Tagged: ajax

Scrollbar not appearing in IE7 when CSS overflow auto is set

Recently when working on a JQuery based UI, I encountered an annoying IE 7 problem. I had a scrollable DIV setup with overflow:auto; configured in CSS. The scrollable DIV had a one child div which contained text. As the text grows in length the parent scrollable div should trigger a vertical scrollbar. This worked fine in every browser, FF, SF, IE6/8 but would not work in IE7. When you first viewed the page in IE7 the text would just cut off and the scrollbar would not be visible, however when you clicked on another page element and brought focus back to the scrollable div, the scrollbar would then appear as expected. Annoying indeed. To fix this in IE7 I simply did the following in JQuery to dynamically adjust the height when the after the DIV gained focus and it fixed the problem. Might it help you? Who knows but it worked for me.

var h = $("myScrollingDivWithOverflowAUTOset").height();


Scathing report on the state of Dojo

Just came across this post today at Jeviathon regarding “What is the future of Dojo?”. Quite an interesting read and and I can understand the authors frustrations with the forums and lack of help on there, I experienced something similar last year when I posted several questions, only to never get an answer or I would search on what I was looking for only to find further lack of responses to the original posts. Keep in mind that during this time the big transition from <0.9 to 0.9 & 1.0+.

I have two general comments about Dojo.

A) My last experience with the toolkit was about a year ago as I was developing an AJAX based blogging plugin for use with the Grails framework . They key feature was that authenticated users, with permission to edit a particular post would simply be able to double click on the text to bring up a nice Dijit Dialog interface that presented the user with an inline Dijit Editor to make their changes. They could preview and commit their changes, all of that via AJAX so they did not have to leave the blog post itself. There was no need in this plugin to have a separate “admin interface” which is typical of many applications. This general behavior applied to editing/posting comments as well as adding new posts.

Overall I was pretty happy with Dojo and found existing examples on the web to be quite helpful. One great site that I frequented quite often was the Dojo Feature Explorer at DojoCampus. This site proved to be a much better resource then anything I could find on the forums.

dojobookB) During the time I was working on the Grails blogging plugin using Dojo, I was reading “Dojo: The Definitive Guide” which was an excellent book and I highly recommend it. (note this book may already be outdated with the 1.3.x Dojo releases)

Since that time I have used JQuery on a few projects. I am tending to lean towards JQuery since my experience with Dojo mainly because this seems to be the growing toolkit of choice for many other projects as well. (Well at least with Drupal, which is a CMS I have been evaluating recently) Secondly I like the way the code flows much better and it is quite easy to understand. Their documentation is very straightforward as well as their plugin repository which follows a consistent format.

Review: High Performance Web Sites

highperfwebThis is a review of “High Performance Web Sites” by Steve Souders

First off this book is written by someone who knows just a tad about front end client web interfaces and their performance, being the performance chief at Yahoo he has quite a bit of experience under his belt. Myself having done a fair amount of Javascript learned quite a bit by reading this book and I highly recommend it to anyone who is responsible for creating fast loading client web interfaces built with HTML and Javascript.

Some of the tips will be very familiar to folks out there such as minifying Javascript libraries, using a CDN and tinkering with your server’s expires headers, however some of the other tips are a bit less well known, such as putting JS library calls at the bottom of your page… why? Because all other resources, except JS files are downloaded in parallel, however a JS download by itself and nothing else will continue downloading until it is finished. The author does a great job of explaining several very helpful “under the hood” performance issues with browsers that you may have otherwise not known about. Get this book as it is a short read with a big bang for the buck.

Recommended? YES
Skill Level – Beginner to Advanced, however the advanced folks will get more out of the low-level HTTP and browser performance issues than beginners.

Review: Pro Ajax and Java Frameworks

proajaxThis is a review of “Pro Ajax and Java Frameworks” by Nate Schutta and Ryan Asleson

This book was written in 2006 and is targeting client side developers who want to add Ajax to their Java backed applications. The book tends to cater more towards an audience who likely wants an overview of various Ajax frameworks out there in order to get their feet wet or make a decision on which one to go with. The book does a good job by starting out with coverage of thee basic principles of Ajax and debugging tools etc. It then goes into specific Ajax frameworks, specifically Prototype, Scriptaculous, Dojo and Taconite. Sorry no JQuery here, when this book was written it was likely too new. The book then goes on to cover DWR with its own dedicated chapter. Towards the middle of the book the authors take a turn and focus more on Ajax integration with two Java front end frameworks, specifically Struts 1 and Tapestry. Finally the authors wrap up with Spring and JSF coverage. The latter two topics seemed a bit out of place.

Recommended? Skip it, the book is outdated by now. If you are unfamiliar with Java/Ajax integration and can get this book for under $10, you might consider it.

Skill levels: Beginner to Intermediate. Folks evaluating various frameworks and want an Ajax overview.