Archived entries for Front End Engineering

Speaking in Singapore

I’m scheduled to present two sessions at the upcoming Webinale conference in Singapore on April 23rd and 24th.

More details soon, but wanted to give you advance notice.

Speaking in Hong Kong at @media 2007 Asia

@media 2007 - Asia I wanted to let you know that I’ll be speaking at @media again this year, this time at the Hong Kong event.

There are only a few days left for discounted registrations, so sign up quick.

All the details here on the @media 2007 Asia site.

It will be tough, but I’ll do my best to stand tall next to all the great speakers:

…the influential CSS Zen Garden creator Dave Shea, multiple book author Molly Holzschlag, the W3C’s Shawn Henry, JavaScript expert Jeremy Keith, HTML Dog author Patrick Griffiths, and Andy Budd, the author of the best selling CSS Mastery book.

See you there!

YUI Party

I blogged this over on the YUIBlog last week (You’re Invited: YUI First Year Party), but figured I’d quickly post a notice here too in case you missed it. There are still a few dozen RSVP slots open, but they probably won’t last long.

If you’re interested in giving a quick five minute demo of something you’ve build with YUI, let me know…

See you there.

Rounding Off the Edges

In Alex Russell’s latest blog post, When Utility Isn’t Enough, he writes that he’s “starting to focus more and more on the ’sharp edges’ of the web development experience.” I think he’s suggesting that we — tool developers and envelope pushers — might best spend our time reducing the pain points instead of always chasing the latest advancement. I agree. He continues that:

“rounding off the sharp edges is an exercise in usability: things are only useable (sic) when they do what you expect them to. A system that hurts you more than you expect isn’t useable.

I share his conclusion that “sacred cows and continually sunk costs” can’t continue forever.

Come to think of it, this is probably one of the chief issues of the past year, and forward too. A common manifestation of this syndrome is the ongoing struggle between “because it’s the standard” and “because it works.”

The History of XMLHTTP , and Patience

Microsoft alum Alex Hopmann writes today about creating XMLHTTP (which is the basis of “Ajax” for my less geeky readers). “XMLHTTP actually began its life out of the Exchange 2000 team. … That weekend I startup up Visual Studio and whipped up the first version of what would become XMLHTTP. The first verison (sic) didn’t have async support hooked up and was pretty crude, but it was enough to help Jim and Bob… .”

It’s an interesting read, both from a historical perspective interesting to those of us that pay rent based on work derived from it, and also to those interested in what makes a particular technology flourish.

Towards the end (it’s a long 2000-word piece), he shares this insight which I think it broadly-applicable:

“The lesson to take out of this thing is to appreciate the importance of shipping and having the patience to let something succeed. It feels like [people] measure [a new platform] by how many apps have adopted it on the launch day. That is just crazy and it doesn’t get the basics of how big a shift these sorts of things can be and how long it takes to move the mind-set, learning, and deployment of a big new platform.”

via

Browser Wars: Episode II The Attack of the DOMs

If you’re in the Bay Area and interested in Web browsers, make plans to come watch Douglas Crockford moderate a panel, Browser Wars: Episode II The Attack of the DOMs, between the Big Four browser vendors. Håkon Wium Lie (CTO of Opera) and Chris Wilson (Mr IE himself) are already confirmed, and I expect the other two to send big guns too.

It should be a unique and exciting discussion, to say the least.

I expect Crockford to be an excellent moderator – I always enjoy his wit, and he definitely knows his stuff. If you want to see him in action in advance, and learn a ton about the DOM in the process, watch his three-part 78 minute presentation called “An Inconvenient API: The Theory of the Dom” hosted on our YUI Blog.



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