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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!
All of the important news in a single place: releases, announcements, companies bickering, security issues and all related hoopla.
jQuery 1.6.2 Released
Almost every seems to be using jQuery these days and version 1.6.2 of the library is now out. This is the second minor release on top of jQuery 1.6 and lands a number of fixes for bugs. The version is already up on a number of oft used CDNs so using the new version is just a switcheroo away!
JS Bin 2.8.0 is Out
Remy Sharp's JSBin is a fantastic tool for debugging -- by yourself or with a team. JS Bin 2.8.0 brings with it live previews, resizable panels and autocomplete among many others.
IE10 Platform Preview 2 Released
Internet Explorer is on the path to standards redemption and they see IE10 as their asnwer. The IE10 Platform Preview 2 has been released and includes support for CSS3 Floats, HTML5 Drag-drop and File reader API among a lot more.
WordPress 3.2 now available
The new version of WordPress ships with a ton of new features including a super focused, writing mode, a refresh of the dashboard, a new HTML5 theme and performance improvements among others. Be sure to update your installations!
Code Release: Backbone.js 0.5.0
Along with a slew of tweaks and bug fixes, the most notable new feature is HTML5 "pushState" support, which you can see in action by trying a search in DocumentCloud's public archive.
Google Web Fonts v2 Released
Version 2 of Google Web Fonts has been released. This release includes a ton of new functionality including better searching and filtering capabilities and, of course, many more fonts.
Google Releases Flash to HTML5 Conversion Tool
The tool, named Swiffy, was made available on Google Labs. You can upload a SWF file, and Swiffy will produce an HTML5 version which will run in modern browsers with a high level of SVG support such as Chrome and Safari.
Node 0.5 Out in the Open
Version 0.5 of the highly acclaimed NodeJS environment is now out with a number of new features, bug fixes and performance improvements. Check out the link below to see the full changelog.
NodeJS on the way to Windows
In more Node related news, Microsoft has officially partnered with Joyent in porting NodeJS to the Windows platform. The resulting binary is expected to work with versions as far back as Server 2003.
Nettuts+ Releases Apps for Web Developers
Not to toot our own horn but recently we've started releasing custom made desktop apps that are tailor made for on web developers. Hit the link below to find out 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.
Paper.js is an open source vector graphics scripting framework that runs on top of the HTML5 Canvas. It offers a clean Scene Graph / Document Object Model and a lot of powerful functionality to create and work with vector graphics and bezier curves, all neatly wrapped up in a well designed, consistent and clean programming interface.
If you like CoffeeScript, then you're really go love CoffeeKup. It's basically HTML markup as CoffeeScript!
jsPlumb provides a way to "plumb" elements of a UI together. It can be used with jQuery, MooTools or YUI3
jQuery Meow mimics Growl notications. It supports all jQuery events and you can bind it to various sources for message input making it ideal for form validation, Rails flash notices, or a replacement for the alert() box.
A phenomenally fast real-time web framework for Node.js, SocketStream is a new full stack web framework built around the Single-page Application paradigm. It embraces websockets, in-memory datastores (Redis), and client-side rendering to provide an ultra-responsive experience that will amaze your users.
VisualSearch.js is a rich search box for real data. It enhances ordinary search boxes with the ability to autocomplete facets and values for sophisticated searches.
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.
Can a local variable's memory be accessed outside its scope?
A great discussion with an extra fun analogy to explain memory management.
Why is JSON so popular?
A quick look into why JSON gained so much marketshare compared to its more enterprise-y competitors.
Evolving the Google design and experience
The Google team writes about the recent redesign of the entire Google ecosystem. Not really developer oriented but a good, quick read.
The Node Beginner Book
A fantastic resource for the NodeJS beginner.
Every month we're going to highlight a specific tool that we think deserves a special mention. This month it is...
Microjs.com helps you discover the most compact-but-powerful microframeworks, and makes it easy for you to pick one that'll work for you.
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!