News roundup: Head.js, Let’s Make a Framework eBook, Ben the Bodyguard, Webdev Advent Calendars

Head.js

writing a cause and effect essay

Head.js is a sort of mashup of a script loader, a feature detector, and an HTML5 shiv/shim in just over 2kb of JavaScript. It gives the developer different configurations for loading and execution of scripts. For instance, you can load in parallel and execute either in order or in the order they arrive.

There’s also CSS3 feature detection which is heavily influenced by Modernizr, meaning that the results of the feature detection are added as classes on the HTML tag (targeted through CSS via “.boxshadow” or “.no-boxshadow” for instance). These detected features are also added through JavaScript to the “head” namespace variable. Head.js also adds convenience classes for browser detection (”.ie6″ and “.lt-ie8″ [less than IE8]) and screen size detection (”.lt-640″ and “.lt-1024″).

And last but not least is an HTML5 shim/shiv to make new HTML5 elements styleable in older version of IE!

There’s quite a lot packed into this little file!

Free eBook: Let’s Make a Framework

Over the course of the year, Alex Young posted a series of articles on how to make a JavaScript framework. Now he’s packaged it all up and made it available for free in a variety of formats!

The book details how to implement JavaScript classes that can inherit and extend, how to create a selector engine, deal with events, support touch screen devices, and all the other nitty-gritty details.

Ben the Bodyguard

Ben the Bodyguard is an upcoming iOS security product, and its site has gotten a bit of hype for the way they’ve decided to explain their product. As you scroll the site, a fixed-position character appears to walk down the street as his surroundings pass by around him, triggering speech bubbles and events at certain times.

We know JavaScript-based sites are event-based, and most of us are used to thinking about these events in terms of clicks. On this site we’re still in that event-based world, but all the events are triggered by the scrollbar instead of clicks. Just think of the scrollbar as an interactive timeline.

It’s just a fun interaction that’s not terribly hard to implement, but its execution is unique. It also works on mobile, and is somewhat hilarious to watch with a momentum scroll on an iPhone. In other words, go check it out!

Webdev Advent Calendars

It’s that time of year again! Tons of web geek advent calendars for you to read:

Upcoming Events

Mozilla Labs Gaming in London (Dec 6, 2010 in London)
Mobile Monday Silicon Valley (Dec 6, 2010 in San Francisco)
D: Dive Into Mobile (Dec 6-7, 2010 in San Francisco)
Times Open – Hack Day (Dec 8, 2010, New York, NY)
Node.js Camp SF (Dec 14, 2010 in San Francisco)
The Faster Websites Online Conference (Dec 16, 2010 online)

Releases

Firebug 1.6.0
LABjs 1.0.4 (via Badass JavaScript)

Tidbits

Audio: ECMA, TC-39, and Bears – Oh My! (A Minute with Brendan)
Flapjax (via Badass JavaScript)
Sheet.js (via Badass JavaScript)
JSON and JSONP
Ext JS 4 Preview
JavaScript in Ten (arbitrarily long) Minutes
Video: Lots of videos from YUIConf 2010 have been posted
You Must Learn JavaScript
DepthJS is a browser extension (currently Chrome) that allows the Microsoft Kinect to talk to any web page.
Keep a node.js server up with Forever

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