Rey Bango

Web developer, honey badger

ColdFusion-Powered JoesGoals.com Get's More Ajax Goodness

I just read that Ian Smith, creator of CF-Powered Joe's Goals, has given the site a bit of a face lift and has released v2.0 into closed beta.

This is a complete rebuild of the core application with an emphasis on speed, ease of use, and scalability. Here are the major changes currently in the testing version:

  1. Speed Speed Speed! 2.0 is a full Ajax application, no more waiting around for page refreshes.
  2. Improved stats including a longest chain stat for positive goals and longest gap stat for negative goals.
  3. Lighter design means there are less links to deal with and better clarity. Goals can now be edited by clicking on their name instead of on the options link.
  4. Customizable display options means you can pick which stats you want to watch for each goal.
  5. Printable tracker for those who like to work on a hard copy during the week and update their tracker on the weekend.
  6. You can also switch back and forth between 2.0 and the classic version until everyone gets ported over.

I'll be checking this update out as Ian has given me early access to it and writing up some feedback over on Ajaxian.com soon.

40-60% of Yahoo's Users Have an Empty Cache Experience

I'm re-submitting this post since I had to blow away the original one when I had the HTTP compression issues. The original, posted on August 19, 2007, can be found via Google cache:

With RIA's becoming so pervasive and developers just going full tilt in embracing toolkits that help build these wonderful apps, its still extremely important to take into consideration site optimizations that actually make your site usable.

Take for example the age old adage of the “files are cached on the user's computer”. Well, Yahoo seems to have done a good job of dispelling that thinking by doing some research that shows that:

  • 40-60% of Yahoo's users have an empty cache experience
  • ~20% of all page views are done with an empty cache

Holy crap! 40-60%!!! Yahoo's audience is so distinct that these figures really are compelling and should be considered when designing your site. Here's the link for the full article:

Performance Research, Part 2: Browser Cache Usage – Exposed!

It really is enlightening.

Web Trend Map 2007 Version 2.0

While reading ValleyWag, I found a post to a VERY cool Web 2.0 map that shows how most of the big players in the space interconnect with each other. Its based on a Tokyo subway map layout and comes in different formats and sizes.

You can see Adobe's got a nice lot on the map.

Check it out here:

Web Trend Map 2007 Version 2.0

Holy Cow! Another CF Big-Wig Using the jQuery Ajax Library

First it was Rob Gonda. Next, Joe Danziger saw the light. Then Dan Switzer joined the fray. Then I find Tony Petruzzi doing some VERY cool stuff.

Now super rock star ColdFusion expert Ben Nadel has joined the growing list of notable CF'ers using jQuery for their Ajax & Javascript needs.

Seriously folks, its a fact that the folks that I've listed are industry respected experts and sharp as a tack. There are plenty of libraries to choose from and they've made a concious decision to use the jQuery in conjunction with ColdFusion for their development efforts. Why? Simple:

  • Extremely powerful with full support for CSS 1-3 Selectors and some basic XPath, allowing you do to expressions like: $(“div:not([a.error])”)
  • Impressive set of DOM manipulators, allowing you do to expressions like this, without batting an eye: $(“select”).append(““);
  • Lightweight (only 19k)
  • Amazing user community
  • Dedicated project team
  • Up-to-Date, consolidated and thorough documentation
  • A ton of UI controls and widgets
  • Tutorials galore
  • Introductory sites for the new jQuery developer

And with Rob Gonda releasing AjaxCFC for jQuery, there's no reason why you shouldn't take a look at this great library.

For more info on jQuery, go here:

jQuery Ajax/Javascript library
jQuery Documentation
jQuery Tutorials

jQuery Plugins/Widgets
jQuery Demos
Learning jQuery Web Resource Center

Visual jQuery
Visual jQuery Magazine

Round Corners Generator

Just a very quick note about a site that I found while reading a post on Ajaxian.com. This site will generate rounded corners on the fly.

http://wigflip.com/cornershop/

I know that rounded corners are the rage and some people might find this useful.

JQuery: Some more press for this great Ajax library

Agile Ajax just posted a very good entry about JQuery. Great to see that this amazingly powerful and lightweight Ajax library is getting the press it deserves.

JQuery Widgets and the Widget Challenge

If you haven't checked it out, you should seriously jump over to JQuery.com and take a shot at it. I'm using it with my ColdFusion applications and its working great.

FREE New Online Ajax Magazine

My buddy Yehuda Katz has launched a new & free Ajax magazine that will focus on topics relating to Ajax with a slant on the JQuery library.

Its definitely some good reading and well worth picking it up. And you certainly can't beat the price!

Ajax: What's the CF Community Using?

I took a very informal poll on CF-Talk to see what Ajax frameworks were being used in the ColdFusion community. The results were interesting but not too surprising. Some were sticking to the CF-based frameworks such as AjaxCFC, CFAjax and the new MXAjax while others were really behind Spry. JQuery also received some kudos so its interesting to see how people are moving in different directions.

I'd certainly like to understand the rationale behind their choices as I'm sure would everyone else looking at Ajax frameworks. Essentally, why'd you go with AjaxCFC vs. JQuery vs. JSMX etc….

Here's the list of Ajax frameworks that came out of that thread:

I'm leaning towards Dojo or JQuery. Dojo is a monster though and JQuery has an easier learning curve plus a great plug-in feature.

Any thoughts?

Rey…

AjaxCFC Debugging Tip

Here's a tip that I wanted to share within everyone here. It may be known but I only found out about it today and wanted to share.

If you ever get the dreaded “Invalid Reply from Server” message from AjaxCFC, spark up Firefox/FireBug and call your site from your local IP. This will give you the actual message that DWR is sending back.

Put a stop point at about line 517 (or immediately after “batch.req.send(query);”) of engine.js and look for the “batch” object. In the there you'll find the “req” (XMLHttpRequest request) object which has a standard attribute called responseText. That will give you all of the details of your error but for security reasons, it only shows it via your local IP address (127.0.0.1).

Also, if you're not using FireBug for your Ajax & javascript development efforts, you're REALLY missing out. Its a FREE addon for FireFox and it truly is an amazing addon that lets you step though all of your client-side code and inspect the DOM.

Finally, be sure to get yourself a good HTTP sniffer. I recently picked up Service Capture and it works awesome. It lets me see all of the traffic come from my request which makes identifying issues with my Ajax requests MUCH easier. Its definitely worth the $40.

UPDATE: Rob Gonda pointed out that FireBug also has a built-in http sniffer and I just tested it out! And works like a charm! Thanks Rob!

Rey…

Need a FREE Web 2.0 Logo – Check this Out

We've all seen the sudden increase in Web 2.0-style logos being used on all types of sites. I bet you wish you had one of your own. Well, I'm not sure who “Alex P” is but he create a VERY cool Web 2.0 Logo Creator that will let you build your very own Web 2.0-style logo on the fly.

I gave it a shot and got this:

My logo still needs some tweaking but the coolness factor is definitely there.

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