News roundup: node-canvas, jQuery Mobile Alpha 2, Gordon
node-canvas: Server side HTML5 canvas API
node-canvas (on GitHub) is a project to get the HTML5 canvas API working on the server. On first glance this may seem completely pointless, but as you begin to think about it, it really makes sense. There are still a lot of people using browsers that don’t have canvas support, which makes it a pain to provide fallback content. A server-side implementation of the canvas API greatly helps this process.
Flickr, for instance, now uses the canvas element to display photo statistics. The fallback is simply a static image generated by the server, which is usually coded in PHP or some other server-side language. Using node-canvas, a developer could potentially copy the code used to render the canvas on the client and reuse the same code on the server. Now that is quite powerful!
Be sure to check out the screencast for a little demo.
jQuery Mobile Alpha 2 released
jQuery Mobile Alpha 2 has just been released, putting jQuery on track for one more alpha (or beta) release before a final 1.0 release planned for January 2011.
It looks like there’s been huge progress, as this second alpha release fixes about 200 tickets. It looks like many parts of the code have also been refactored for the sake of clarity and performance.
Here’s a few of the improvements:
- List views: up to 3x speed improvement (depending on the platform)
- Select menus: accessibility improvements
- Scrolling and fixed-positioned elements: improved performance
- URL navigation: overhauled and greatly improved. Addition of changePage method.
- jQuery UI Widget Factory: all jQuery Mobile widgets have been moved to this, giving the developer added control (ability to disable controls, etc.)
- Global Configuration: ability to override jQuery Mobile’s initial configuration to allow for customized loading of widgets, etc.
Also be sure to check out the jQuery Mobile 1.0a2 demos and documentation.
It has support for all the big browsers, with the exception of all versions of Internet Explorer (even IE9?).
I know it’s now a knee-jerk response for developers to shudder at any mention of Flash, but this (along with other tools such as Sencha Animator) are paving the way in weaning the web off of its reliance on Flash.
Firefox 4 Beta for Mobile is Now Faster and Sleeker
Audio: A Minute With Brendan: A Threaded Discussion
Ryan Dahl – Joyent & Node
Announcing a Node.js Book Project (Tom Hughes-Croucher)
Sencha Touch RC1 Released
Coverage of YUIConf 2010
How to stop a video or audio element downloading
YUI’s Luke Smith shows the evolution of YUI’s coding styles
Video: yayQuery Episode 20