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Mar 26
2009

Antique books

Posted by: ben

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I was writing some javascript yesterday to validate a form for the Science 3-18 website we are migrating for the SSERC.

I haven't developed in javascript for a long long time, so it is not surprising that I needed to look up a couple of things. Needing a break from the screen I reached for my old javascript book JavaScript - The Definitive Guide by David Flanaghan. I knew it was old, but my attention was caught by the bold lettering on the front:

"FOR NETSCAPE 2.0 AND 3.0B6"

Well what more could you want? Needless to say, there is no chapter on cross-browser coding as only one browser supported javascript in 1996!

It was the problem of getting javascript to work on different browsers that made me give up usingĀ  javascript over a decade ago and switch to first java aapplets, then shockwave apps, and more recently Flash and actionscript 2, but how times have changed. Now with libraries such as Mootools, you get cross-browser compatibility for free, and there are 2 aspects of developing javascript that I particularly like:

  • the functional aspect whereby you can build functions to build functions... geeky but powerful.
  • being able to directly embed your script in html rather than having to develop it elsewhere and then load it into an embedded player.
So I look forward to developing more javascript - but first to develop a new version of an old Macromedia Director application (and I won't be upgrading my version of Director).
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