DominoPower Magazine

Recently, I have noticed a lot of hits coming from DominoPower Magazine.  I checked the site out and its a pretty good source of Lotus/Domino information in the form of products, blogs, and articles.  If you want to learn more about Notes and Domino check it out.

Book Review: High Performance JavaScript

This book is a great resource and reference.  It is probably not something you will read from front to back but more reference the individual sections when needed.  What I did was somewhat scan the entire book first and then revisited each chapter for a clearer picture.  What I found was an amazing amount of tips and tricks to have high performing JavaScript in your code.  Many may think with frameworks like Dojo you don’t need this stuff but that is not the case.  You will need to write your own code at one point – unless you only reference Dojo declaratively – and even so, you could always check the Dojo code to see if it is using the techniques suggested in this book!  What I really like is how the book explains the current browser landscape and shows performance numbers between the different browsers in most cases.  This sort of time stamps the book but it does not invalidate the many examples of making your script perform well.  From simple string concatenation to regular expressions, the book has a wide range of tips to help your applications.  I recommend this book to anyone writing web applications that use JavaScript for any platform or browser.  This book could easily enable developer leads to create a checklist of code review items for JavaScript.

IBM and Ariba partner in the cloud

I worked on a very early release of the Ariba product at Key Services corporation.  I saw from the announcement that IBM is now partnering with them, you can check it out here.

Back then, in 1999, Ariba was state of the art.  The Swing UI with declarative extensions and modular UI elements essentially allowed a company to extend both the UI and business flow for any transaction.  The workflow was absolutely amazing.   Using web enabled punch out’s were very new back then, now you see it all over the place.  I can only imagine what the product can do now.

All web developers, please use “email”, “number”, and “url” types for input!

I can’t tell you how nice the custom keyboard on the iPhone is for sites that are using type=”number”, type=”email” and type=”url” on their forms.  You can check out this article I found that explains all of the different keyboards the iPhone supports.  I also found another good article that hits on a few more nice to knows in the mobile web space.

n.Fluent is now on all IBM wikis!

Watch out Google Translate, n.Fluent technology is now on all IBM wiki’s!  I only hope the translation is better than Google’s.  If you see something wrong in your native language don’t hesitate to write in or help change it.  This is one of the benefits of all of the wiki’s using the same design – they are all updated!  Check out the Composite Application Wiki for a sample:

Does anyone use the Content Delivery Network for Dojo?

I must say, the Dojo toolkit site is much nicer than what I remember over a year ago.  I am able to find things a lot faster and the code samples are getting a lot better.  I started looking at the page about CDN’s and while I think this is interesting I also feel my site could easily break if I reference one of these and it happens to not be available.  I have started integrating small amounts of Dojo into my blog and the first thing I came up against is whether I house Dojo on my site or use one of the cross-domain Dojo distributions.  So why would anyone want to do this?  Outside of the end reader getting a copy from a closer network server, I really can’t think of a good reason to use a CDN.  And given that many people are probably hitting sites with Dojo on them its most likely cached anyway.

Learning the Android SDK

This is clearly a home side project so don’t expect much real work information here.   I read a little about the Android SDK and since its free and I can quickly get up and running in Eclipse I decided to mess around with it in my spare time.  I also bought the book, Pro Android 2, which has been an excellent primer and reference so far.  If you want a really good introduction to the Android architecture you must watch the introductory videos, the platform is pretty impressive.  One of the best things I like about the platform is it supports multiple processes and has a focus on HTML 5 and HTML content in general.  I also love the fact it natively support OpenGL which I have a lot of previous experience with.

After playing a little, I realized this is a very intuitive and powerful project structure in Eclipse.  They have done a great job with how the generated class files and resources are defined and better yet, the way the resources are referenced in the XML and code is brilliant.  For instance, I started messing around with graphics and the first thing I had to do it create a custom view and then reference that custom view in the layout XML.  You do this by extending android.view.View and then overriding the onDraw() event.  Viola, you instantly have a custom view for your own graphics drawing!

This is what I like best, you reference your custom view in the XML by specifying the class name as the element name:

<net.balfes.views.custom.MainView
 android:id="@+id/ViewPort"
 android:layout_width="wrap_content"
 android:layout_height="wrap_content"/>

So what I did was lay out a simple checkers user interface and then started playing with the different listeners and graphics API’s.