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Web2.0 Ajax progress icon generator

I just stumbled upon a neat little Web2.0 tool that lets you generate custom colored variants of the popular Ajax “working” spinning icon. All you have to do is enter front and background colors and booyah, there you have it…

… transparent backgrounds are also an option, which is epic 😉

And here’s where you can find that nice utility:

http://www.ajaxload.info

The Ajax URL Trick, how Apple (and others) do it

A well-known technical limitation of Ajax is the inability to update the URL in the Browser’s address bar without having to reload the whole page. While this is basically a good idea (imagine the phishing opportunities by pretending my site’s URL is apple.com), there are some Web2.0 use cases where this may be quite useful.

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The Dark Age Of JavaScript – is it over?

Today, I extended my jsAnimation stuff (mentioned earlier) to be able to interact with ajax calls. The result looks great and the whole thing feels really powerful from a development point of view (check it out by clicking “Recently dugg” on the right side of my blog).

The evolution of JavaScript has been quite strange… Back in the days when it appeared, it has been massively abused. Every morron scripted the hell out of his site to have snow falling all over the page, some animal jumping around the cursor or a window poping up every thirty seconds asking if you like the site. All that stuff was miserably coded and was just annoying.

Due to this abuse, JavaScript lost a lot of it’s credibility for professional use. At one point, even the simplest use of JavaScript immediately led to comments like “OMG, youre using javascript? You kiddie, go hide your unprofessional website!!”. By that time, the developpers were focusing on dynamic html-generating languages like PHP, JSP, ASP etc. JavaScript’s dishonored situation lasted quite a long time as I remember and has only changed when this frigging XMLHttp object appeared a few years ago.

Yeh, the Ajax boom led to a JavaScript resurrection. As you surf the web today, you see JavaScript everywhere again, even without noticing it. Since in the meantime web animation technologies like flash, silverlight etc. appeared, it isn’t surprising to see moving parts on a website anymore, and so JavaScript crept back into the game again. Still, it takes some skills to write well-working and nice-looking JavaScript but people seem to be more competent now and browsers, on their part, became more standardized as well.

It seems like the dark age for JavaScript is over now… let’s just hope history won’t repeat itself.