Recently in Web Development (June ’12 Edition)
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!
News and Releases
All of the important news in a single place: releases, announcements, companies bickering, security issues and all related hoopla.
OK, that sounds a bit dramatic. The truth is that they'll be supporting Internet Explorer with the 1.9.x branches well into 2013. But version 2.0, expected in 2013, will drop support for IE 6/7/8.
And by support, they mean the sheer number of shims and fixes that are present in the core just to make it work with older versions. Personally, I think that's a good thing. With Microsoft choosing to auto update most installations, you can no longer make a case for all that extra work and testing.
We've been hearing this for a long time: IPv4 is running out of addresses and we need to act. Well, the network wizards have been working on the next generation internet protocol, dubbed IPv6, for a while now which seeks to alleviate these issues by adding a few orders of magnitude more addresses.
The world launch of IPv6 was the 6th of June with a lot of ISPs, hardware makers and web sites making the switch to IPv6. It's something that affects everyone on the internet and yet there's little to no fanfare about it!
Ahh, security issues. Don't we all have 'em? This time, a vulnerability has been found in the popular Ruby on Rails framework. And yes, it's a generic SQL injection issue.
I don't want you to bore you with the details: I do want you to keep reading, don't I? Hit the link below if you want to know more.
MD5Crypt, does it ring a bell? If you've designed authentication systems, I'm sure you've at least heard of it. It's a password hasher used in a lot of FreeBSD and Linux boxen.
Its author, Poul-Henning Kamp, has recently announced that this method is no longer considered secure. This is par for the course though, seeing as all hashing algorithms eventually get broken with brute force attacks, thanks to Moore's law.
Make sure to switch to a more robust algo in your future projects and do remember to switch it out in your current ones!
To quote their marketing: "Thimble makes it ridiculously simple to create your own web pages. Write and edit HTML and CSS right in your browser. Instantly preview your work. Then host and share your finished pages with a single click. Easy, huh? "
Sounds interesting, right? I don't want to stop your fun so click on right along and give it a whirl!
Remember how every one of these pieces mention a new version of Firefox while we don't hear anything from any one else? It's half and half this time around. While I'm sure Firefox has jumped a gazillion version number this month, Opera is finally back on the news with its fresh new version 12.
It's brings along numerous shiny toys including WebGL support, spiffy CSS animations and lots and lots of other cool stuff. Hit the link below for a complete list.
As developers, we're pretty religiously attached to our tools. This month, a ton of popular IDEs and scripts got updated and rewritten.
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.
GMaps.js allows you to use the potential of Google Maps in a simple way. No more extensive documentation or large amount of code.
Visit the examples in hpneo.github.com/gmaps
Yet another HTML5 Presentation Assembler
Super-smooth CSS3 transformations and transitions for jQuery
dancer.js is a high-level audio API, usable with both Mozilla's Audio Data API and Webkit's Web Audio API with flash fallback, designed to make sweet visualizations.
Backbone Aura is a decoupled, event-driven architecture on top of Backbone.js for developing widget-based applications. It takes advantage of patterns and best practices for developing maintainable applications and gives you greater control over widget-based development. Aura gives you complete control of a widget's life cycle, allowing developers to dynamically start, stop, reload and clean-up parts of their application as needed.
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.
If you're like me and tend to look through a movie's computer related moments too closely, this should elicit at least a giggle from you!
If you're invested in the Backbone ecosystem, here is Jeremy's keynote on Backbone's growth and future.
I'm sure you remember Github releasing a client for the Windows platform a month or so ago. In this blog post, they explain their thought process and assorted critical decisions whilst developing the application. I think you'll find it interesting, regardless of whether you're a developer or a designer.
I know this article is a little old but it does look incredibly detailed and covers the core areas of differentiation. If you're the one who has to pick a new stack for your dev team, make sure to check this out before making a decision.
PS - If you haven't gotten the joke yet, it's meant to poke fun at the current state of web development. Pay attention to the commit messages for extra giigle worthy stuff.
The quintessential question on most developers' minds gets an answer on Stack Exchange. It's a bit of a read but I'm hoping you'll glean an incredible amount of information about the real world.
Finally, a rant worth linking to! Tired of people talking crap about the cloud, as a few have? Use this article as ammunition for your next smack down.
Amongst the sheer noise in the data storage realm, it's easy to drink the koolaid and jump into the new age noSQL solutions. Here's Domas with a sound rebuttal.
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!