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Friday, January 12, 2007

Mixed links and commentary

A short post today, again:

Via Ajaxian: Leafletter. A very interesting design concept, but remember that Flash files included in your site can access every portion of it just like third party javascript can! (Also their scroll bar seem very counter intuitive)

Two problems with websites: the Authenium blog has comments disabled, so that I can't let them know how I feel about vulnerability disclosure, nor can write them to say that they included the Urchin / Google Analytics the wrong way and it won't work :D (axiom: a blog with no comments is not a blog!). An other problem, or rather a lack of best practices, I noticed when I visited GMail with FireFox, but the user agent string set to Internet Explorer. GMail gave me the basic HTML interface with no AJAX. This leads me to believe (although I never used their DWT toolkit) that they are using user agent snooping to serve up the correct javascript file. This is probably an architectural decision made because of the size of the framework. I personally feel that Javascript shouldn't do browser detection but browser capabilities detection (the difference being that instead of looking for a FireFox for example, you should look if the browser supports getElementById). This is however harder when building frameworks and/or trying to break the tight coupling between the current website and the javascript code (to make them portable). Also, to their defense: the HTML interface works flawlessly (I used it with Netscape 4 or some old Sparc workstations!)

Via Ajaxian: ZipToPhone, a free SMS sending service. Currently they are overloaded, so the site doesn't work, but it seems interesting (When I have a chance, I'll test if it sends SMS to Romania also)

In Dr. Dobbs Journal: AJAX Debugging with Firebug (A Firefox extension that makes web development fun again). If you are a web developer and didn't know about Firebug, go give it a try, you'll love it. A side note: if you sit at a computer where you have FireFox but no Firebug, the DOM Inspector offers some of the functionality: you can view the document tree in its current state (after whatever modifications your javascript may have done to it) and also edit the properties of the nodes.


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