Entries published in May 2006

6 entries published in this month. See also: all entries published in 2006, latest entries.

Let’s talk about frameworks, designer edition

Yesterday we got a brief overview of the new generation of web development frameworks and a general idea of why people are so excited about them; today let’s dive in and see what frameworks can do for the designers in the audience.

You don’t have to do (much) programming

This is probably the biggest factor I’ve seen drawing design-oriented people to frameworks. There are plenty of people out there who’ve mastered HTML and CSS, but couldn’t program their way out of a paper bag. And a significant number of designers also ...

Entry published May 31, 2006. Read full entry.

Let’s talk about frameworks

So you’ve been hearing all this hype about “frameworks”. People from all over the world of web design and development are raving about the way their lives have been changed by things with mysterious names like “Rails” and “Django”, and you’re scratching your head, wondering what all the fuss is about — is this just a fad that’ll pass, or is this a geniunely important new development? Maybe you’re wondering just what, exactly, these “framework” things are, and what they can do for you.

Some of the answers to these questions ...

Entry published May 30, 2006. Read full entry.

Why templating languages aren’t a bad idea

Before I get into any meaty details, a quick question. You have a dynamic, database-driven web application and you’re ready to sit down and bang out its HTML output. One part of one page will be an ordered list containing comments left by visitors. You have the following choices for doing this:

Option A:

<ol class="comments">
{% get_comment_list %}
{% for comment in comment_list %}
<li>{{ comment }}</li>
{% endfor %}
</ol>

Option B:

item = page.new_content_element('ol')
item.class = 'comments'
for comment in db.get_post(post_id)['comments']:
    c = item.new_subelement('li')
    c.contents ...

Entry published May 24, 2006. Read full entry.

Django, gzip and WSGI

One of the many things I like about Django is the range of available middleware you can use to do all sorts of interesting stuff. But one in particular has got me a little bit stumped.

One of the available middleware components for Django allows content to be gzipped for output when the client specifies ‘gzip’ in its Accept-Encoding header; this is handy because it both conserves bandwidth and allows pages to be downloaded more quickly. Most popular web servers allow this (Apache via mod_deflate, lighttpd via mod_compress, etc.), but it’s ...

Entry published May 21, 2006. Read full entry.

The Google Web Toolkit

So Google went and released something that people are calling an “AJAX toolkit” and, as so often happens whenever Google does something, the Internets are buzzing. But, in the long run, I don’t think this is going to be a game-changing move, and I think that should be pretty obvious to anyone who sits down and thinks about it.

The first question to ask about Google Web Toolkit is simple: who is it useful for? Obviously it’s useful for Google, but it looks an awful lot like it’s only really ...

Entry published May 21, 2006. Read full entry.

And away we go

So. That whole May 1 reboot thing? Yeah, it didn’t happen. But that’s OK, because the extra time let me get a little better run up to launching. But here I am, and here I’ll stay.

As anyone who knows me should expect, I’m now very happily powered by Django; developing the blogging app that’s behind this site was a lot of fun, and a whole lot easier than writing a blogging app has any right to be. I’ll write that up sometime in the not-too-distant future, and once a few ...

Entry published May 18, 2006. Read full entry.