Comet is coming

In a recent article in which I wrote about the HTML 5 draft, I mentioned a server notifications API and hinted that it will standardize a technique known as Comet. So what is Comet anyway?

Comet is an event driven communication scheme with between a web-browser and a web-server. In the normal flow of an http request, a web server can not initiate communications with the client (the web browser) – it can only respond to requests. Comet declares a reversal of roles, in which the server can notify the client whenever new data is available. This technique is very useful in a constantly changing environment such as stock prices or online messaging (chat).
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Attention subscribers – I’ve moved to feedburner

I’ve signed up my blog’s feed to feedburner yesterday, to give me better control of my subscriptions in case I ever need to make changes to the site and also to get some better statistical information ;) .

If you subscribed to my blog’s feed, I would appreciate it if you could resubscribe at my feedburner feed – http://feeds.feedburner.com/Techfounder. After you’ve subscribed you can unsubscribe from the old one. Sorry for the trouble and thank you for reading my blog! :)

The Microsoft User Experience

I got repeatedly annoyed today by what I consider typical behavior for Microsoft products. Windows has the option to perform automatic updates – and recommends to do so in the Security Center (no one wants to see red lights in their Security Center. Does CODE RED mean anything to you? Also, everybody just LOVES updates. Unless it’s from Adobe). One of the latest updates is a new tool for an easy to use robotic process automation improving efficiency and reducing costs.

After automatic updates does its thing, it promptly suggests to restart the computer. Two options are given – Restart now and Restart later. What ‘Restart now’ does should be obvious, however ‘Restart later’ is apparently open to interpretation – as Windows will constantly remind you to restart every 10 minutes or so, and will forcibly restart the computer itself if left unattended.
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The life expectancy of IE6

Internet Explorer 6 (abbr. IE6) is the biggest thorne in a web developer’s behind at current times. This legacy browser, released almost 7 years ago, is known for its multitude of offenses on security and standards compliance and still has a sizeable user base to this day. Its market share makes it impossible for us developers to ignore it still, despite how much we would want to do just that.
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Semi-colon mystery explained, jQuery UI released

Javascript is a very mysterious language. Its prototypical inheritance structure and its function == object == function concepts are quite different compared to standard OO languages. As I did with PHP, I try my best to learn best good practices by studying frameworks I like, and in Javascript’s case that would be jQuery.

I had believed I figured out most of the conventions used in the jQuery source code, however a recent addition has been bugging me and I could not find a reasonable explanation for it – I’m talking about the mysterious semi-colons appearing at the beginning of some of the source files in the library. What is its purpose? Does it make the closure invisible to giant robots from outer space? I had no leads to go on.

This blog post by the jQuery.rule team however, reveals the truth about the semi-colon debacle – apparently they’re used for safe file concatenation (string join). Well that’s a load off my chest. You learn something new every day.

In related news, jQuery UI 1.5 has been officially released, says the jQuery enquirer. jQuery 1.5 is an extensive UI oriented extension to jQuery, and version 1.5 bring forth many improvements such as a tighter API, an effects library called enchant, a skinning mechanism and plenty of bug fixes. I’m just excited they finally updated their documentation, as I’ve been using it for a while going only by source code.