29 November 2007

Rails 2.0 RC 2 released

A few hours ago the second release candidate of Ruby on Rails 2.0 was released.

If you want to know what changes are being implemented for RoR's next version, go check the first RC announcement, and also Ryan Daigle's blog, where many of the new features are explained.

25 November 2007

On user interface design patterns

While surfing dzone I found a site called UI-Patterns:

UI-Patterns are not the first to create a UI design library. A popular design library is the Yahoo! Design Pattern Library. While very useful, it is far from complete. The purpose of this site is over time to fill some of the gaps – especially by providing code examples as to how how the different patterns can be implemented.

Some of the patterns introduced are really interesting, but the way they are presented is a few steps behind Yahoo's. It's still great work, and I can't imagine how difficult is to formalize those patterns, but having a video showing the pattern in action is an advantage over plain screenshots.

Another site on user interface patterns I found is Welie, which covers a good list of common practices in interaction design.

So for those interested in getting to know more about design patterns for the user experience, here is an interesting presentation in Yahoo! User Interface Theater, called "Designing the Rich Web Experience: Principles and Patterns for Rich Interaction Design on the Web". Enjoy!

Bill Scott served as a Yahoo Ajax Evangelist and engineering manager from 2005-7. In this talk, given at nearly a dozen conferences around the world, Bill taxonomizes the rich interaction patterns that characterize the evolving web — a must-see for web designers and frontend engineers

22 November 2007

High-performance JavaScript: Why Everything You've Been Taught Is Wrong

That's the title of an interesting talk that was uploaded in Y! Video regarding javascript performance given by Plaxo's Chief Platform Architect, Joseph Smarr.

There are a few interesting ideas (most of them are not new, but it never hurts reminding them). As Joseph Smarr explains, when developing a new version of Plaxo, they found many performance issues that put in jeopardy the release of their new system.

It looks like at first they tried to develop their application without paying too much attention on browser's limitations, and without considering javascript's strengths and weaknesses (too much OOP boilerplate, as he says, like getters and setters and stuff…). However they were able to adopt new and better practices, that allowed them to ship Plaxo 3.0.

18 November 2007

New jQuery queueing plugin

I'm beginning this blog with a jquery plugin I had to develop a few weeks ago for a project I'm working on.

Even though jQuery is a great javascript library, its latest version brings a queue control, it doesn't work for different elements. That is, if you had something like

$("#myDiv").animate({fontSize: "30px"}).animate({marginLeft: "40px"})

it would queue the animations. But what if you wanted to be able to queue different elements (just like Scriptaculous allows)? Well, that's the reason why I developed the jQuery Fx Queues plugin. So go ahead and check it out, and feel free to send me your comments or any bugs you find.