Online conferences

Intriguing concept: the JavaScript Summit 2012 (Nov 13-15) is an online conference.


Object properties in JavaScript

Update 2013-08-25: Blog post “Protecting objects in JavaScript” (Object.preventExtensions(), Object.seal(), Object.freeze()).

Properties determine the state of an object in JavaScript. This blog post examines in detail how they work.


The future of Markdown

The basic idea of Markdown is simple: To create a document, one writes plain text (bullet lists are lines that start with dashes, styles are written **bold** and *italics*, etc.). To display a document, the plain text is converted to HTML. That gives you the best of both worlds: the plain text is to write (much easier than HTML), store and transfer; the rendered HTML is nice to look at. It is amazing how popular Markdown has become: GitHub supports it for files such as readmes and gists; Stack Overflow uses it for comments; Lean Publishing supports no other format for submitting books; many blog engines let you write posts in it; etc.


Summary of the October 2012 Apple event

This blog post summarizes what Apple has introduced yesterday.


Should Windows 8 be split into two operating systems?

Microsoft’s Windows 8 has a confusing split Metro/Desktop personality [1]. To make matters even more complicated, there is an additional version of Windows called Windows RT. This blog post argues that instead, Microsoft should have created two operating systems: one for tablets and one for desktops.


ECMAScript.next: TC39’s September 2012 meeting

Thanks to Rick Waldron, we have a detailed account of the decisions regarding ECMAScript.next that were made by TC39 [1] during its meeting from September 18-20, 2012. This blog post summarizes and explains the highlights.


Firefly – the animated series?

At New York Comic-Con, there was a panel for Joss Whedon’s space western Firefly. The show was canceled on TV in 2003 and followed up by a movie in 2005. Actor Nathan Fillion was asked the usual “Will there be more Firefly?” question. He answered: “If we’re dreaming, tell me what you think about this: ‘Firefly – the animated series’.” After the panel, Sean Maher provided more information. Quoting ”‘Firefly’ cartoon in the works?“ (by Kate Storey for the New York Post):

Sponsored blog posts: 50% off

To celebrate the arrival of fall and the increased traffic at 2ality, sponsored blog posts are 50% off, for one week.

Sponsored blog posts help me offset some of the costs of maintaining 2ality and ensure its long-term viability. You can use them to let 2ality’s readers know about web-related products, services, job offers, etc. Contact me, if you are interested. Details are explained here.


The myth of self-created millionaires

Quoting “Mitt Romney and the myth of self-created millionaires” by George Monbiot for The Guardian:
We could call it Romnesia: the ability of the very rich to forget the context in which they made their money. To forget their education, inheritance, family networks, contacts and introductions. To forget the workers whose labour enriched them. To forget the infrastructure and security, the educated workforce, the contracts, subsidies and bailouts the government provided.
It comes down to the question “How much more than normal employees should executives and company owners make?” And these are interesting points to consider.


JavaScript: parallel programming via River Trail coming to Firefox

2013-12-23: A new blog post on ParallelJS (as River Trail is now called) supersedes this post.

River Trail is a set of mechanisms that enable a new functional style of parallel programming in JavaScript. An initial prototype was developed by Intel. Recently, work has started to bring it to Firefox.


Invented swear-words and exclamations

Some swear-words and exclamations made up on TV and in the movies are really good. Favorites of mine:


Controlling the Mac user interface from the shell

The Mac OS X shell has several Mac-only commands for communicating with the graphical user interface (GUI). They are useful in three cases: First, when switching back and forth between shell and GUI. Second, when interacting with the system from a language that is not Objective C or AppleScript: Bash, Node.js [1], Python etc.


How to pronounce __proto__

[This post is part of a series on the special property __proto__]

Bracketing variable names with double underscores is a tradition in Python that JavaScript has borrowed a few times, most prominently for the property __proto__ [1] (which is currently non-standard, but will become part of ECMAScript 6). For Python, the following pronounciation has been suggested by Ned Batchelder:


JavaScript: __proto__

[This post is part of a series on the special property __proto__]

This blog post looks at the special property __proto__, which allows you to get and set the prototype of an object. In order to understand this post, you should be familiar with JavaScript’s prototypal inheritance [1].


The Yandex web browser

Yandex is the biggest search engine in Russia, with a 60% market share in that country. World-wide it ranks fifth. Yandex has just announced a new web browser: