, and in the next coming weeks we’re going to have a five-
part series from another author, Jeff Pereason… Sorry, I’m pronouncing his name wrong, but he’s going to be, basically, developing an HTML5 game with submarines and missiles and torpedoes — it’s really cool. So, you should be on the look out for that.
Louis: Right. I know there are quite a number of libraries that exist for HTML5 Canvas games. Is this something that’s he’s doing from scratch directly with the Canvas API, or is he working with some kind of library?
Colin: I believe he’s working with jQuery.
Louis: Right, but nothing game-specific?
Colin: I don’t think so, no.
Colin: A lot of what I’ve been working with recently has been Cheerio, which I don’t believe is very new.
Louis: It’s new to me. It’s new to me.
Colin: Yeah, so if you’re not familiar with Cheerio, it’s basically jQuery for Node.js. So, say you’re doing web scraping and you’re going out and pulling in all these webpages into your server to parse them instead of trying to use regular expressions or whatever else you would try, you can build up the dorm and then query using the same selectors as you would on the client-side with jQuery.
Louis: All right. This is cool. I just pulled it up from the GitHub page. And it can also do, I think, in-place editing of the HTML, as well?
Louis: So it does the same manipulation options as jQuery?
Colin: Yeah. So what I’ve found is that it’s not quite as robust as jQuery, but it’s pretty good and it’s not nearly as old, so I think it’s only going to get better.
Louis: Right. Is it HTML only or would it work with XML as well? Or is that maybe something that they’re planning?
Colin: I like it so far.
Louis: Right. So does that give you access to a lot of the same information you would normally get by looking at the network tab, like the developer tools in Chrome, for example?
Colin: Yeah, pretty much, except this lets you play with it programmatically, and it’s not going to be Chrome-specific.
Louis: Right. I’m just having a look down at the list of events which are available — it’s pretty extensive. How fine-grained is it, for example?
Can I look at load times for each of the images that are requested as part of the page load, or is it more for the page as a whole?
Colin: It’s more for the page as a whole.
Louis: Right. And so in practice, I guess, what you might use is… Rather than doing all of your debug locally and saying, “Well, it looks fast from where I’m sitting,” you could, for example, include some code using this API for some of your users and then report back to the server to see what the performance is like for your site in the wild?
Colin: Yeah, exactly, because when you’re testing your own page, you’re usually near the server or behind the corporate network. When things go into the wild, any number of things can happen. So this allows you to get a lot more reporting just from somebody on the other side of the world running your site in Firefox as opposed to you running it locally in Chrome.
Louis: Right. What is the browser support like for this API at the moment?
Colin: Oh, I wrote that article a few months ago, so I’d have to look it up on caniuse.com, right now.
Louis: Right. Here we are. Just pulled it up. Looks like IE from 9, all the modern Firefox and Chrome, Android from 4, Blackberry 10, and Chrome and Firefox for Android. So it’s missing in Opera and Safari and iOS Safari at the moment. I guess IE 8 as well, but IE 8 doesn’t count.
Colin: I think that’s pretty good support. I mean, any time you can get Internet Explorer working, that’s always a plus.
Louis: So I see there’s more content being published on JSPro, pretty much daily? What’s the current schedule looking like?
Colin: The current schedule is Monday, Wednesday, Friday, and Saturday.
Louis: Right. And I also understand you’re still on the lookout for authors, as well?
Colin: Yeah, definitely. We’re always looking for more content and more authors. Just go to JSPro.com, scroll down to the bottom of the page and click on the “Become an Author” link, and it will have all the instructions you need for, basically, getting in touch with me, and we’ll go from there. If we think you’re a good enough writer, then we send over an article and if you’re accepted, then welcome to the team.
Louis: All right. Yeah, so again, anyone who wants to check that out, the address is JSPro.com. And like you said, the link to become an author is at the bottom of the page. I might put a link to that in the show nuts as well.
Colin: Just one last thing. If you’re interested, if you’re a reader, on the right side of the page is a box for you to subscribe to our newsletter that’s going to start within the next couple of weeks, so sign up.
Louis: All right. Well, thanks a lot, Colin, for taking the time to talk to me this week. If any of the listeners want to keep up with you, do you have your own blog or Twitter, or are you exclusively on JSPro.com at the moment?
Colin: I have my own blog. It’s www.cjihrig.com. And I’m also on Twitter:
cjihrig. My author link on JSPro should have all that information if you’re interested in following me.
Louis: All right. Well, thanks again, Colin.
Colin: Thanks for having me.
Louis: And thanks for listening to this week’s episode of the SitePoint Podcast. I’d love to hear what you thought about today’s show, so if you have any thoughts or suggestions just go to sitepoint.com/podcast and you can leave a comment on today’s episode, you can also get any of our previous episodes to download or subscribe to get the show automatically. You can follow SitePoint on Twitter @sitepointdotcom, that’s sitepoint d-o-t-c-o-m, and you can follow me on Twitter @rssaddict.
The show this week was produced by Karn Broad, and I’m Louis Simoneau, thanks for listening and bye for now.
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