You may have heard that Google is hosting a number of Ajax APIs, including jQuery, prototype, script.aculo.us, MooTools and dojo.
Ajaxian actually has a good write-up of the benefits of this hosting. Long story short: Google's servers do caching and gzip compression as good or better than most of us know how to do, plus their web hosting is collocated and fast. On top of that, if we all were to get our sites to use the copy of jQuery on Google, our users will be more likely to have it cached before they ever visit our site.
To get started with jQuery 1.2.6, for example, you could just use this script tag:
For other libraries and library loading techniques, check out the documentation.
My second IBM developerWorks article is now online: Where and when to use Ajax in your applications.
It's not a very technical article, so you can read it even if you've never programmed before. I talk about the benefits of using Ajax, and point out some problem areas that need special attention so that Ajax doesn't end up ruining your web site. It's essentially a summary of my Unobtrusive Ajax book.
The article was fun to write and I hope you enjoy reading it!
Whoâ€™s Got Style? - Nicholas C. Zakas writes a good analysis of dynamically creating and attaching
Announcing YUDOmagic, a new site where you can watch, upload and share magic videos. You can watch all the magic performances for free, and you can get access to watch tutorial videos and learn how to do the magic tricks yourself just by sharing a magic video of your own. There is also a free magic forum so you can discuss magic and magic performances with fellow magicians and magic aficionados.
If you're interested in magic, or if you just want to see what I've been up to, go check out YUDOmagic and have some fun.
FlickrCash searches for photos on Flickr in the most efficient way, so that you can see as many thumbnails as will fit in your browser. It loads up to 10 pages in the background, so it's very fast to browse through to find the photo you need.
It's got some cool features, like a preview that pops up when you click a thumbnail, listing all the sizes that are available for that photo. If you sign up and create an account (for free), you can save your search results, and put together a "shareable lightbox" of photos with a secret URL. This way you can search for some photos and share them with your clients in order to get their feedback. For example, check out my Sunset Lightbox. This makes it really easy to use Flickr to find stock photography, whether for your print projects, blog posts, presentations, or just for fun.
Before I even had a chance to blog about FlickrCash, Lifehacker beat me to it. There's also a Youtube video you can check out that demos all the features I mentioned and more:
If you want to put a map on your web site using Google Maps, the easiest way to do that is by going to WikiMapia, finding the place you want, then going to the menu and selected "Map on your page". You'll be presented with a box that lets you pick the size and exact starting location of your map, and you'll be given a very simple HTML snippet (an iframe) you can put anywhere.
For example, I found my home in Berlin and was given the following snippet:
<iframe src=http://wikimapia.org/s/#y=52506879&x=13318394&z=19&l=0&m=a width=400 height=208 frameborder=0></iframe>
I had to change the HTML to XHTML myself by adding quotes around the attribute values and escaping the ampersands in the URL:
<iframe src="http://wikimapia.org/s/#y=52506879&x=13318394&z=19&l=0&m=a" width="400" height="208" frameborder="0"></iframe>
iframe is deprecated in XHTML Strict, so this would make my page invalid. The way to embed a frame on a page in XHTML Strict is to use an
object tag instead like so:
<object type="text/html" data="http://wikimapia.org/s/#y=52506879&x=13318394&z=19&l=0&m=a" width="400" height="208" style="border:0"></object>
It seems WikiMapia doesn't support the
object tag when used with Internet Explorer. Well, as long as you're not using IE, you can see where I live in Berlin! The rest of you can click here instead.
A beautiful look at the web, with a reality check on just what the web is supposed to be: a collection of hyperlinked things.
Jeremy Keith's In Praise of the Hyperlink
[This] should be proof to you that the whole thing is raveling (which means the same as unraveling, in case you were curious). That all the systems that kept all the processes in place and leveraged mature industries and experienced players are slowly (or quickly) filtering to the masses. Faster than you thought it would happen.
Just the other day, I saw on the CBC National a piece about a Canadian comedian, Russell Peters, who struggled to find an audience. Thanks to Google Video, his popularity has had an enormous boost. When asked about the effect of the Internet, he just said something like "that Internet thing.. I don't understand it but.. it's crazy."
Indeed, the Internet is already a place where individuals can reach wide markets and find success on their own, without the need for traditional media, Hollywood, television producers or other people in suits. The old system was great at producing one-hit-wonders that everyone liked and nobody loved. Now, there is room for everyone to find their own market, their own audience, their own place in the world.
There is a new online peer-to-peer loan concept that is growing, and I think it's a great idea. (Via slashdot). Two new companies, Prosper and Zopa, are allowing people to ask the public to lend them money. Anyone can bid on lending the money, stating their own interest rate. Whoever offers the lowest interest rate gets to lend the money (and make the interest).
The result? A pure capitalist financial system that doesn't involve banks. Anyone can get a loan, and anyone can make money by lending money. Everyone benefits.
This also reminds me of Kiva, a web site that lets people lend money to those in developing countries. I think this is a great alternative to just donating money since it helps build up the economy in these countries. It's very cool to see the idea being extended to the rest of the world.
There is a new charity drive web site Flip Cancer The Bird that will donate $0.50 for each picture sent in. The catch: the picture must have you giving the finger to Cancer.
I think this is a fun idea. I'll have to send in my photo next. :)