JavaScript goodies

I could write a book about javascript goodies… F*** I should do so actually. I have written so many javascript apps/applets/snippets/goodies that it would be a waste if it didn’t get shared with the world.

Thank god for AJAX! I don’t necessarily love the concept of Ajax (Asynchronous JavaScript and XML), but I love the fact that now javascript is once again popular beyond belief. I am a big fan of the language. Let’s see why:

  • Object Based
  • Loose Types
  • Integrated with the web
  • Regular Expressions
  • Open wide

And that about sums it up. With open wide I mean that once you publish it on the web, everybody can copy and use it. I like that fact. I don’t think code should be private, certainly not the great code that javascript can provide (although apparantly lots of people seem to like ugly javascript for some reason).

What would be in this book? Let’s see:

  • JavaScript: the language
  • JavaScript objects introductions
  • Project 1: a calendar
  • Project 2: a tree view
  • Project 3: Ajax
  • Project 4: drag’n drop windows
  • Project 5: a rubiks cube simulator

I think that makes a nice TOC. And it would be having a lot of goodies in between, like ‘get yourself a Date’ and ‘String Theory’.




Made the front page

First let me tell you about ning. Ning is a new application invented by the guy who brought us Netscape. Now I know that Netscape was generally a bad boy browser, who knew nothing about standards and following rules, but still this Marc Andreessen guy cashed out pretty good…

Anyway, Ning is a playground for developers where you can create, copy and share applications in a snap. Some templates for most used ‘social’ apps are ready made and can be instantly transformed to something that looks like you made it yourself.

So I copied the ‘bookmarks’ app and created my own take on it: Go have a look. You can do lots of nice stuff with it. You can tag your favourite algorithms or add other people’s algs to your collection.

I don’t know where I will go with this app. Adding functionality is not as easy as creating the app :-(. One feature I’d like to add is the video link. Another might be the image display of the cube.

I still believe the community is shattered: look at all those nice F2L/OLL/PLL show-off pages, where actually not much new is found besides algorithms. C’mon guys, share it!!!!

Things I have been addicted to

  • Rubiks Cube – been to the World Championships, done that
  • Windows Solitaire – I am on the World Ranking list
  • Galaga – when I was younger
  • Donkey Kong – same here, of course
  • Virtua Fighter (I and II) – spent a summer holiday beating everyone
  • Various Cookies – shame on me
  • Milk – after sports
  • Running – now that was healthy!
  • Keepie Uppie – over 500
  • Aikido – every day
  • Pencak Silat – every day, school grades went downhill

Unfinished business

I always have so much unfinished business, not only in my programming tasks, by the way. Luckily at work, there is a manager breathing down my neck, but at home sometimes I wished I had someone to whip my back whenever I ‘forget’ about a pet project.

Here’s a list of the programs I always wanted to write, but were afraid to finish:

  • The cube-solver. I always wanted to write a program that would solve the Rubik’s cube. And I haven’t. Of course my ambitious goal was it to be Artificially Flavoured Intelligent, so it could solve it without the tedious job of me typing in the solution. In fact Cyrill Castella has done just such a thing. And though credit goes to him I am amazed.
  • The neural network. In my crazy days I thought I could make money if my neural network program could just predict the stock exchange future. I never got the hang of neural nets and I still don’t. If someone is so kind to explain them in a language my 3 year old nephew could understand I’d be glad to listen.
  • Ligretto. At one point, when I was about 28, me and my girl Anne were both addicted to Ligretto. I am sure that if you try it out, you’d be addicted too. And actually, I did program the basics once (an animated game played by the computer against itself), one night when I stayed up until dawn. Of course, when dawn comes, I am usually so tired and my brain is so messed up that I usually mess up. I accidentally deleted the program. Yes you heard it right. I never got it back.
  • My own home page. Now I must say, I have had a home page in the past. It’s just never been the professional looking, feature packed website that I envisioned. The page you’re looking at now is the closest thing.

Things I actually did finish, but which took me a very long time:

  • The ultimate maze-finder. A genetic algorithm that could find it’s way out of any complex maze, without being told how.
  • Lingo. This is the famous 5 (or 6) letter word finding game.
  • RubikTimerTalks, the talking stopwatch. I don’t like looking at the screen when I am cubing, so I wrote something that actually tells me how far along I am.

Things I am “working” on

  • The cube profiles for Dan
  • RubikTimer.NET, a new version of RubikTimer. I hope to actually get somewhere with it.
  • The cube study page, a web page where you can study algorithms

And of course I’ve always wanted to write a novel, and I have several unfinished once lying around….

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Why is it called “the universe divided”? That’s because my other blog is mainly for my family, it’s completely in Dutch, and it’s not about tech stuff at all.

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