Cesar’s Vanilla Blog

White and creamy wtf

Thoughts on Javascript

In one of my courses at school, I had to do a project that involved a ton of web work. I have done enough web work before, using php/perl/asp, and I even had a course that explained a bit of javascript. After going through that, I came to the conclusion that php/asp are here to stay and perl/javascript are going to die soon enough (in fact, I was with two profs when they were talking about organizing one of the other diploma programs. They were thinking of replacing a perl course with python. AFAIK, they haven’t done it yet).

Right now, of course, I’m nose deep in javascript, and with that exposure I am beginning to think about it in a whole different way.

When I did server-side programming, I never thought of actually incorporating javascript into the application for anything else other than simple validation. That was what I was taught, do client side validation using javascript … then do it again on the server side in case they turned javascript off or something.

With such redundancy, it wasn’t even worth the effort, other than saving a call back to the server. Coming into Mozilla, I never understood the attraction to the language. It’s too simple, ugly, confusing, and just.. well, going back to the punch card. It seemed obsolete, and I wondered how far this joke of improving the language was going to last.

Then again, I was (and still am) completely ignorant about AJAX and the power of the language. The most exposure to AJAX I got pre-mozilla was when we incorporated a calendar and ajax popup into a web page. And that was so far off from client validation, that I didn’t even think of it as javascript.

With new libraries coming out like FUEL and jQuery, it seems worth it to take another look. Especially once you realized that javascript, and the Mozilla Platform has been even been used in some complex applications.

One of my favorite demos yet, and something that I was trying to reproduce is the image gallery javascript demo. I started a subproject (called photowheel), which sucks compared to the link. This started after a few people recklessly put up images using flash.

 

You know who you are.

 

Next you’ll be asking me to download Air to view your text-only document.

I don’t think javascript is perfect. Javascript heavy websites (zimbra, gmail) are pretty slow to load up. This may be for a number of different reasons, but its not pleasant to wait for your browser to respond to a new tab and take up >50% your CPU.

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July 5, 2007 - Posted by | Mozilla, Seneca

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