Archive for the 'Javascript' Category

dabble db

I’ve recently started using an application called dabble db. Without gushing too much, I think it’s the best online application I’ve used, period. It’s right up there with google’s maps, reader and email. In fact, if google have any sense they’ll buy dabbledb right NOW since it’s so damned good. It’s making my life massively easier already just working with some pretty simple data.

The application itself is really a database, but the User Interface is superb. It presents a sort of spreadsheet interface but instead of being a spreadsheet under the hood it’s a full relational database. Upload a spreadsheet and get going, and before you know it you’re working with vastly more control and much more naturally than previously. If you work with a lot of spreadsheets you really have to check it out.

AJAX and Livepage

I’ve had a rush job to do for an old friend, building a ticker to be used at an event for a major news organisation this weekend. The data for the ticker is sourced from SMS messages, and the ticker itself will be on a big screen at an event.

The interesting part has been using Twisted/Nevow, so I can use Livepage. This means the front-end has been written in Javascript, with the server controlling the UI directly. As messages arrive by SMS, they are sent to the ticker directly, without requiring a reload. Similarly, all the controls are client/server, so everyone watching the control panel sees the same rendition.

It works perfectly, although IE is slower to update than Firefox. It’s a whole new way of writing web applications for me, but having had such immediate success, I think I’ll be doing a lot more like this. It really is like writing traditional 2-tier apps. My hatred of javascript has been assuaged somewhat also. Everything I’ve done so far has worked fine in both browsers (except for a fade, which relied on an IE filter), without needing specialist knowledge.