BernieCode » How to debug JavaScript with Visual Web Developer Express

Among the things we all have to do (even those of us with Macs) is debug Javascript for Internet Explorer. The JS Engine is quirky and dumb, and other than memory management and garbage collection, they have done hardly anything to the annoyances of their particular implementation of the language. But they are the big gorilla, so sites have to run on it. I was using the Microsoft Script Debugger but apparently there is a way to use Microsoft Visual Web Developer express for the same purpose, provided you do the workaround Bernie outlines on his site.

Microsoft have released an excellent free edition of Visual Studio for web development called Visual Web Developer, but among the features reserved for the professional edition is the ability to connect to a process. Hence when you get a JavaScript error in a web page, VWD won’t appear in the list of possible debuggers.

[From BernieCode » How to debug JavaScript with Visual Web Developer Express]

I just wish I didn’t need 1.7Gb of Hard Drive Space just to run a debugger. Darn white elephant.

Wazaabi – XUL for RCP.

This opens pretty interesting possibilities:

Via TheServerSide:

Wazaabi includes a GUI framework that brings XUL to Eclipse RCP plugin developers and a set of components that link the client-side XUL based viewers and forms to server-side business components. Thus, rich client developers can use XUL to code a GUI, rather than using SWT.

Wazaabi brings XUL to Eclipse RCP based rich client applications

This is an actual XUL viewer, not a similar syntax like XSWT or similar attempts. They use servlets to communicate between the XUL side and your application, to keep the flexibility of sending the XUL to a mozilla browser. Very interesting.

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Google Web toolkit

Okay, it’s official. Now everybody has a web 2.0 solution.

With GWT, you can develop and debug AJAX applications in the Java language using the Java development tools of your choice. When you deploy your application to production, the GWT compiler to translates your Java application to browser-compliant JavaScript and HTML.

Google Web Toolkit – Product Overview

 
Haven’t tried it, but it looks like it would work. Of course, the devil is in the details :-)

Myself, I’ve been using prototype and scriptaculous "raw" (just some JSP tags of my own here and there) on my web application pretty successfully. Remember, in scriptable languages, testing is key.

You also learn a lot from reading their source code. But if you are source code illiterate (what a handicap for a programmer!) a cheatsheet or documentation can help.

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Zimbra – Check it out

Recently I posted a link to Mark McNeil’s entry about expecting more, and how as developers we need to get use to giving more. 

Well, on that note, Zimbra is pretty cool. It’s a very nice groupware, outlook-like email/calendaring solution that is open source and has some amazing use of ajax

A couple of things I love about it is that you can hover over an address on any text and see a yahoo map of the location. You can highlight a date, or even relative date words such as "Today", or "Next Thursday", and the system will show a popup with the calendar for the appropriate day.

And did I mention it’s Open source

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Yahoo user interface library

I’ve been playing a bit with the Yahoo User Interface Library (YUI for short), and I have to say it’s awesome. So far I’ve been using Script.aculo.us for some of my personal stuff.

The feature sets pretty much complement each other, and Yahoo’s excellent code standards (all their yahoo names start with Yahoo.*) means they could conceivably be used with each other.

Continue reading “Yahoo user interface library”

Beginner's AJAX Advice: Learn CSS First!

Sometimes the best advice is sitting in comments…

**Ajax is not a substitute for good style construction.** If you want a DIV to change 19 different styles when you do something to it, write a small, intelligent set of CSS classes that govern the changeable vs. unchangeable styles and use JS to add or subtract from the className property, instead of trying to make the code figure out the 14 out of 19 things that need to change.

Ajax should be mostly about behavior, and leave most visual look & feel to CSS techniques. Gee, that sounds familiar … I think the same thing was once said about something called HTML. 😉

If you’re not well-versed in CSS (real cascading techniques, not just using the syntax here & there) then stop developing and take the time to learn before going any further.

Ajax : Ajax Mistakes – SWiK (Comment)

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