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It’s time for a web page diet

By Terrence Dorsey
June 26, 2014

Earlier this year, I was researching online consumer preferences for a client and discovered, somewhat unsurprisingly, that people expect web sites to be fast and responsive, particularly when they’re shopping. What did surprised me, however, were findings in Radware’s “State …

It’s time for a web page diet

By Terrence Dorsey
June 26, 2014

Earlier this year, I was researching online consumer preferences for a client and discovered, somewhat unsurprisingly, that people expect web sites to be fast and responsive, particularly when they’re shopping. What did surprised me, however, were findings in Radware’s “State …

It’s time for a web page diet

By Terrence Dorsey
June 26, 2014

Earlier this year, I was researching online consumer preferences for a client and discovered, somewhat unsurprisingly, that people expect web sites to be fast and responsive, particularly when they’re shopping. What did surprised me, however, were findings in Radware’s “State …

What it really means when people say “Everything in JavaScript is an object”

By Elisabeth Robson
May 30, 2014

When you begin programming with JavaScript you might run across books, tutorials, and people who say “Everything in JavaScript is an object.” While it’s not 100% true (not *everything* is an object), it is *mostly* true. And sometimes this can …

It’s the End of the Web As We Knew It

By Simon St. Laurent
May 29, 2014

For the past 15 years, Google has enforced the classic “HTML as foundation” architecture at the heart of the Web. Content creators and the developers who support them had to present content and link information as part of their pages’ …

Dos and Don’ts in JavaScript

By Elisabeth Robson
May 20, 2014

  With every programming language, there’s a list of do’s and don’ts and JavaScript is no exception. Some of these best practices are there for your protection (like always always always using semi-colons!); some to make your code more readable …

I just slipped on a banana peel named “this”

By Elisabeth Robson
May 14, 2014

In JavaScript, the special variable this is used to refer an object. But which object this refers too depends on the code you’re executing and how this is used. So, a common problem for those learning JavaScript is keeping track …

What is that upside-down tree doing in my browser?

By Elisabeth Robson
May 7, 2014

The secret to getting your web pages to do your bidding with code is to use JavaScript to manipulate the Document Object Model, or DOM. The DOM is an upside-down tree-like structure that the browser uses to represent your web …

Wait, where is my variable defined?

By Elisabeth Robson
April 30, 2014

  You may have noticed that Head First JavaScript Programming is released! Now that the book is done, we’ve got a few more Head First JavaScript Programming teasers for you. The book is aimed at those of you who are …

Can We Extend the Web Cleanly?

By Simon St. Laurent
April 10, 2014

“Design by Committee” is rarely a compliment. Can the Web shift away from that model, retaining some order without falling into troublesome chaos? The Manifesto Part of the excitement around the Extensible Web Manifesto was that it wanted to move …

The Power of HTML

By Simon St. Laurent
April 4, 2014

For a growing number of developers, “web” means “JavaScript”. Programmers like to focus on programming languages, but the Web’s basic power comes from its support for communications, not programming. I asked Jen Simmons, host of the Web Ahead podcast, to …

Transforming the Web (through transformation)

By Simon St. Laurent
April 1, 2014

Thousands of people invented it independently. Millions use it without thinking about a broader context. It’s time to name it so we can talk about it. Transformation is changing the way we look at the balance between clients and servers, …

Parsing HTML with Perl

By A. Sinan Unur
February 6, 2014

The need to extract interesting bits of an HTML document comes up often enough that by now we have all seen many ways of doing it wrong and some ways of doing it right for some values of “right”. One …

Building Rich Web UIs with Knockout.js

By Peter Cooper
January 30, 2014

  At Fluent 2013, O’Reilly’s Web Platform, JavaScript and HTML5 conference, Microsoft’s Steve Sanderson gave a tight 20 minute introductory tour of Knockout.js, a popular JavaScript UI library built around declarative bindings and the Model-View ViewModel (MVVM) pattern. In his …

Web Application Development is Different (and Better)

By Simon St. Laurent
January 29, 2014

The Web became the most ubiquitous distributed application system because it didn’t have to think of itself as a programming environment. Almost every day I see comments or complaints from programmers (even brilliant programmers) muttering about how many strange and …

HTML and CSS Performance

By Lara Swanson
January 28, 2014

[Ed note: This is the third in a series of posts on web design and performance. You can see the first two posts here and here.] Optimizing your markup can have a substantial impact on your site’s page load time. …

Please Nominate for the Web Platform Awards

By Simon St. Laurent
January 24, 2014

This March, we’ll be announcing the Web Platform Awards at the O’Reilly Fluent Conference. Fluent is all about JavaScript, HTML5, CSS3, and the best practices that make up the Web Platform, and we’d like to recognize the people who’ve made …

Seduced by Markup

By Simon St. Laurent
November 20, 2013

A friend wanted to show me a great new thing in 1993, this crazy HTML browser called Cello. He knew I was working on hypertext and this seemed like just the thing for it! Sadly, my time in HyperCard and …

Sketching in Code

By Simon St. Laurent
November 13, 2013

Last week’s Artifact Conference focused on the challenges of designing for multiple devices simultaneously. One frequent suggestions on stage and off was rough sketching, on screen or on paper, but it’s tricky to get there. The problem is easiest to …

Build Reusable Widgets for the Web with Polymer and Dart

By Seth Ladd
September 24, 2013

Web Components, the family of new web specifications for reusable and encapsulated widgets, are coming to a browser near you. Thanks to Polymer, a new type of library for the web built on top of Web Components, and Dart, a …

From “Web Development” to the “Web Platform”

By Simon St. Laurent
September 4, 2013

The rise of the phrase “web platform” over the past few years makes me very happy. For years, I’ve been looking for a good term that would cover HTML, CSS, JavaScript, and a few related technologies. The terminology has long …

Walking Trees and Handling Events

By Simon St. Laurent
August 28, 2013

This summer, I’ve seen all kinds of programming approaches as I’ve bounced between the Web, XSLT, Erlang, and XML, with visits to many other environments. As I look through the cool new possibilities for interfaces, for scaling up and down, …

Four short links: 16 August 2013

By Nat Torkington
August 15, 2013

frak — transforms collections of strings into regular expressions for matching those strings. The primary goal of this library is to generate regular expressions from a known set of inputs which avoid backtracking as much as possible. The Boolean Trap …

Using XSLT 2.0 as a Web Scripting Language

By Simon St. Laurent
August 9, 2013

A language built to support event handling, not strictly a functional programming language but fitting that mold. A deep understanding of markup structures. A home in the browser. That’s JavaScript, all right—but now, thanks to JavaScript, it is also XSLT. …

Can Markup Unite?

By Simon St. Laurent
August 8, 2013

A few years ago, I stopped talking about XML and starting talking about markup. After a few too many conversations with developers who had found XHTML, web services, and various other things that had proudly branded themselves with the “X,” …

A Birds-eye View with Lift

By Richard Dallaway
July 18, 2013

Lift is a web framework built for the Scala programming language, running on the Java Virtual Machine. Version 2.5 recently shipped, and I’m highlighting features of the framework that I find appealing. Last time it was transforms and REST services, …

JavaScript Is Way Too Slow – for What?

By Simon St. Laurent
July 17, 2013

I keep finding that programmers—even web programmers—frequently think “web application” means “JavaScript application.” Programmers are, of course, used to working with programming languages, and often see application environments from the perspective of the programming language in use. These blinders derail …

Safe and Sane Windows 8 Programming Experiences with HTML and JavaScript

By Dino Esposito
July 2, 2013

There was a time, some fifteen years ago, when the choice of the programming language was a delicate decision. It stopped being a problem when .NET arrived. Because .NET languages compile to the Common Language Runtime, .NET compatible languages became …

From JavaScript to Declarative Markup

By Simon St. Laurent
May 22, 2013

Web architecture separates structured content (markup), presentation (style), and behavior (JavaScript). As recently as a decade ago, many developers worked in all three, but the years since Ajax arrived have brought more specialization. The rise of JavaScript in particular has …

JavaScript Flexibility: Fun, But Use with Care

By Elisabeth Robson
May 21, 2013

When you begin programming in JavaScript, you’ll need to use variables. A variable is just a bit of storage to hold a value. Just about every line of code you write will use a variable of one kind or another, …

JavaScript Makes Browsers Behave

By Elisabeth Robson
May 14, 2013

If you know HTML and CSS, you’re ready to begin learning JavaScript. But you might be surprised, because JavaScript looks quite different from both HTML and CSS. That’s because JavaScript is a language for computation. Unlike HTML, which is for …

Cutting Your Programming Teeth on JavaScript

By Elisabeth Robson
May 7, 2013

JavaScript is a bit different from other programming languages. How? Well, JavaScript runs in an environment, and that’s usually the browser. So when you learn JavaScript, you’ll learn both the language basics, as well as how to use JavaScript in …

Stop standardizing HTML

By Simon St. Laurent
April 24, 2013

When HTML first appeared, it offered a coherent if limited vocabulary for sharing content on the newly created World Wide Web. Today, after HTML has handed off most of its actual work to other specifications, it’s time to stop worrying …

Four short links: 22 April 2013

By Nat Torkington
April 22, 2013

Meshlab — open source, portable, and extensible system for the processing and editing of unstructured 3D triangular meshes. HTML5 Video on iOS (Steve Souders) — While it’s true that Mobile Safari on iOS doesn’t buffer any video data as a …

Four short links: 18 April 2013

By Nat Torkington
April 18, 2013

The Well Deserved Fortune of Satoshi Nakamoto — I can’t assure with 100% certainty that the all the black dots are owned by Satoshi, but almost all are owned by a single entity, and that entity began mining right from …

Four short links: 22 March 2013

By Nat Torkington
March 22, 2013

Defend the Open Web: Keep DRM Out of W3C Standards (EFF) — W3C is there to create comprehensible, publicly-implementable standards that will guarantee interoperability, not to facilitate an explosion of new mutually-incompatible software and of sites and services that can …

Four short links: 13 March 2013

By Nat Torkington
March 13, 2013

What Tim Berners-Lee Doesn’t Know About HTML DRM (Guardian) — Cory Doctorow lays it out straight. HTML DRM is a bad idea, no two ways. The future of the Web is the future of the world, because everything we do …

High-quality PDF-to-EPUB conversion

By Joe Wikert
January 14, 2013

How many times have you opened an ebook and noticed awkward hyphenations or other conversion errors? I still see this in the majority of the ebooks I buy and it’s clear these are the result of someone not paying attention …

WYSIWYG vs WYSI

By Adam Hyde
December 3, 2012

Since HTML is the new paper and the new path to paper online editing environments are becoming much more important for publishing. Dominant until now has been the WYSIWYG editor we all know and…err…love? However the current WYSIWYG paradigm has …

Emerging languages spotlight: Elm

By Rachel Roumeliotis
November 30, 2012

Over the next few months I’ll be taking a look at new and emerging programming languages. The following piece is the first in this series. The Elm Programming Language, created by Evan Czaplicki, tackles web interaction and takes on the …

Math typesetting

By Adam Hyde
November 26, 2012

Typesetting math in HTML was for a long time one of those ‘I can’t believe that hasn’t been solved by now!’ issues. It seemed a bit wrong – wasn’t the Internet more or less invented by math geeks? Did they give …

InDesign vs. CSS

By Adam Hyde
November 19, 2012

The explosion in web typesetting has been largely unnoticed by everyone except the typography geeks. One of the first posts that raised my awareness of this phenomenon was From Print to Web: Creating Print-Quality Typography in the Browser by Joshua Gross. It …

Gutenberg Regions

By Adam Hyde
November 6, 2012

The “best price” phase of TOC NY 2013 registration is about to end. Don’t wait or you’ll end up paying more than you would today. To save even more on your registration, sign up here and use the discount code …

Ebook problem areas that need standardisation

By bbjarnason
November 1, 2012

The “best price” phase of TOC NY 2013 registration is about to end. Don’t wait or you’ll end up paying more than you would today. To save even more on your registration, sign up here and use the discount code …

The new New Typography

By Adam Hyde
October 18, 2012

In the 1920s and 1930s in Europe there was a movement known as the New Typography. It was a movement that rejected traditional type set in symmetrical columns and instead treated the printers block as a blank canvas to be …

Four short links: 23 May 2012

By Nat Torkington
May 23, 2012

Tale of Two Pwnies (Chromium Blog) -- So, how does one get full remote code execution in Chrome? In the case of Pinkie Pie’s exploit, it took a chain of six different bugs in order to successfully break out of the Chrome sandbox. Lest you think all attacks come from mouth-breathing script kiddies, this is how the pros do...

Understanding Mojito

Understanding Mojito
By Simon St. Laurent
May 10, 2012

O'Reilly editor Simon St. Laurent talked with Yahoo's Bruno Fernandez-Ruiz about the possibilities Node opened and Mojito exploits. Yahoo's Mojito is a different kind of framework: all JavaScript, but running on both the client and the server.

Welcome Elisabeth Robson!

By Kerry Butson
May 1, 2012

Versatile instructor and utility player Elisabeth Robson joins OST faculty.

Four short links: 24 April 2012

By Nat Torkington
April 24, 2012

3D-Printing Pharmaceuticals (BoingBoing) -- Prof Cronin added: "3D printers are becoming increasingly common and affordable. It's entirely possible that, in the future, we could see chemical engineering technology which is prohibitively expensive today filter down to laboratories and small commercial enterprises. "Even more importantly, we could use 3D printers to revolutionise access to health care in the developing world,...

Books should be as easy to create as websites

By Joe Wikert
April 2, 2012

In this TOC podcast, PressBooks founder Hugh McGuire talks about the current state and future plans for this new book production platform PressBooks.


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