Thursday, 14 February 2008

Nifty Snippets

Welcome to Nifty Snippets, my new blog for capturing little snippets of code and techniques (as well as engineering, business, and teamwork "lessons learned"). Initially the focus will be on Ajax stuff, and that means lots of JavaScript.

Now, JavaScript is about 18 times more interesting than most people think. This is not a toy language, this is an incredibly rich, powerful, expressive language that until recently has been dramatically under-used. Partially that's because of how it was introduced to the world (scripting events in Netscape Navigator), and partially I suspect it's down to a bias many of us had toward hierarchical, class-based languages like Java and C++. JavaScript is neither hierarchical nor class-based; it's a prototype language.

This first post is just meant to say "hi". (Hi!) But I'll also throw out a few handy links for those with an interest in JavaScript, Ajax, and rich web applications:

  • If you're doing any serious work in JavaScript, read Crockford. If there's something powerful and interesting about the JavaScript language, the odds are Douglas Crockford has written about it in detail. Don't let the depth of the language daunt you, you can ease your way into it.
  • Similarly, if you're doing Ajax apps, you need JavaScript: The Definitive Guide by David Flanagan [O'Reilly, Amazon].
  • Lots of people are really getting a lot out of Prototype, which is basically a bunch of nifty stuff for JavaScript wrapped up into a toolkit.
  • Many of those same people are enjoying the various effects and other goodness available via
  • Alternately, perhaps you'd like to peruse one of the dozens of other JavaScript toolkits out there.
Those'll get you started, anyway. Back soon with our first snippet!

1 comment:

T.J. Crowder said...

There's a glaring omission in my bullet list above, I'm shocked to see. Interesting as toolkits and Crockford and such are, there just ain't no substitute for going to the source: The specification of the language (ECMAScript, aka JavaScript). Doh!