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Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Adobe PxDF

Word is slowly leaking out about Adobe's planned XML grammar for PDF (code name Mars, so think SVG-in-a-space-suit).

The new XML-based PDF format ("PxDF") is basically SVG with some extensions to allow for various kinds of embedded resources and references thereto. Recall that PDF can contain form widgets, annotations, JavaScript, and other flotsam. You can specify some of these items as reusable resources, refer to them using XLink, ball everything up into a zip archive, and expect Acrobat 8.x to deal with it (possibly as early as November).

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Concurrent JavaScript

There is no such thing, I just made that phrase up. But it seems inevitable. The really ancient concept of futures (from concurrent programming languages) has interesting pointcuts in AJAX development, so I'm forced to give renewed attention to things like Narrative JavaScript, jwacs, and Chris Double's admirable forays into JavaScript future and promise support. All really awesome stuff. It's always interesting to see the JS community outrunning Eich and ECMA on occasion.

If you're still scratching your head, I recommend spending some time with Alice.

Monday, September 18, 2006

How to Make SVG Slower

It's called Dojo2D.

Try this test page. On my machine, Firefox 1.5.0.7 will load that page in 8 seconds, which is about 7.99 billion clock cycles too many, for my taste. But Internet Explorer locks up for a full 30 seconds (consistently, every time) when trying to load the page.

I'm happy to see IE users brutally punished in this fashion, of course. But honestly, this has to be some kind of sick, sick joke, right?

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

Dynamic Languages on the JVM

In certain parts of the world it is said that there are three things that can never be known to any man: The hour of one's death, the true name of Allah, and the current status of JSR-292.

Nevertheless, it seems clear that the fruits of JSR-292 will be folded into Dolphin (Java 7, to be released in 2008).

Let's see, that's (how many is it?) thirteen years that it took Sun to realize some people may actually want to do serious programming in something other than you-know-what.

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

JavaScript 1.7 is in Firefox Beta

True to Brendan Eich's earlier timeline predictions, Firefox 2b2 now implements JavaScript 1.7, with such new features as:
These are currently available only in the browser, alas, and not in Mozilla's Rhino engine. Rhino has a history of following the ECMA standards quite closely, and the JS1.7 features are not part of any standard (yet).

Of course, none of this will be in Internet Explorer any time soon. Once again, the Firefox folks have made a bold move into unexplored territory, leaving the safe, comfortable, Web 1.0 weenie-world of Ballmer & Co. ever further behind.