Archive for the ‘‘Industry’ News’ Category

2007 Ajax Tools Usage Survey Results

December 17th, 2007 by Aaron N.

Ajaxian’s annual framework survey is out. Being a Mootools developer, of course my primary interest is in seeing how it stands up.

Looking at the chart on the right here, you can see that it’s #5 on the list, although I’d argue that Scriptaculous isn’t a framework so much as an add-on to Prototype. If you’re using Prototype, you’re likely to use Scriptaculous as your effects interface.

So by that logic, Mootools is doing quite well and growing since last year (it was a write-in candidate not listed as a choice in the survey in 2006, yet still garnered 11% of the vote).

There’s more to this survey if you’re interested. Head over to the Ajaxian post on the topic.

Contextual Precaching

November 19th, 2007 by Aaron N.

Precaching isn’t anything new; we were cramming 1×1 pixel versions of our graphics into the footer of our home page back in the day so that after the user clicked through from our splash screen the home page would load quickly. Ahhh, the good ole’ days.

Anyway, Ajaxian has a post up today on a new twist: anticipating what your user is about to do based on what they are doing on the current page. In this case, it’s Yahoo anticipating that if, hey, you’re typing something my search boxen, then you’re probably gonna end up on my search results page. So why not go ahead and load some of those dependencies now?

Yahoo! Search does an interesting bit of caching. To see it in action, go to the main search page with Firebug enabled and ready (or any tool that lets you see network traffic). Then type any character into the search input box and you will see some traffic kick off to download items such as:

http://us.js2.yimg.com/us.js.yimg.com/lib/s3/ysch_srp_clean_200711061918.css

http://us.js2.yimg.com/us.yimg.com/i/us/sch/el/att_hdspr_1.6t.png

http://us.js2.yimg.com/us.js.yimg.com/lib/s3/ysch_srp_clean_200711051714.js

http://us.js2.yimg.com/us.yimg.com/i/us/sch/gr2/sprt_srp_core_6.gif

http://us.js2.yimg.com/us.yimg.com/i/us/sch/el/ng_bg.png

What are these files? They are artifacts for the results page. So, Yahoo! groks that you obviously are going to do a search once you start to type something in, so why not go ahead and preload the files that are needed as part of the results page? Nicely done.

Yahoo! Search Caching

GWT Conference: December 3-6, 2007

November 19th, 2007 by Aaron N.

via Ajaxian:

Addison-Wesley and Prentice Hall are putting on a conference dedicated to GWT on December 3-6 in San Francisco.

Much more detail in the blog post there.

Mootools 1.2 beta. woot.

November 13th, 2007 by Aaron N.

Valerio posted over on the Mootools blog today about the release of Mootools 1.2 beta. I argued with him that this should be Mootools 2.0 because, once again, nearly every single method and class has been tweaked or rewritten wholesale.

Mootools 1.11 was released just over five months ago and since then the development team has been hard at work (I’ve been slacking, mostly reading code commits and giving feedback; you won’t see my name in the commit log very much on this release) and the product is something I’ve been eagerly awaiting. The list of what’s new is daunting and will take you a few minutes to read and many more to grok.

I especially look forward to Fx.Tween and Fx.Morph, the awesome test suite integration, the new and improved Hash, and the new Sortables (which I’ve already been using in a version I ported back to 1.11 for myself). But that’s not all! Call now and you get like a bazillion other new methods and shortcuts and browser fixes (oh, I forgot the new Iframe class).

SRSLY, this release is awesome. Congrats all around to the Mootools dev team, myself excluded.

A note on our stuff: The Mootorial will be a few weeks in the updating but it’ll catch up eventually. Our code base is a different story. It’s going to take a while to migrate all our stuff to 1.2 as we haven’t started yet (I learned my lesson previously; don’t start migrating for a Mootools release until the release is done or else you’re chasing a moving target, and Valerio and team are far more productive than I am). It should continue to work with the compatibility script for 1.2 installed, but we haven’t tested for that. Stay tuned as we start on this process.

The first beta for MooTools 1.2 is finally here!

After months in the making, we can confidently say that MooTools 1.2 is now feature complete. However, there are still some bugs left to squash.

Head over to MooTools download page to start playing with it right away.

read about all the new stuff in this release >

Standard Web Fonts ‘Updated’ In Vista

October 19th, 2007 by Aaron N.

I’m curious if this will actually gain traction. Certainly the introduction of the first round of web fonts helped web developers create a coherent presentation, but I’m wondering how adoption will go of these new typefaces…

via slashdot:

“Beginning with Vista, Microsoft has updated the standard Web Core Fonts that it has used since the late 1990s. ‘With the release of Windows Vista, Microsoft has unleashed something quite new on the Web — the “C” fonts; Cambria, Calibri, Candara, Consolas, Constantia, and Corbel.’ The article goes on to state that ‘if you’re a web designer and not using Vista then this download is mandatory since it will let you see your page as your Vista users see it.’ The article includes a PDF document offering visual comparisons of the old and new fonts (pdf).”

Google Analytics expands tracking capabilities

October 18th, 2007 by Aaron N.

via ajaxian:

VentureBeat is reporting that Google has updated their popular Google Analytics service to begin tracking Ajax and Flash-based requests:

The new additions reflect a growing feeling on the web that pageviews are a less important metric than they used to be. Google Analytics is opening a feature for beta testing that tracks user engagement with elements that have become common with Web 2.0 services, including Javascript, Ajax and Flash applications, widgets and gadgets, and downloadable pages.

With many sites reliant on selling advertising based on page views, this update will allow developers to leverage Ajax, JavaScript and/or Flash without the worry of losing valuable stats data:

While small web companies will be the primary beneficiaries of the new features, the move could also prove meaningful for online advertising. Experts have suggested for some time that advertising rates should reflect elements beyond the simple standard used so far, page views.

Full article here.

Bill Scott – “Designing the Rich Web Experience”

October 17th, 2007 by Aaron N.

About a year or so I went to see Bill Scott give this talk down at a gathering hosted by Google (he worked for Yahoo at the time though). The talk was great but I felt I was the wrong audience for it (though I found it very informative). Really, the people who needed to see it, were designers, product managers, and engineers. The talk is awesome as it goes through all the challenges to designing and building user interaction with tons of examples and patterns. On top of that, Bill was a fun speaker.

So I emailed him and asked if he’d be interested in bringing the talk to CNET and, to my astonishment, he did. Maybe 75 of our staff crowded into our largest conference room and watched his presentation. Afterwards I got a lot of thoughtful comments and questions; he had a real impact.

There were, however a lot of people who didn’t get to see this lecture and I’m glad to see that Yahoo got footage of him giving it and have posted it for anyone who missed it. It’s great stuff.

Blog post on the YUI blog>

Video on YUI Theater>

Joel on Software and the future of Ajax

September 19th, 2007 by Aaron N.

This article is awesome. Very insightful and entertaining. A must read (and it’s pretty short, for those of you who, you know, spend your time working).

So, we don’t care about performance or optimization much anymore.

Except in one place: JavaScript running on browsers in AJAX applications. And since that’s the direction almost all software development is moving, that’s a big deal.


But then, while you’re sitting on your googlechair in the googleplex sipping googleccinos and feeling smuggy smug smug smug, new versions of the browsers come out that support cached, compiled JavaScript. And suddenly NewSDK is really fast. And Paul Graham gives them another 6000 boxes of instant noodles to eat, so they stay in business another three years perfecting things.

http://www.joelonsoftware.com/items/2007/09/18.html

Snook on Adobe AIR

September 7th, 2007 by Aaron N.

There’s a nice new article by Jonathan Snook on Adobe AIR that is worth the read. I was about to write all about it here but I see that Ajaxian wrote about it yesterday. I’ll, instead, just post what they had to say about it:

It looks like everyone wants to put out some form of Adobe AIR application and Twitter-based apps seem to be all of the rage, possibly because of the ease of integrating with Twitter’s API.

Apparently, Jonathan Snook didn’t want to be left out of the fun and created his new Twitter app appropriately called Snitter:

I built Snitter for a couple reasons. First off, I wanted to take AIR out for a spin and see what it could do. Secondly, I find using the Twitter web site frustrating at times because it doesn’t offer up features that I’ve always felt could be easily added. So, I’ve gone ahead and built an app with the features that I’ve always wanted.

Jonathan definitely has a flare for style and he’s brought that over to a really nice looking application:

You’ll need the following to run the app:

Yahoo! Announces YSlow, Firebug based performance tool

July 26th, 2007 by Aaron N.

This. Is. Brilliant.via ajaxian:

Steve Souders, performance architect at Yahoo!, announced today the public release of YSlow.

Stoyan Stefanov reviewed it briefly and gave tips for custom scoring at his blog.

What’s YSlow?

It’s an extension to Firebug (yes, correct, Firebug, not Firefox) that helps with performance optimization efforts. It scores your page on the scale A to F, based on compliance with Yahoo’s performance rules. It’s a tool that has been used internally at Yahoo and is now released to the world.

Steve is going to be speaking about YSlow at the Ajax Experience that just kicked off. I am looking forward to meeting him and check out the tool. We should give it a run on your sites and post how you did (don’t run it on Ajaxian ;).