Archive for the 'Ajax' Category

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iOS6 Safari Ajax issues

Friday, September 21st, 2012

Pete Forde pointed me to an interesting discussion of an iOS 6 Safari bug that affects Ajax calls.

I later came across a discussion of a different bug, also affecting Ajax calls.

I know it’s only day one for iOS6 and the odd bug is expected, however I find it jarring that with Apple’s strong advocacy of HTML5 and JavaScript to create interactive web apps, these issues could creep into Safari without someone considering the implications or finding the issue before release.

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Cross-Site mashups starting to come together

Friday, August 1st, 2008

Via Ajaxian, Kris Zyp introduces the Dojo Cross-Site XHR Plugin registry

In typical Dojo fashion, it tries the best and most robust methods but allows you to fall back to the basics where necessary, and anticipates the standards currently in development in order to make future transitions minimal.

Great news!

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Unsupported sniping from the Jem Report

Friday, May 9th, 2008

In passing during a rant about the trajectory of ethics in the field of technical book publishing, Jem Matzan accuses the book Enterprise Ajax of being simply a vehicle to shill Nitobi, the company founded by the authors. No supporting commentary or links, just a broadside blow, in a rant about ethics no less.

I was the technical reviewer on that book and I couldn’t disagree more. I found it to be a well-presented book full of technical and business value that didn’t push specific vendor solutions or dwell unduly on the authors’ business.

You have to get over 400 pages into the book before it gets into case studies that could be construed as promoting their own services, but even then the technical value far exceeds any horn-blowing.

I’d be glad to hear from Jem how I’m wrong and have him show me all the examples of shameless shilling that he perceives, however he doesn’t make it obvious how to contact him to engage him about his reports, and even if I were to chase up his contact info, the resulting email conversation wouldn’t help to clarify his meaning to those who might take it at face value.

It’s a two-way web here though, so leave your comments. Have you read the book and come to the same conclusion? Am I wearing my tech blinkers and missing all the marketing cues?

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Strategic internet development technologies

Wednesday, September 19th, 2007

Joel Spolsky has had more than a modicum of success reading the tea leaves of the software industry, so when he writes an incisive essay about the future of application development and platforms, it’s worth not only taking a look, but pursuing an understanding of some of the relevant issues and technologies.

I’ll provide some links here which will help the reader to understand how many of the points Joel makes in his essay are supported by existing technologies in various states of readiness. It’s a big pantry of ingredients that is waiting for the right chef to come along and combine them in a way that inspires the world to follow.

This list is far from exhaustive but I just want to give you some clues that are representative of each topic to help you get started. Please let me know if I’ve missed any important topics.

Javascript (language):

Javascript (engine):

Libraries/Widgets:

Higher abstractions:

Frameworks/SDKs:

Rich Web Application Runtimes:

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Discover and become a part of your local tech community with DemoCamp

Saturday, August 25th, 2007

I’m often asked for advice from people who are just starting to work in technology or who want to take their career to the next level and prepare to become an independent contractor or consultant.

Invariably my number one recommendation is that they begin to build a network of contacts in their local technology community. More often than not, they have no idea how to get started.

In the Toronto area, we’re fortunate to have a vibrant tech community. It wasn’t always so – it has grown significantly in the past couple of years largely due to David Crow’s importation of the BarCamp unconference, an event held a few times a year, generally over a weekend, where people interested in internet technology get together to collaborate.

Even more significant to the growth of Toronto’s tech community was the Toronto birth of DemoCamp, a more lightweight gathering featuring demonstrations from players in the local (and sometimes wider) tech community. Since it takes place in a single evening and is preceded and followed by informal mixing and discussion, it has become a fantastic venue to come out and observe the electricity and creativity of the community and even insert yourself into the fray.

Bootstrapped by the community and now gaining limited corporate support, DemoCamp is growing but still maintains its most important feature – an atmosphere where everyone has the opportunity to contribute and participate.

If there isn’t already a DemoCamp in your community, I strongly encourage you to take the initiative to start one. If you’re in the Toronto area, I hope to see you at Toronto DemoCamp 14 on September 17th, 2007.

My first DemoCamp was DemoCampToronto3, where I demoed BlogChat, an Ajax chat app I developed in early 2002. I have been to almost every subsequent DemoCamp and have witnessed its phenominal growth, as well as the various BarCamp offshoots such as DrupalCamp, EnterpriseCamp and a host of others. I’ve even participated at Geeks and Guitars, playing drums and bass with Joey DeVilla and James Walker.

It has been my pleasure to meet literally hundreds of local people who are passionate about technology, and to collaborate with some of the core people who continue to make DemoCamp a success. This month, I’ve personally pledged $200 to help towards the venue and I encourage others to find ways to lend their support.

The Toronto community also has a “Toronto Global Swarm” Skype channel that is open 24/7 and allows people to come and go and communicate with one another. You can get an invitation from anyone who is already in the chat.

So now you know the not-so-well-kept secret of how to get involved in your local tech community. Spread it around!

Update: David Crow has some details of the presentations lined up for DemoCampToronto14

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Ajax Evolution

Thursday, August 2nd, 2007

Not only are the tools and techniques surrounding Ajax development maturing, the very scope of the Ajax meme continues to expand even now, two years since Jesse spake those immortal words back in 2005.

The latest class of techniques to come under the umbrella of Ajax is offline browser applications. At the Ajax Experience conference in SFO last week, there were a few presentations about the Dojo Offline Toolkit, which provides offline application and synchronization abstractions on top of the Google Gears local storage engine. I spent quite a bit of time with Brad Neuberg and his work on DOT is impressive.

Another topic that got much more coverage this time around was Performance Analysis and the tools you can use. Ryan Breen had a great talk that described some very useful tools and Steve Souders presented his new tool YSlow.

I had a chance to hang around with lots of other great folk while I was there – Douglas, Brendan, Sean, Dylan, the charming but unlinkable Stephanie Trimble, John, Pete and Dori to name a few. And of course, Ben and Dion, congenial hosts as always.

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Why you won’t see me at Ajax World

Friday, July 13th, 2007

Although you will indeed see me at the Ajax Experience show in SFO at the end of the month, I’m afraid you won’t find me in Santa Clara in September.

Today I received yet another in a series of communications asking me to be a sponsor for the Ajax World conference hosted by Sys-Con Media.

I first had contact with Sys-Con when Jeremy Geelan asked me to participate in an expert survey in 2005 [addendum: Jeremy is no longer with Sys-Con, having left to found Social Computing Magazine][addendum2: Jeremy is back with Sys-Con - whether he actually left or not is unknown, but it's clear he's not been entirely frank with me]. I freely gave a bit of my time to come up with a series of responses which were quoted and which apparently were helpful in making it a successful article, ostensibly generating interest or revenue for them.

Based on the success of that interaction, Jeremy invited me to speak at Ajax World in Santa Clara, but it soon became clear I was expected to pay my own travel and accomodation and displace 3+travel=4 days of client business, altogether a significant cost to me – greater than $5000. I said that as an independent with no product to pitch, I would require travel, accomodation and compensation. I was told that expenses were my responsibility and all I could expect in return for speaking would be to get into the conference – a $1595 “value” to me.

Some time after declining this “generous” offer, I started receiving emails and even couriered packages filled with glossies and CD media from Carmen Gonzales, Sr. VP of Sales & Marketing, entreating me to pay big bucks to sponsor the show and get myself a speaking slot.

Jeremy later sent me an email inviting me to submit my presentation for the NYC show last fall. I did so, and reminded him of my requirements, wondering aloud whether his position had changed since he was asking me again. I never received a response.

After receiving further unsolicited emails [from Carmen] about sponsorship, I wrote to Carmen, copying Jeremy, to make it clear that not only had I no such interest, but that their continued efforts were beginning to wear on me.

Since that time I have received numerous messages and even packages via courier, entreating me to spend up to multiple tens of thousands of dollars to become a sponsor. It’s apparent that your business model consists of charging people to attend conferences to hear vendor representatives who have bought keynote and speaking slots and other speakers who have paid their own way and given their time for free, all sponsored by other companies who pay you handsomely for the privilege. It’s abundantly clear that any disinclination to budget for speakers has nothing to do with a lack of available funds.

Obviously there are many speakers whose situations differ from mine, and I salute you for your ability to maintain a cash cow with such a lopsided balance sheet, however, I’m not the least bit inclined to spend any of my own time and effort to further enrich your gain with no recompense to me, and your continued misdirected effort is doing nothing but alienating me from any desire to be supportive of your organization in any way.

For what it’s worth, I presented and participated on panels at both of the Ajax Experience shows last year with no such issues and was made to feel that my time and contribution were very much appreciated.

I was nearly knocked over when in response to my email direct to Carmen a customer service rep contacted me and I was offered a Gold Pass Badge to the NYC show.

Brent,

Our apologies for the oversight and mixup. We would love to invite you to AJAXWorld as our guest with a complimentary Gold Pass badge.

SYS-CON Events Customer Services Team

P.S. Jeremy and/or Carmen will reply to your email. Our apologies again!

In order to use this “complimentary” pass of course, I would have to fly from Toronto to NYC, pay for a hotel, taxi, etc, and of course jerk around my clients on short notice to realign my schedule.

I never received an email from either Carmen or Jeremy as promised by the Customer Service rep. I figured whatever, that’s the end of that.

So, today I start receiving the sponsorship emails [from Carmen] again.

Platinum Sponsorship: $30,000:
10×20 Exhibit Space & 50 minute vendor presentation

Gold Sponsorship: $20,000:
10×10 Exhibit Space & 30 minute vendor presentation

Silver Sponsorship: $15,000 8×10 Exhibit Space & power panel spot

Exhibitor Packages: Plus package $10,000 / standard $5,500

The entrance fee for the conference ranges from $1500 to $1900 depending on when you sign up.

It’s too bad they can’t afford to compensate their speakers or even pay their expenses.

It’s also a shame that their disinterest in stopping the mailings and their lack of response (even when promised) would lead me to moan publicly about it.

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Jazz Programmer

Thursday, May 31st, 2007

I like to think that Ron has me pegged when he describes what he calls a Jazz Programmer.

His post is all the more relevant to me since Jazz plays a not insignificant part in who I am, and the photo he uses is of one of my Jazz heroes, Jimmy Smith