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Rediscovering JavaScript: The Language Behind The Libraries

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    Rediscovering JavaScript: The Language Behind The Libraries Rediscovering JavaScript: The Language Behind The Libraries Presentation Transcript

    • Rediscovering JavaScript The Language Behind The Libraries Simon Willison, Think Vitamin JavaScript 13th September 2010
    • Coming up... ✤ JavaScript, the language ✤ JavaScript, the Libraries ✤ Object fundamentals ✤ Event handling ✤ Functions and closures ✤ Animation ✤ Prototype inheritance ✤ Drag ‘n’ Drop
    • Let’s go back in time to 2004...
    • My phone looked like this: Nokia 7610
    • No one took JavaScript seriously
    • Well... almost no one...
    • “Selling the Future of DHTML”
    • Then, 2005 happened
    • (me, in 2005) May 9th, 2005 Http://www.flickr.com/photos/nataliedowne/14517351/
    • Also in 2005 ✤ Gmail had its first birthday, still in invite-only beta ✤ Google Maps launched February 8th ✤ The term “Ajax” was coined February 18th by Jesse James Garrett ✤ Ajaxian.com launched March 10th
    • A flurry of library activity ✤ February 2005: First Prototype.js ✤ March 2005: First public MochiKit code ✤ YUI started development internally at Yahoo! in 2005 (first public release was February 2006) ✤ jQuery released at BarCamp Boston in January 2006
    • Different philosophical approaches
    • Prototype: “make JS like Ruby” Sortable.tree(element, arguments[1]).children.map(function(item) { return [ name + Sortable._constructIndex(item) + "[id]=" + encodeURIComponent(item.id) ].concat(item.children.map(arguments.callee)); }).flatten().join('&');
    • MochiKit: “make JS like Python” var theSum = sum(takewhile( partial(operator.gt, 10), imap( partial(operator.mul, 2), count() ) ));
    • YUI: “make JS like Java” YAHOO.namespace("example.panel"); function initWait(ev) { YAHOO.example.panel.wait = new YAHOO.widget.Panel("wait", { width: "240px", modal: true, effect: { effect:YAHOO.widget.ContainerEffect.FADE, duration:0.5 } }); YAHOO.example.panel.wait.beforeRenderEvent.subscribe(function() { debug('beforeRenderEvent Fired..'); }, YAHOO.example.panel.wait, true); YAHOO.example.panel.wait.setHeader("Loading (1), please wait..."); }
    • jQuery: “make JS like jQuery” $('form#login') .find('label.optional').hide().end() .find('input:password').css('border', '1px solid red').end() .submit(function(){ return confirm('Are you sure you want to submit?'); });
    • How can one language support so many different programming styles?
    • JavaScript, the Language
    • Objects
    • Everything in JavaScript is an object Strings and numbers > "A string".length 8 > 123.toString() SyntaxError: Unexpected token ILLEGAL > (123).toString() “123” Even functions: > function hello() { alert("hello") } > hello.toString() "function hello() { alert("hello") }"
    • You can make your own objects // The same thing: var simon = new Object(); var simon = {}; // Also the same: simon.name = "Simon Willison"; // name is a property simon["name"] = "Simon Willison"; // Object literal syntax is most useful: var simon = { name: "Simon Willison", age: 29 };
    • You can loop through properties > var simon = { name: "Simon Willison", age: 29 }; > for (var prop in simon) { console.log(prop + ': ' + simon[prop]); } name: Simon age: 29 (more on this later...)
    • Everything in JavaScript is a (almost) property on an object > parseInt("100 bunnies"); 100 > parseInt === window.parseInt // window is the global object true > window === window.window true > window === window.window.window true > true === window.true SyntaxError: Unexpected token true
    • Arrays > var a = new Array(); // Old-school > var a = []; // Literal syntax > var a = ["dog", "cat", "chicken"]; > a.length; 3 > a[0] "dog" > a[2] "chicken" > a[3] undefined
    • Iteration through arrays > var a = ["dog", "cat", "chicken"]; > for (var i = 0; i < a.length; i++) { console.log(a[i]); } dog cat chicken
    • Tricksy array iteration > var a = ["dog", "cat", "chicken"]; > for (var i = 0, item; item = a[i]; i++) { console.log(item); } dog cat chicken // But watch out for falsey values: > var a = [123, 0, 12, 443]; > for (var i = 0, item; item = a[i]; i++) { console.log(item); } 123
    • Functions
    • Functions
    • Functions // What could be simpler? function addTwoNumbers(a, b) { var total = a + b; // A local variable return total; } > addTwoNumbers(2, 4) 6
    • Functions // What could be simpler? function addTwoNumbers(a, b) { var total = a + b; // A local variable return total; } > addTwoNumbers(2, 4) 6 > addTwoNumbers() NaN
    • Functions // What could be simpler? function addTwoNumbers(a, b) { var total = a + b; // A local variable return total; } > addTwoNumbers(2, 4) 6 > addTwoNumbers() NaN > addTwoNumbers(2, 4, 8) 6
    • Function parameters are more like guidelines // arguments is a magic array-like object function add() { var sum = 0; for (var i = 0, j = arguments.length; i < j; i++) { sum += arguments[i]; } return sum; } > add(1, 3, 4, 5, 0, 5); 18
    • Anonymous functions var add = function() { var sum = 0; for (var i = 0, j = arguments.length; i < j; i++) { sum += arguments[i]; } return sum; } var added = (function() { var a = 2, b = 5; // Local variables return a + b; })();
    • Modern array iteration > var a = ["dog", "cat"]; > a.forEach(function(item) { console.log(item); } dog cat > a.forEach(function(item, index) { console.log(index + ': ' + item); } 0: dog 1: cat
    • Closures function makeOp(op, x) { switch(op) { case '+': return function(y) { return y + x }; case '-': return function(y) { return y - x }; case '/': return function(y) { return y / x }; case '*': return function(y) { return y * x }; } } > var third = makeOp('/', 3); > var dbl = makeOp('*', 2); > console.log(third(12) + ' ' + dbl(8)); 4 16
    • How does this work? ✤ Remember “everything in JavaScript is a property of an object”? ✤ Imagine that local variables belong to a “local scope” object, which gets created when a function is executed ✤ Now imagine this object can stick around after the function has finished executing ✤ A closure is a function plus the scope in which that function was created ✤ Since closures capture state, you can use them as a kind of object
    • Real-world closure example function revealer(el, duration) { return function(ev) { ev.preventDefault(); el.show(duration); } } $("#mylink').click(revealer($('#panel'), 500); $("#mylink2').click(revealer($('#panel2'), 1000);
    • Functions and objects function makePerson(first, last) { return { "first": first, "last": last } } function personFullName(person) { return person.first + ' ' + person.last; } > simon = makePerson("Simon", "Willison"); > personFullName(simon) "Simon Willison"
    • First attempt at methods function makePerson(first, last) { return { "first": first, "last": last, "fullName": function() { return this.first + ' ' + this.last; } } } > simon = makePerson("Simon", "Willison"); > simon.fullName(); "Simon Willison"
    • What the heck is “this”? ✤ When you write: > simon.fullName(); ✤ fullName() is executed with this pointing to simon. ✤ If you call a method without using the '.' operator, this is set to the global object, i.e. window. > var fullNameMethod = simon.fullName; > fullNameMethod(); undefined undefined
    • “this” is JavaScript’s magic word
    • You can control what this is > simon = makePerson("Simon", "Willison"); > nat = makePerson("Natalie", "Downe"); > nat.fullName(); "Natalie Downe" > nat.fullName.call(simon); "Simon Willison" > simon.fullName.apply(nat); "Natalie Downe"
    • call v.s. apply ✤ Call lets you specify both the value of this and the arguments that should be passed: ✤ myFunction.call(myThis, arg1, arg2, arg3); ✤ Apply lets you do the same thing, but pass an array of arguments instead: ✤ myFunction.apply(myThis, [arg1, arg2, arg3]); ✤ (I always have to look this up)
    • Constructors function Person(first, last) { this.first = first; this.last = last; this.fullName = function() { return this.first + ' ' + this.last; } } > var simon = new Person("Simon", "Willison"); > s.fullName(); "Simon Willison"
    • What does “new” do? ✤ var simon = new Person(first, last); ✤ Creates an empty object: {} ✤ Executes the Person function with this set to the new empty object ✤ Adds Person.prototype to the object's prototype chain
    • Prototype inheritance The following is wasteful function Person(first, last) { this.first = first; this.last = last; this.fullName = function() { return this.first + ' ' + this.last; } } How can we avoid creating a fullName function for every object?
    • Prototype inheritance function Person(first, last) { this.first = first; this.last = last; } Person.prototype.fullName = function() { return this.first + ' ' + this.last; } > var simon = new Person("Simon", "Willison"); > simon.fullName(); "Simon Willison" > simon.fullNameReversed(); TypeError: Object #<a Person> has no method 'fullNameReversed' Person.prototype.fullNameReversed = function() { return this.last + ', ' + this.first; } > simon.fullNameReversed(); "Willison, Simon"
    • You can extend built-in classes > "hello".reversed(); TypeError: Object hello has no method 'reversed' > String.prototype.reversed = function() { var r = ''; for (var i = this.length - 1; i >= 0; i--) { r += this[i]; } return r; } > "hello".reversed(); "olleh"
    • That doesn’t mean you should ✤ Don’t modify objects you don’t own ✤ Extending Object.prototype breaks the (for var prop in obj) idiom ✤ Prototype.js added document.getElementsByClassName ✤ Then Mozilla added document.getElementsByClassName... ✤ The behaviour was slightly different, so code broke ✤ If you’d written your own Array.forEach() method, today your code would be clashing with the new forEach() method in JavaScript 1.6
    • Prototype chain Try simon.toString() ... Try Person.prototype.toString() var simon = new Person(...); ... simon.toString(); Try Object.toString() ... Give up
    • Advanced prototype chains Try simon.eatThings() function Mammal() { ... } ... Mammal.prototype.eatThings = ... Try Person.prototype.eatThings() ... Person.prototype = new Mammal(); Try Mammal.eatThings() Person.prototype.learnToRead = ... ... var simon = new Person(...); Try Object.eatThings() simon.eatThings(); ... Give up
    • Let’s talk about libraries
    • In 2004, no one used libraries... ✤ Well, sort of... ✤ If you wanted to write anything interesting in JavaScript, there were a few utility functions you needed in every single project
    • We’ll start with something easy... Events
    • Adding events var link = document.getElementById(‘mylink’); link.onclick = function() { alert(this.href); return false; }
    • Adding more than one event? // W3C standard browsers var link = document.getElementById('mylink'); link.addEventListener('click', function() { alert("Hello"); return false; }); // IE 6 link.attachEvent("onclick", function() { alert("Hello"); return false; );
    • The addEvent function function addEvent(obj, evType, fn, useCapture){   if (obj.addEventListener){     obj.addEventListener(evType, fn, useCapture);     return true;   } else if (obj.attachEvent){     var r = obj.attachEvent("on"+evType, fn);     return r;   } else {     alert("Handler could not be attached");   } } // DON'T USE THIS THOUGH http://www.scottandrew.com/weblog/articles/cbs-events
    • addEvent drawbacks ✤ What if you want to keep track of the event listeners that have been added? ✤ In particular so you can manually de-register them when the page unloads, to clean up potential memory leaks in IE ✤ addEvent doesn't fix the different event objects for you, so you still have to work around browser differences there
    • Dean Edwards addEvent function addEvent(element, type, handler) { " if (element.addEventListener) { " " element.addEventListener(type, handler, false); " } else { " " // assign each event handler a unique ID " " if (!handler.$$guid) handler.$$guid = addEvent.guid++; " " // create a hash table of event types for the element " " if (!element.events) element.events = {}; " " // create a hash table of event handlers for each element/event pair " " var handlers = element.events[type]; " " if (!handlers) { " " " handlers = element.events[type] = {}; " " " // store the existing event handler (if there is one) " " " if (element["on" + type]) { " " " " handlers[0] = element["on" + type]; " " " } " " } " " // store the event handler in the hash table " " handlers[handler.$$guid] = handler; " " // assign a global event handler to do all the work " " element["on" + type] = handleEvent; " } }; // a counter used to create unique IDs addEvent.guid = 1;
    • Dean Edwards addEvent (2) function removeEvent(element, type, handler) { " if (element.removeEventListener) { " " element.removeEventListener(type, handler, false); " } else { " " // delete the event handler from the hash table " " if (element.events && element.events[type]) { " " " delete element.events[type][handler.$$guid]; " " } " } }; function handleEvent(event) { " var returnValue = true; " // grab the event object (IE uses a global event object) " event = event || fixEvent(((this.ownerDocument || this.document || this).parentWindow || window).event); " // get a reference to the hash table of event handlers " var handlers = this.events[event.type]; " // execute each event handler " for (var i in handlers) { " " this.$$handleEvent = handlers[i]; " " if (this.$$handleEvent(event) === false) { " " " returnValue = false; " " } " } " return returnValue; };
    • Dean Edwards addEvent (3) function fixEvent(event) { " // add W3C standard event methods " event.preventDefault = fixEvent.preventDefault; " event.stopPropagation = fixEvent.stopPropagation; " return event; }; fixEvent.preventDefault = function() { " this.returnValue = false; }; fixEvent.stopPropagation = function() { " this.cancelBubble = true; };
    • Want to know where the mouse is? addEvent(div, 'mouseover', function(ev) { " if (!ev) var ev = window.event; // For IE " var posx = 0; " var posy = 0; " if (ev.pageX || ev.pageY) { " " posx = ev.pageX; " " posy = ev.pageY; " } else if (e.clientX || e.clientY) { " " posx = e.clientX + document.body.scrollLeft " " " + document.documentElement.scrollLeft; " " posy = e.clientY + document.body.scrollTop " " " + document.documentElement.scrollTop; " } }); // http://www.quirksmode.org/js/events_properties.html
    • http://www.quirksmode.org/js/ for more
    • How about animation?
    • Animate a div moving across a screen ✤ Easy! Just use setInterval() to move it left 10 pixels every 10th of a second ✤ But... what if you're animating lots of things, and the user's computer can't keep up... ✤ Solution: figure out where you want it to be in 2 seconds time, then check how much time has elapsed each time round the animation loop and adjust the position accordingly
    • Drag and Drop?
    • Drag and drop implementation ✤ Watch out for an onmousedown event over the object you want to drag ✤ Attach an onmousemove event to the body, and move the element with the mouse ✤ Watch for onmouseup, and remove the mousemove handler ✤ Simple right?
    • Drag and drop, for real ✤ Need to be able to distinguish between a click and a drag ✤ How about... a drag starts when ✤ The user moves their mouse at least 5 pixels ✤ OR... the user holds down the mose button on the draggable for at least a full second ✤ Need to restrict the area in which the draggable can be dragged ✤ Highlight drop targets when the draggable intersects them ✤ Revert the position of the item if it’s dropped in the wrong place...
    • http://developer.yahoo.com/ypatterns/richinteraction/dragdrop/modules.html
    • The truth is... ✤ By the time you’ve implemented event handling, basic animation, DOM manipulation and drag and drop, you’ve re-invented a sizable chunk of jQuery, YUI or Dojo, probably with more lines of code and definitely with a whole lot more bugs.
    • So how does jQuery do it?
    • A simple example jQuery(function($) { var div = $('#sessions-placeholder'); $('ul.tags a').click(function(ev) { ev.preventDefault(); var a = $(this); div.html( '<img src="/static/img/loaders/ajax-loader-blue.gif" ' + 'style="margin-bottom: 1em" />' ); div.load(a.attr('href') + '?ajax=1'); a.closest('ul').find('li').removeClass('selected'); a.closest('li').addClass('selected'); }); });
    • A simple example jQuery(function($) { var div = $('#sessions-placeholder'); $('ul.tags a').click(function(ev) { ev.preventDefault(); var a = $(this); div.html( '<img src="/static/img/loaders/ajax-loader-blue.gif" ' + 'style="margin-bottom: 1em" />' ); div.load(a.attr('href') + '?ajax=1'); a.closest('ul').find('li').removeClass('selected'); a.closest('li').addClass('selected'); }); });
    • A simple example jQuery(function($) { var div = $('#sessions-placeholder'); $('ul.tags a').click(function(ev) { ev.preventDefault(); var a = $(this); div.html( '<img src="/static/img/loaders/ajax-loader-blue.gif" ' + 'style="margin-bottom: 1em" />' ); div.load(a.attr('href') + '?ajax=1'); a.closest('ul').find('li').removeClass('selected'); a.closest('li').addClass('selected'); }); });
    • A simple example jQuery(function($) { var div = $('#sessions-placeholder'); $('ul.tags a').click(function(ev) { ev.preventDefault(); var a = $(this); div.html( '<img src="/static/img/loaders/ajax-loader-blue.gif" ' + 'style="margin-bottom: 1em" />' ); div.load(a.attr('href') + '?ajax=1'); a.closest('ul').find('li').removeClass('selected'); a.closest('li').addClass('selected'); }); });
    • A simple example jQuery(function($) { var div = $('#sessions-placeholder'); $('ul.tags a').click(function(ev) { ev.preventDefault(); var a = $(this); div.html( '<img src="/static/img/loaders/ajax-loader-blue.gif" ' + 'style="margin-bottom: 1em" />' ); div.load(a.attr('href') + '?ajax=1'); a.closest('ul').find('li').removeClass('selected'); a.closest('li').addClass('selected'); }); });
    • A simple example jQuery(function($) { var div = $('#sessions-placeholder'); $('ul.tags a').click(function(ev) { ev.preventDefault(); var a = $(this); div.html( '<img src="/static/img/loaders/ajax-loader-blue.gif" ' + 'style="margin-bottom: 1em" />' ); div.load(a.attr('href') + '?ajax=1'); a.closest('ul').find('li').removeClass('selected'); a.closest('li').addClass('selected'); }); });
    • A simple example jQuery(function($) { var div = $('#sessions-placeholder'); $('ul.tags a').click(function(ev) { ev.preventDefault(); var a = $(this); div.html( '<img src="/static/img/loaders/ajax-loader-blue.gif" ' + 'style="margin-bottom: 1em" />' ); div.load(a.attr('href') + '?ajax=1'); a.closest('ul').find('li').removeClass('selected'); a.closest('li').addClass('selected'); }); });
    • Moral: Learn JavaScript properly, but don’t write your own library unless you’re a total glutton for punishment
    • http://lanyrd.com/scch