These two podcasts provide great background on the new Google Gears (AJAX apps, offline) project. The first, with Brad Neuberg (THE expert in the field of offline AJAX), covers the basics and discusses the connection between Dojo’s offline functionality and Gears. The second, with Mike Tsao, covers the short history of Gears development and gives a great technical overview.
Joe Hewitt demos firebug. If you’ve been using firebug a lot, this will mostly be a review, but I saw several things I hadn’t noticed before:
- There is a “log all calls to” option in the right click menu when you are inside a function definition in the script tab. Params are logged! If you want to log the stack traces, use console.trace.
- I use the box model display often, but I didn’t notice before that rulers are added to your page when you mouse-over the box. Nice.
- When you are editing an attribute in the HTML or the CSS edit modes, you can use cursor keys to increase or decrease dimensions.
- Documentation for the firebug API is coming soon!
- Ctrl-Click while debugging will “run to the clicked line”.
- When you are in the DOM tab, the variables you added to the name space are in bold at the top… handy.
- When you paste multi-line text into the console’s command line, you get a larger text area to enter your code.
- New font (smaller and more readable)
- The breadcrumb of the selected dom item (during inspection) is now interactive. You can highlight and select any ancestor of the currently selected item.
- The inspected item now has a graphical depiction of its box model (‘layout’ in the right pane).
- All CSS lines in the CSS tab and the Style tab of the inspected item can now be toggled on and off just by clicking them.
- Editing the CSS and HTML now seems smoother somehow – before the feedback didn’t seem as immediate.
- The net tab gives a graphical representation of requests to the server. And it’s not just XMLHTTPRequests anymore – it’s everything.
- You can turn firebug on for one site only, now, rather than for everything. Nice.
I’ve been working with Dojo on a low priority project for the past several days. Here are my thoughts so far:
- This discussion list archive is extremely helpful.
- The tests are often more useful than the documentation.
- Dojo.Select is a very cool alternative to the HTML version, but I can’t find a way to set it’s value programmatically if the options are coming from a dataURL AND the option text is different than the option values.
- Whenever you have a problem recreating something you saw in an example, run that example against the version of dojo you are using. It MAY be that the latest dojo code is not compatible with the code you saw in the example.
- The dojo blog is fairly active.
- I’m having a lot of trouble with FormBind (the dojo AJAX mechanism used to post forms to the server), but I’m sure I’ll work it out. It probably has something to do with the fact that I have many forms on the page, not just one. UPDATE: Solved my issue and logged a bug about it (FormBind gives no feedback if the form’s action url is a 404.).
I uploaded a low quality video taken with my cell phone. The first 3 minutes is a silent tour of the 30+ built in effects. At the 3 minute mark, you’ll see some of the effects and transitions I’m building into my script download app.
Update: I uploaded the app I wrote this weekend to download animations from a url to run on the lights. Details here.