Wednesday 22 January 2014

Plain JavaScript

"I want to do this with pure JavaScript, not jQuery."
"How do I do this with raw JavaScript?"
"I don't like to use libraries, I like to use vanilla JavaScript."

Enough! Using a library like jQuery (or Closure or MooTools or...) is using plain/vanilla/raw/pure JavaScript. (I mean, unless you're using CoffeeScript, TypeScript, Dart, or other such languages.) Using a library doesn't change the language you're using.

jQuery is a library, not a language. You don't write things "in" jQuery. You write things with jQuery, in JavaScript. Or with MooTools, in CoffeeScript. Or with Closure, in Dart. You get the idea.

If you want to do things in the browser without a browser library, what you're doing is using the DOM API directly. Which is to say, writing with the DOM API, in (choose your language, probably JavaScript).

This isn't just a rant about prepositions. (It is a rant, but not just a rant.) It's about understanding what you're using, and how.

Saturday 11 January 2014

Windows Pop-Up Shutdown Script

Sometimes, you want to configure a Windows system so that it shows a message when shutting down. In my case, it's to remind me (because I'm too bone-headed to remember!) to unmount any shares on the relevant box, since otherwise it tends to make the machine where I have them mounted...unhappy.

It's easy to do: First, create the script you want to run, perhaps:

WScript.Echo("Remember to unmount the shares!"); a file somewhere (shutdownmsg.js, in my case).

Now, we tell Windows to run that on shutdown:

  1. Run gpedit.msc
  2. Navigate to Local Computer Policy > Computer Configuration > Administrative Templates > System > Scripts
  3. Change the setting for Run shutdown scripts visible to Enabled (if you don't do this, your machine will basically hang on shutdown, waiting for you to reply to a dialog box you can't see)
  4. Navigate to Local Computer Policy > Computer Configuration > Windows Settings > Scripts (Startup / Shutdown)
  5. Double-click Shutdown
  6. Click Add and add your script (in my case, c:\bin\shutdownmsg.js)
  7. Close gpedit

That's it! Now when you shut down, the dialog box will appear and stop the entire process until you dismiss it. Conveniently for me, this happens before the network stuff is shut down, so I can unmount my drives cleanly.