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Recently in Web Development (August Edition)

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Web development is an industry that's in a state of constant flux with technologies and jargon changing and mutating in an endless cycle. Not to mention the sheer deluge of information one has to process everyday.

In this semi-frequent series of articles, we'll seek to rectify this by bringing you all the important news, announcements, releases and interesting discussions within the web development industry in a concise package. Join me after the jump!


News

All of the important news in a single place: releases, announcements, companies bickering, security issues and all related hoopla.

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Steve Jobs Resigns as Apple CEO

Even though this isn't directly related to web development, for a technophile, this is important news: Steve Jobs is resigning as the CEO of Apple with Tim Cook slated to be his replacement.

Jobs is still expected to stay on as Chairman of the board so his vision is still going to be present in Apple's DNA. Hit the link below to read the press release.

Read more

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Apple Launches iCloud Beta

In more Apple news, their much vaunted iCloud service is now open for beta access. If you have no idea what iCloud is, it's Apple's vision of a streamlined, cloud computing service.

Expected to launch in full later this fall, now is an excellent time to get your hands dirty with it.

Read more

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Firefox 6 Released

Mozilla, in accordance with promise of a more rapid development cycle, is now out with version 6 of the popular web browser. As expected, the new versions bring more HTML5 and CSS3 awesomeness.

Some of the more out of the box features include a URL highlighter to bring it upto par with Opera and Chrome and a nifty JavaScript scratchpad allowing you to execute JavaScript code directly -- like Firebug's command line.

Read more

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PHP gets Updated to v5.3.5 and 5.3.8

A little over five months from the previous version, version 5.3.5 is now available with a slew of bug fixes, optimization and a lot of added functionality.

If you're like me and need to really know what has changed, hit the link below and expect lose a couple of hours at the very least.

Read more

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ClojureScript is Released

If you're a bleeding edge programmer like me, you've probably heard of Clojure or better, use it on a daily basis. The excellent Clojure team released ClojureScript, a compiler for Clojure that targets JavaScript.

If you're even slightly interested, I suggest you hit the link below -- there's a lot of interesting things going on in there.

Read more

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Timthumb Compromised and Later Fixed

Timbthumb is used by a lot of WordPress developers, including the ones from our very own ThemeForest, to help them with resizing images. A vulnerability was found with the library leading to numerous sites getting hacked with the community raising to the occation and releasing a fix for it rather quickly.

Once you've updated your copy, (right now, if not earlier) make sure to read about the issues in the link below.

Read more

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Heroku Supports Java and EngineYard, PHP

Heroku, one of the most popular Platform-as-a-service solutions for Ruby has started offering support for Java, arguably one of the most popular languages in the world.

Likewise, EngineYard, another popular platform acquired Orchestra, a PHP PaaS solution, in a bid to further expand its userbase. It's a great time for being a web developer, isn't it?

Read more and more.


New Kids on the Block

As web developers, the sheer amount of resources we can tap into increases exponentially with time. Here is just a quick look at some recently created resources that deserve your attention -- everything from new books to scripts and frameworks.

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batman.js

batman.js is a full-stack microframework extracted from real use and designed to maximize developer and designer happiness. It favors convention over configuration, template-less views, and high performance by simply not doing very much. It all adds up to blazingly fast web apps with a great development process; it's batman.js.

Read more

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Chosen

Chosen is a JavaScript plugin that makes long, unwieldy select boxes much more user-friendly. It is currently available in both jQuery and Prototype flavors.

Read more

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Agility.js

Agility.js is an MVC library for Javascript that lets you write maintainable and reusable browser code without the verbose or infrastructural overhead found in other MVC libraries.

Read more

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fusker

Detect, prevent, and fight back against hackers in the lulziest ways possible. Supports Socket.IO and HTTP

Read more

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Recurly.JS

Recurly.js allows you to easily embed a PCI compliant order form within your website. Recurly.js is a Javascript library designed to be easily embedded and customized to match your website.

Read more

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deck.js

A JavaScript library for building modern HTML presentations. deck.js is flexible enough to let advanced CSS and JavaScript authors craft highly customized decks, but also provides templates and themes for the HTML novice to build a standard slideshow.

Read more

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PollJS

PollJS is a lightweight wrapper for the JavaScript Interval and Timer methods. It's lightweight (~1.5k) and supports maximum attempt limits, fallbacks, and incremental interval times.

Read more

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FlyJSONP

FlyJSONP is a small JavaScript library, 2.38KB (1.13KB gzipped), that allows you to do cross-domain GET and POST requests with remote services that support JSONP, and get a JSON response.

Read more

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Sprite3D

Sprite3D wraps HTML elements with the necessary behaviours to easily control their 3D-position using a simple Javascript syntax.

Read more

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Columnal CSS

The Columnal CSS grid system is a "remix" of a couple others with some custom code thrown in.

Columnal makes responsive web design a little easier. It is 1140px wide, but since it is fluid, will respond to the width of most browsers.

Read more


Interesting Reads

Often, you're not really looking for a tutorial as much as you're looking for a rant, an opinion or just the musings of a tired developer. This sections contains links to precisely those -- interesting posts from the developer community.

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JavaScript is Assembly Language for the Web: Part 2

An excellent read that includes thoughts and opinions from JavaScript gurus about the place of JavaScript as the low level, assembly language for the internet. A must read!

Read more

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The M in MVC: Why Models are Misunderstood and Unappreciated

A developer's musings about the idiosyncrasies of the MVC pattern. It's slightly long, for an online article, but well worth your time.

Read more

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The Definitive Guide To Forms based Website Authentication

StackOverflow's community chimes in to create an authoritative guide to authentication for the real world. If you'd like to build such a system from scratch, this is one of the places you'll need to start from.

Read more

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Understanding "Prototypes" in JavaScript

jQuery's Yehuda Katz talks, in great detail, about how prototypes work in JavaScript. Regardless of whether you're a JS verteran or just starting out with this aspect of JavaScript, I imagine this is going to be quite useful.

And if you did manage to get the reference to the image on your left, you get a gold star!

Read more

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Raffi Krikorian: Twitter From Ruby on Rails to the JVM

A great presentation of Twitter's move from Ruby on Rails to Scala on the JVM. Whether you believe in the 'Rails doesn't scale' argument or not, this is a great talk on how toolsets and builds change over time.

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Wrapping Up

Well, that's about all the major changes that happened in our industry lately. Since this is the first of its kind, everything is still up in the air — future editions will be shaped by your feedback.

Do you want us to cover more standard news? A focus on upcoming scripts maybe? Or just more interesting posts and discussions from the community? Let us know in the comments and thank you so much for reading!

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