Jan 23

Dynamically Loading Google Maps for Performance

Google, Tech with tags: 8 Comments »

A fellow JavaScripter was running into an issue where the standard way to load the Google Maps API was causing a perceived slow down of a single app page. The API has added the ability to get away from document.write() and dynamically load everything up.

Example code

function loadScript() {
  var script = document.createElement("script");
  script.type = "text/javascript";
  script.src = "http://maps.google.com/maps?file=api&v=2.x&key=PUT-YOUR-KEY-HERE&async=2&callback=loadMap";
function loadMap() {
  var map = new GMap2(document.getElementById("map"));
  map.setCenter(new GLatLng(37.4419, -122.1419), 6);
  map.addOverlay(new GMarker(map.getCenter()));

Here it is at work in an iframe below:

Jan 23

Feeling Agile 2

Comic, Tech with tags: , 6 Comments »

Feeling Agile 2

Have you ever run into this? You meet someone who wants to change the system, the way the game is played, yet years later they become precisely what they despised.

Jan 23

2008: Year of Server Side JavaScript?

JavaScript, Tech, Web Frameworks with tags: , 1 Comment »

Michael Mahemoff has been playing with server side JavaScript too.

I too haven’t heard of half of the list of Server Side JavaScript frameworks on Wikipedia, although it is certainly interesting to remember that Netscape did JavaScript on the server waaaay back in time.

At the same time, Aptana is trying to define an “Ajax server” with todays release of Jaxer. At first glimpse you can see some of the other frameworks, but it certainly is doing a lot more.

Michael hits on one of the key points when he talks about deployment:

Try finding a virtual host that supports Javascript! You would practically need one that support Java, so you can run Rhino or whatever, and few virtual hosts do that. At least Python and Ruby were running on many virtual hosts before Django and Rails showed up. For that reason, the model pursued by AppJet seems worthy. If they can come up with a solid virtualisation environment for Javascript, they may be on to a big winner.

I want to be able to hit “DEPLOY” or “PUBLISH” and have that be the only way I interact with production applications from now on (with the ability to roll back and scale out). When someone nails that, we will see a lot of applications coming out.

Maybe TheServerSide.com should become “Your JavaScript Community”?

Jan 22

Visualizing the business importance, and slow moving development, of the Web

Gears, Tech, Web Browsing, Web Frameworks 2 Comments »

Brad was speaking on a panel at a recent conference and asked a couple of questions, and the answers visually said it all:

Raise your hand if your business relies on the Web in some way:

Group with raised hands

Raise your hand if you think that the Web is moving fast enough as a development platform:

Group without raised hands

Jan 22

The development circle of life

Comic, Tech with tags: , 5 Comments »

The development circle of life

Of course, you can insert many other technologies and years. And, 2010 is a hopeless guess :)

Jan 21

The “killer app” phenomenon

Java, JavaScript, PHP, Tech 3 Comments »

Cedric is talking about the killer app phenomenon as it related to programming language. Of course, the term killer app doesn’t quite fit so well with languages, but the abstract concept is “reason it hit a tipping point”.

For Java it wasn’t the Applet as Cedric pointed out. I think it is a mix of:

  • No more memory management (language feature)
  • C like (not a huge leap)
  • JVM worked OK on the server side (although a bit crap at first, ended up becoming top notch)

For PHP though, I think it is much clearer:

  • Deployment. PHP was built for the Web. Remember how painful Perl was back then? PHP fit the jump from CGI to “oh, to do rich dynamic stuff we can’t fork() every time”. PHP was easy to setup with Apache, it just worked, and soon it was deployed on all hosting providers. This is why it is still a winner for so many people
  • Simple, scripting based: easy to go from Perl to PHP. Easy enough for the people who liked the deployment issue to hack away (e.g. the non CSci folk)

And JavaScript? The killer app was Netscape, and the fact that it was like PHP in that people could hack away.

Jan 21

Feeling Agile

Ajax, Comic, Tech with tags: , No Comments »

Feeling Agile

Toonlet uses Dojo 0.4.x and Flash. It is definitely in beta. I had to use Opera to allow me to select a person (both Firefox and Safari didn’t work). But that will get ironed out, and it is fun!

Jan 21

Flaming British Sheep Shagger (The Drink)

British, Personal with tags: , , 4 Comments »

I turned 21 when I was in Minneapolis. It was a little strange “being able to drink” since I had already been able to drink for years in England. I still think that the age for drinking and driving should be flipped in the US, mainly as I saw kids going nuts in college as it was “so naughty”.

The morning after my birthday celebrations I woke up groggy, laying without clothes on the floor of my bedroom. The last thing I remembered was getting a drink at Kierans.

That drink was a special concoction, recorded by an old friend Brian O’Neilly:

Flaming Sheep Shagger



Layer in order (Bailey’s at the bottom of the glass) in a shot glass.

Now, I swear that the Irish bar tender heard I was a brit, and put in some “green leprechaun” nonsense. Whatever it was, I apparently went nuts. I started to babble on singing about Rainbow which confused everyone as Minnesotans only know of Rainbow the grocery store. I also started talking about Braveheart, and god knows what else. I am happy to have lost those memories I am sure.

If anyone offers you this drink, be warned!

Jan 20

Watching for the expiration of JavaScript domains

Ajax, Tech with tags: 1 Comment »

The perl.com porn site redirect exploit isn’t new.

We tend to often trust the people that we load JavaScript from too much. So many new startups require you to just include that little tidbit of JavaScript. “Just copy and paste this somewhere on your blog”.

Of course, if the site gets compromised in anyway you are loading script from the Bad Guys. If you are a bad guy what are you doing? Looking for third parties that offer services that people embed, and watching like a hawk to see them mess up their DNS so you can pounce. You have automated systems to do this.

Watch out, and let’s get together to work out a possible solution, whether it be short term or longer.

Jan 20

Changing my birthdate

Personal 5 Comments »

There are few things that you cannot change when you think about it. Your weight, eye color, sex, name, language, location, and many more. You could even skin graft and get different finger prints. About the only thing that you can’t mess with is time.

Why am I thinking about this? Was I smoking something last night, which lead me to waxing lyrically about random crud? No.

Wouldn’t it be cool if you were born on 08/08/08. It would be easy to remember, and have others get your birthday right (even without Facebook telling them).

However, if you give birth on 08/07/08 tough luck. Sorry. You have that planted on you for your entire life.

I thought it was a lost cause. These hospitals are serious. But, then I wondered:

What would happen if I went into the wilderness and had a baby out there? Surely I would come in and someone would have to take my word on the date?

I have seen this first hand. I do not want to generalize here, but when I was a youngster playing cricket for Middlesex, I am sure that some of the other kids that had recently immigrated to the UK were a touch older than they claimed. I know that some people can get facial hair at an early age, but some of these guys were quite obvious. I think that the same happens in the little league via the Dominican Republic, and others.

In conclusion, if you are having a kid near 08/08/08, consider having the kid in The Bush and sneak in the magic date!