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Recently in Web Development (January '12 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 series, published monthly, 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 for an extra dose of community content this month!


News and Releases

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

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'HTML5 Please' Helps Devs Make Informed Decisions

HTML5 is a beast of a spec with no one truly knowing everything there is to know. This shiny new site gives you all the information you need to use HTML5 features on your site, right now.

The site provides you with recommendations as to whether you should be using that specific facet of HTML5 right now and provides you with helpful links to polyfills, when necessary. Time saver!

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HP Open Sources Enyo

Enyo is the engine that powers webOS. But what exactly is Enyo, you ask? Well, it's a spiffy JavaScript framework that helps you build better performing, easier to maintain application.

I'm sure you've heard this plenty of times before so why don't you check out the link below to find out for yourself?

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Tech Giants Protest SOPA

Last month saw a figurative deluge of protests against SOPA. If you have no idea what SOPA is, hit the link below to find out.

While many services merely blackened out their logo, many others, including Wikipedia and Reddit, went the extra length and completely blacked out their sites. The proposed bill has been shelved but I predict that we'll see another in a different skin soon...

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Vim on a Tablet? Yes, Please!

I understand not everyone uses a tablet but the number is growing, quite rapidly. Wouldn't it be great to SSH into your server to fix that pesky bug? Get a proper laptop, you say? I'm going to ask you to shush for now and go with the flow.

This month saw the release of Vim for the iOS platform. And no, it's not a gimped version. From a quick run through, it seems that all the nice bits are still in there. If you're in the intersection between developers and iPad users, let us know in the comments below as to whether it fits your needs.

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Cut the Rope Ported to the Browser

I'm sure a lot of you have played this ridiculously cute 'aww' inducing game. What brings the game to our list is the fact that it has been ported to the browser by the newly cool Internet Explorer team.

And true to their current vision, they've ported it using JavaScript and the magic of HTML5. The link below leads you to a write up about the game development instead of the game itself to protect your productivity.

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The Rails Tutorial, Version Two, Inches Towards Completion

'The' Rails tutorial? Indeed it is! Michael Hartl's free has helped many learn the voodoo that is Rails and Michael is slowly updating his ebook for Ruby 1.9 and Rails 3.2

Thus far, six chapters are out with a chapter expected every week in the future. Make sure to check the site out!

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Sublime Text 2 Piles on More Features with New Beta

Sublime Text 2 is a grand piece of work and every build only reaffirms this. This new build introduces a ton of features including auto complete, performance improvements, a new UI theme and a ton more.

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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.


wrap.js

My wrap.js plugin handles the nested require based on a config, and takes it to the next level by generating an actual AMD module for you during the build. So now you don’t have to write wrappers around scripts that you wish were modules, wrap.js does that for you.

Github Repo


Resumable.js

Resumables is a JavaScript library providing multiple simultaneous, stable and resumable uploads via the HTML5 File API.
The library is designed to introduce fault-tolerance into the upload of large files through HTTP. This is done by splitting each files into small chunks; whenever the upload of a chunk fails, uploading is retried until the procedure completes.

Github Repo


IcedCoffeeScript

IcedCoffeeScript is a fork of CoffeeScript. It is superset of the CoffeeScript language. The iced interpreter is a drop-in replacement for the standard coffee interpreter since it will interpret all existing CoffeeScript programs. IcedCoffeeScript (ICS) adds two new keywords: await and defer. These additions simply and powerfully streamline asynchronous control flow, both on the server and on the browser.

Github Repo


Banking.js

Banking.JS retrieves all of your bank transactions similiar to how quickbooks does it. There is no need to depend on or pay for third party services. The bank statement results are in JSON or Valid XML and supports all financial institutions.

Github Repo


Roy

Roy is a small functional language that compiles to JavaScript. The main features include whitespace significant syntax, compile-time meta-programming, structural typing and monad syntax

Github Repo


jsgif

jsgif an animated GIF player bookmarklet with support for pausing, going frame-by-frame, playing in reverse, and other features that one might expect from a video player.

Github Repo


zip.js

zip.js offers a low-level API for writing and reading large zip files (up to 4GB) with a stable RAM use. It also offers a Filesystem API in order to manipulate zip file structure.

Github Repo


Seriously.js

Seriously.js is a real-time, node-based video compositor for the web. Inspired by professional software such as After Effects and Nuke, Seriously.js renders high-quality video effects, but allows them to be dynamic and interactive.

Github Repo


Best of the Internet

Often, you're not really looking for a tutorial as much as you're looking for a rant, an opinion or the musings of a tired developer or just something cool with absolutely zero real world use. This sections contains links to precisely those -- interesting and cool stuff from the developer community.

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The Five Stages of Hosting

Five common options for hosting a web business, ranked in decreasing order of 'cloudiness'.

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JavaScript Needs Blocks

Yehuda Katz talks about why he wants to see block lambdas in JavaScript. It's a bit technical but well worth a read.

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How I Learned Enough Ruby On Rails In 12 Weeks To Launch Freelancify

A Non-Developer explains how... I think you know already. Just click the darn link and move on.

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Why are software development task estimations regularly off by a factor of 2-3?

Is it the developer's fault? Is it a management issue? Bad methodology, or lack thereof? Or is it ingrained in the nature of the process?

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Explanation for the 'Wat' Talk - CodeMash 2012

This StackOverflow question, along with the well written answers below, explore the code that was demonstrated in the talk mentioned in the title. Provides a quick look at the quirkier portions of JavaScript.

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Why are column oriented databases so much faster than row oriented databases?

A quick little read that explains why, and how, different databases perform differently. There isn't much jargon there and gets the point quite clearly.

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PHP Mind Love

The link below points to some PHP code. Figure out what the output is and you get a cookie!

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Testing Socket.IO With Mocha, Should.js and Socket.IO Client

A clean writeup that details how the author got all the named technologies working together.

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What is the difference between semicolons in JavaScript and in Python?

Ever had to think about the question above? How exactly do they each handle semicolons and newlines? Read up below.

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The Programming Djinn

The Least Boring Programming Book teaches Ruby programming to beginners in an unconventional way.

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Non-Canvas Wizardry

I don't really have much context to go on here so just give the link below a click. Pretty smooth stuff for something that's not canvas or Flash based.

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Wrapping Up

Well, that's about all the major changes that happened in our industry lately.

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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