News roundup: Apple iAd is PastryKit 2.0, Game engines, Google Body Browser

Happy holidays, Merry Christmas

This week’s news is a bit late, but it’s packed full of good stuff for you to read over the next week. Have a good time, and go smash some Christmas lights (just virtually, of course).

Apple iAd brings new life to PastryKit

Normally I wouldn’t be so excited about a new technology to deliver ads, but a reader on my developer blog pointed out that Apple’s internal mobile JavaScript framework PastryKit seemed to be the predecessor to the new iAd JS (Apple developer login required). This seems to be a correct assumption, as the new iPhone user guide (view with an iPhone user agent) now uses iAd JS as its core JavaScript framework (it previously used PastryKit). That’s quite interesting, considering the iPhone user guide doesn’t deliver ads!

What’s even more telling is that many old PastryKit method names map directly onto the new iAd namespace:

  • PKUtils becomes ADUtils
  • PKObject becomes ADObject
  • PKSize becomes ADSize
  • PKNavigationView becomes ADNavigationView
  • PKView becomes ADView
  • PKScrollView becomes ADScrollView
  • etc…

This is quite exciting, especially now that we have official documentation! However, it’s unclear if third party developers will be able to use iAd for non-ad applications, as Apple seems to have done with their own iPhone user guide.

Game engines

There’s been an explosion of new JavaScript game engines being released!

Impact (developer’s blog) was finally released)! We got a first glimpse back in October with a video of the game Biolab Disaster running on the iPhone.

CraftyJS is a lightweight JavaScript game engine with some demos that aren’t particularly impressive on their own, but pretty good considering the library hasn’t been around too long. What seems to be more impressive here is the terseness of the code.

jgen is a new game engine that comes with a pretty nifty map editor right of out of the box.

Google Body Browser

Body Browser is a stunning new Google Labs product that harnesses the power of WebGL and Canvas to bring a 3D interactive model of the body straight to the browser. Because it depends on WebGL, it means this demo will only work with Chrome, Safari (running on Snow Leopard), or Firefox 4.

What’s almost as interesting as the actual implementation is taking a little peek under the hood! If you click on the Resources tab in Developer Tools (or Firebug), you can check out the spritesheets that are being used to render the textures: the upper throat, the bones in the spine, ribs, a section of the heart.

For more WebGL fun, check out the Quake II GWT Port, also released by Google developers. And check out the Google Chrome GPU team’s recent presentation slides.


YUI 3.3.0 Preview Release 3 – with all-new AutoComplete, Charts, DataTable, Dial Control, and Resize Utility

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Upcoming Events

jQuery: Making Javascript fun again (HTML5 Silicon Valley) (January 18, 2011 in Mountain View, CA)
Day of JavaScript on Mobile (January 27, 2011 in Mountain View, CA)
Mozilla/P2PU School of Webcraft (January 2011 online)
JS Boot Camp (February 10-11, 2011 in Reston, Virginia, US)
Confoo.CA: Web Techno Conference (March 9-11, 2011 in Montreal, Canada)
JSConf 2011 (May 2-3, 2011 in Portland, Oregon, US)
NodeConf 2011 (May 5, 2011 in Portland, Oregon, US)
jsday (May 12-14, 2011 in Italy)


node-postgres – Pure JavaScript node.js PostgreSQL client
Bulletproof JavaScript benchmarks (by Mathias Bynens and John-David Dalton) – takes a look at various ways to measure JavaScript performance accurately
Thoughts on script loaders (Nicholas Zakas) – Zakas gives his opinion on some of the issues new script loaders should be solving and some they shouldn’t
On Script Loaders – the creator of LABjs responds to the newer HeadJS and ControlJS libraries
How I did the 1kb Christmas Tree – Román Cortés goes into detail about how he created the 3D canvas Christmas tree
EaselJS is a new library for working with Canvas, breaking up visual updates into separately-managed modules
ECMAScript 5.1 (PDF) clears up technical and editorial errors in the ECMAScript 5 specification
Firefox 4 Beta: Latest Update is Here, with WebGL – WebGL is now on by default in Firefox 4!
Delegation vs Inheritance in JavaScript (JavaScript, JavaScript) tries to get us away from the inheritance paradigm by using delegation instead
Glittery mouse (JS1k entry) – it sparkles!
Audio Sprites (and fixes for iOS) – Remy Sharp explains the ins and outs of playing audio on iOS
Tangram (Chinese) is a JavaScript library by Chinese developers at Baidu, optimized for Chinese users
Developers Harness New Accelerometer and Gyroscope Support in Mobile Safari – watch some demos of developers playing around with the new APIs
longTap is the new Hover! Announcing Hoverable.js – a new jQuery plugin for touch devices
Zombie.js – insanely fast, headless full-stack testing using node.js
(Audio) Andrew Dupont on Prototype, Scripty2 and Other Community Goodness (JSConf Live) – some talk about the state of Prototype and other frameworks

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One Comment

  1. [...] Last week we got introduced to Impact, CraftyJS, and jgen, and this week even more game engines are popping up! [...]

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