I wish I knew more JavaScript

I know basic Javascript. I think I will be learning more soon. I think JavaScript is the language of the (near) future. Predicting what the language of the (further) future is would be impossible, as programming languages come and go. Hopefully they get better as they evolve.

Why do I say that it is the language of the (near) future? Compared, for example to Java, or Ruby or Python, or even Erlang? Here’s an article I wrote about that: how JavaScript may be the most important language for the web for the near future. Do you agree?

With that context, I was very interested to see Jon Ressig’s article about how Khan Academy is thinking about teaching programming languages. You know I am a big fan of Khan Academy: see Khan Academy to the Rescue.

Here’s what Jon has to say about JavaScript as a first language:

“At Khan Academy we’ve been investigating teaching Computer Science to students in some new and interesting ways. The most interesting aspect of which is that we’re likely going to be teaching them JavaScript as their first language.” (from: JavaScript as a first Language)

Read the whole article, it’s pretty cool!


[GEEKY] REST and the PATCH verb

Last year when teaching REST concepts at Brandeis University I proved the truism that there’s no better way to learn about something than to try and teach it. We (all) wrapped ourselves around the axle trying to understand HTTP “PUT” versus HTTP “POST” and learned new english words like Idempotency. I won’t go into the whole story because it’s kind of long.

<gross simplification> But one of the keys ideas that is tricky to understand is the difference between PUT and POST in REST as it is implemented using HTTP. PUT replaces a specific resource (think of it as a record for a specific key) while POST creates a new resource. </gross simplification>

So I was interested to see that there’s a move afoot (no idea how serious this will turn out to be) to add a new verb to HTTP/REST, to change an existing resource – not replace it like PUT does, or add a whole new one like POST does, but change one or more parts of it. In effect, it “Patches” it. Seems like a useful idea

Here’s the draft RFC change

[GEEKY] Why does my LCD display not wake up?

When my computer turns on it can often take 30 to 120 seconds for my Samsung LCD display to wake up. Facts of the case:

  • Display is 213T and is something like 3-5 years old
  • Office can be cold
  • I am sure the computer is ready within seconds. It’s just waking up. It will play music for example right away.
  • In every other respect the display is fine
  • It has always done this

Do you know?

[GEEKY] Nicer way to run Ruby tests

Just came across this handy-dandy tool to run tests for Ruby and Rails, and produce much nicer and readable traces so you have a prayer to sort out what is going on when stuff fails.

Test::Unit Reporter — A new look and feel for Test::Unit output

TURN is a new way to view Test::Unit results. With longer running tests, it can be very frustrating to see a failure (….F…) and then have to wait till all the tests finish before you can see what the exact failure was. TURN displays each test on a separate line with failures being displayed immediately instead of at the end of the tests.


[GEEKY] Resfulie GEM for Rails and RESˇ

This is really nice: Restfulie – Rest from Scratch. It’s a package of code for creating REST clients and servers with built in content type negotiation and other goodies. Watch the fun tour-do-force video too:


“Rest from scratch” with Rails and Restfulie – part 1 from Caelum on Vimeo.