Infrequently Noted

Alex Russell on browsers, standards, and the process of progress.

JS everywhere

I often refer to JavaScript as "the trojan horse of languages". You think you're getting a browser or another type of programming tool (Java, .NET, Windows), but what you''re unwittingly getting is also a JavaScript interpreter. The practical upshot of this is that JavaScript is probably the world's most widely deployed scripting language. Ever. I think it probably beats Forth (which is shipped in every Mac and Sun BIOS).

Well, now when you get a JotSpot, you're also getting a JS interpreter too.

If you haven't ever taken a look at JS the language (and not the browser bindings that most people are used to), this is a great way to experiment with it in an environment where there's a rich set of bindings to the wiki (jot.lib) and e4x enabled by default.

something's coming

People ask me a lot "so, is there anyone using Dojo to build applications?" and I say "yes". They then ask "who?" and I start looking at my feet and muttering, hoping they think they misheard me and will therefore not press the issue.

Well, I can almost stop muttering and mumbling. It's coming. I can't really say what "it" is, or who is making "it", or even when you'll be able to play with "it" for your very own self. But it's coming, and I cant wait to start showing demos and talking about it ad-nauseum ('cause you know I will).

But boy oh boy is it cool. It warms the cockles of my geeky-but-user-centered heart just thinking of it.

Soon! I promise! Soon!

...it even quacks like an application...

So I joined Jot about 6 months ago, and shortly after I joined I found myself at lunch with Graham (among others). As I started to ask questions about how the system worked, it seemed like every sentence that I'd start as a question, he'd finish with "yes, and it also...". It is, in short, amazing. It's everything I thought a web app platform should be. Sure, it might not be polished (yet), and it might not be what you think of as a "web app platform" in the classical sense, but don't let that stop you from reading:

http://developer.jot.com/WikiHome/JotDoc/JotDocDevs/DevFormsIntro

If you read it and get it, I mean REALLY get it, it will completely transform the way you think about building web applications. And then you'll be as hooked on Jot as I am.

And you'll probably even forget that it's also a wiki.

measuring project size

A day or two ago, I was chatting with Aaron and Java came up for some reason. At the same time, I was having to re-checkout a ton of code thanks to Eclipse getting "confused". Watching the checkout files fly by, I couldn't help but notice how many times the word "junit" kept going by (each time, a jar file). Maybe someday the Java world will discover "shared libraries".

And then it occurred to me: you can measure the size of a Java project by how many different copies of JUnit are part of it's source and the source of other packages it depends on.

I think I'm going to start using it as an ad-hoc measure for Java project complexity. "Oh, it's a 3-unit project..." or "Eh, shouldn't be hard to learn, it's only a 1-unit project".

soooooo tired

Despite making some serious headway on the Dojo memory leak issues, my head is entirely enshrouded in a sleep-deprived fog. Really need to do something about it.