Articles in the ‘JavaScript’ Category

Javascript Fun at London Web Standards #lwsfun

Last night was London Web Standards‘ April 2011 event, Fun with JavaScript. Speakers Rob Hawkes of Mozilla and Seb Lee-Delisle of Plug-in Media came to talk about all the fun stuff you can do with JavaScript, canvas, and HTML5. Sketchnotes for both talks are below.

We were also joined by a man showing us a quick look at Dreamweaver CS5.5 with it’s new HTML5 features. Unfortunately, the software had a few bugs which showed up in the talk, and after being burned by the very expensive adobe software for years, the crowd didn’t take to the UI very well, which wasn’t helped by a low-res projector. Still, it looks like a big improvement over the old version, but I’ll still use Coda when on my Mac.

Rob Hawkes: multiplayer gaming in HTML5

Sketchnotes of Rob Hawkes' talk Multiplayer Gaming with HTML5

Sketchnotes of Rob Hawkes' talk Multiplayer Gaming with HTML5

Rob is a canvas and animation guru. He’s not far out of uni and has a book out this month! He gave a new talk on multiplayer gaming, and how it was possible in HTML5.

Basically: Canvas + Websockets + a server (rob recommended Node.js) = multiplayer gaming on the web.

Rob didn’t go into much detail as to how to do all this, just talked us through the principles of what you should be doing, what you should avoid, how to prevent cheating and simple tricks to improve performance.

At the end, Rob proposed a HTML5 gaming knowledge repository, a community wiki and tutorial site, so that it’s easier for people to learn. Someone at the event will take him up on the offer, so look forward to more things soon!

Rob has a book on Foundation HTML5 Canvas: Gaming and Entertainment for pre-order on

Seb Lee-Delisle: Fun with JavaScript

Sketchnotes for Creative JS visual effects – Seb Lee-Delisle

Sketchnotes for Creative JS visual effects – Seb Lee-Delisle

Seb is a flash guy, but also a JavaScript guy and a graphics guy. He’s so multi-talented that he doesn’t know what exactly he does any more.

Seb has won two BAFTAs (thanks for correcting me Seb!) for some of his BBC kids web sites. He personally runs a javascript graphics workshop and took us through a few things that we’d do if we went on it.

He started with particles, showing us how to do basic (pseudo) physics in canvas and JavaScript. He then broke out his large array of particle demos, showing how complex effects can be produced with very simple code.

Seb then talked about performance, and how bad canvas is at the moment. DOM elements with hardware acceleration is easily twice as fast as canvas, especially on the iPad. The iPad’s saving grace is its touch screen, which can take 11 touch points (just in case we grow an extra finger). Seb created a simple asteroids game using touch events for input.

Seb finally talked about 3D and how using libraries was a great way to go from 2d to 3D very simply. He recommended Unity as a game engine and framework of choice, and they’re building HTML5 renderers on top of their regular OpenGL and DirectX methods. Exciting stuff indeed.

Unique IDs in AJAX Web Applications

This week, Roger Johansson of 456 Berea Street posted about unique IDs in web applications. I read this and thought, “you’re right, they should be unique, but what if you’ve got an AJAX repeater?” By this I mean when I’m loading functional parts of my application that I’ll be referencing with JavaScript again, do I have to maintain a unique ID? Surely it knows what I added last or how to make them into an array?

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jQuery to be Integrated with ASP .NET

Fantastic news! Long-time golden boy of the javascript world, jQuery, is to be integrated with Microsoft’s ASP .NET framework.

In an announcement today on the jQuery blog, Scott Guthrie’s blog and Scott Hanselman’s blog, the jQuery library would be distributed AS IS with Visual Studio 2008 SP1 and the free Express editions. The aim is to extend ASP .NET AJAX support and generally make life easier for MS developers. Microsoft would also be contributing tests and patches to the jQuery core, but would not be submitting features etc.

This is a massive boost for a framework that won me and my company over a long time ago. jQuery now has backing from the biggest names in IT and will benefit immensely from the additional support.

The benefits are not only for the jQuery team, they’re also for any web standardistas. This support for jQuery signals Microsoft’s intentions for the ASP framework. I can only hope that from this, Microsoft adopts jQuery in its entirety, having ASP output unobtrusive, cross-browser javascript, not the ‘impossible to debug or follow’ mess that it currently uses.

Browser Wars: The SlickSpeed Test

Firefox 3 start pageWith the impending release of Firefox 3, a new chapter to “browser wars” is upon us. In this short series, I’ll be looking at what each browser offers to a user, and hopefully pick a champion.

The first battleground is JavaScript. In the late 1990s, JavaScript was shunned by many web developers because of browser incompatabilities, bugs and that it wasn’t very useful for things other than fancy clock (which flash is better at anyway). Since the rise of the XmlHttpRequest, JavaScript has become a way to enhance a website and provide new ways of interacting with the users. Combine this with JavaScript libraries such as jQuery, mooTools, Prototype and DoJo, JavaScript has had a renaissance of biblical proportions. With the Web Standards Project releasing Acid 3 as a JavaScript test, the JavaScript comeback has been set high standards of compliance in the same way that Acid 2 did for CSS
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