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Recently in Web Development (September 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!


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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Firefox 7 Officially Available

And just like that another version of the hugely popular Firefox browser is out. In keeping with their earlier promise of faster release, version 7 is out just a few weeks after version 6.

The new version is touted to use as low half as much as memory as the previous version. A little testing does indeed show the the browser is much snappier than before. Another feature that should keep users and web devs happy is hardware acceleration for the canvas tag. As someone who messes around with canvas all the time, this is indeed a big one. Hit the link below to glean more about the new features and updates.

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Ruby on Rails 3.1 is Released

This one is for the Rails aficionados. This extremely popular Ruby framework just released a major point release of the framework. Big features in this version include jQuery being included as the default JavaScript library and support for HTTP streaming. Hit the link below for the entire change log.

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jQuery Mobile arc2released!

The jQuery team is back at their super productive best with their beta 3 and RC1 release of jQuery mobile.

Among a big set of fixes and improvements, this release also include support for pushState and the beforechangepage event along with improvements for the iOS5 platform. Hit the link below for more.

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PostgreSQL 9.1 is Out

Among all the talk about noSQL, it's easy to forget that we still are in a world where SQL is the dominant force. PostgreSQL, one of the well known SQL vendors just released a point update to their software with a lot of new features and improvements.

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MongoDB 2.0 Released

And to just spite the SQL camp, MongoDB is out with version 2 of their flagship MongoDB data store. MongoDB is one of the more well known noSQL solutions and just finished a round of funding from Sequoia, for the more entrepreneurish amongst you. I recommend visiting the link below to find out more about what has changed here.

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Rails Installer Now Supports Rails 3.1

While Unix and Linux devs have the luxury of an easy workflow on their platforms, getting Rails setup well on Windows is still a chore.

RailsInstaller, an EngineYard effort, seeks to streamline this process. They just updated their software to support Rails 3. If you're a Windows Rails developer, make sure to grab this!

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Clojure 1.3 Released

While Nettuts+ primarily focuses on the front end and a smattering of PHP and Ruby right now, we do intend to expand to broader programming topics soon. To that effect, here is something a little more niche.

Clojure is a variant of the veteran Lisp language. It's a high level, functional, general purpose programming language that works on both the JVM and CLR. An important point to note is that a variant of Clojure, called ClojureScript, compiles down to JavaScript and works on web browsers everywhere. If you're even a tiny bit intrigued, make sure to read the link below.

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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.

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cryptico.js

A plain JavaScript utility to aid in encrypting content on the client side. The utility supports RSA + AES and can go upto 1024 bits.

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keymaster

A simple micro-library for defining and dispatching keyboard shortcuts. It has no dependencies

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Flourish

Flourish is a PHP unframework — a general-purpose, object-oriented library.
It has a modular architecture, meaning it isn't strictly MVC. It focuses on being secure, well documented and easy to use, while solving problems intrinsic to web development.

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dquery

dquery is a useful tool for handling dates and times. It works by extending instances of Date with additional functionality.

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TaffyDB

TaffyDB is an opensouce library that brings database features into your JavaScript applications.

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Touché

Touché brings touch events to non-touch browsers (how touching!). No dependencies. No code bloat.

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R.js

R.js is a simple i18n framework for JavaScript, using CommonJS. R.js should work in both browsers, and on Node.js, providing internationalization capabilities to both.

R.js is tiny, at less than 900 bytes minified and gzipped (<2kb minified). R.js has no dependencies, but can be used easily with any other libraries you wish. R.js binds itself to window.R, or global.R on the server side.

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streamjs

stream.js is a tiny stand-alone Javascript library that unlocks a new data structure for you: streams. Streams are an easy to use data structure similar to arrays and linked lists, but with some extraordinary capabilities.

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kibo

Kibo is a simple JavaScript library for handling keyboard events.

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three.js

three.js is a Javascript 3D Engine. The aim of the project is to create a lightweight 3D engine with a very low level of complexity — in other words, for dummies. The engine can render using <canvas>, <svg> and WebGL.

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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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Backbone.js Screencast - Introduction and Views

An excellent screencast by Joey Beninghove on the basics of Backbone.js. If you're looking for a well made screencast to jumpstart your Backbone experiments, this is a fine place to start.

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What is the exact difference between a 'terminal', a 'shell', a 'tty' and a 'console'?

Wondering at the semantic differences between the words in questions? This is the discussion to read.

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CSS3 Rainbow Dividers

Title says it all. Rainbow friggin' dividers using just CSS3 -- now there's no reason that your pages are anything less than utterly, mind-bogglingly fabulous.

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ligament.js

ligament.js, by Yehuda Katz, is the smallest, lightest-weight JavaScript MVC framework around. Or is it?

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My TXJS talk (Twitter remix)

Brendan Eich's speech at TXJS on the good, bad and ugly parts of Ecma TC39. An excellent watch for anyone doing anything related to the web and a must watch for every JS developer.

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Sudoku Solver in 140 bytes

A cute little algo that brute forces any Sudoku into submission. Oh, did I mention that it's just 140 bytes? I imagine this is how gods program.

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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 time we're doing something along these lines, 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!