Tag: javascript


Clock of Clocks

Clock of Clocks

On a recent trip to London my girlfriend and I visited the Saatchi Gallery (superb gallery, you must go if you’re in the area),¬†where I was mesmerised by a piece in their store called “The Clock Clock” by humans since 1982. Check out this video of it, it’s amazing. I thought that it would make a really cool little HTML5 experiment, so I gave it a go.You can view it here, but you’d do well to fire up the latest version of Chrome, Safari or Firefox first.

I’ve reached out to humans since 1982 to see what they think of it, but haven’t heard anything back yet.





I’ve updated the portfolio page, not with adding any more project (just yet, a couple are on the horizon…), but by infusing it with some cool Javascript and AJAX. The script is all inobtrusive, so it should work for people without Javascript, but obviously they’ll be missing out. My only issue with it at the moment it the slight jarring you get when the images slide back together. I’m not quite sure how to remedy this just yet, but I’ll come up with something.

Enjoy, and feedback is always welcome!


Cuppuccino Part 2

I spent some of this weekend playing with Cappuccino, the new Javascript Web App framework from 280North. And I must say, I really like it.

It’s basically an attempt at a web port of the Cocoa framework, and to bridge the gap a bit more between the two it has it’s own language, Objective-J, which is similar to Objective-C, which is used for building Cocoa apps on Mac OSX. This means you can create gorgeous looking applications very easily, and you don’t need to worry about DOM, HTML, CSS etc, it takes care of all of that for you.

The big attraction for me is to give myself a bit more familiarity with the Cocoa framework and Objective-C. I’ve wanted for a long time to be able to build apps for Mac OSX, but have never been able to figure it out. This stems from my mindset as a web developer – I believe the process of building for the web and for the desktop are very different. Cappuccino goes a good way to brdiging this gap, so hopefully the next time I launch up XCode to build something it will all make a bit more sense.

There are still a lot of things I need to figure out with Cappuccino, but hopefully the answers will become more apparent as mnore documentation and examples appear. I’m really excited to actually build a full app using it. Just need to find the time now!




I’ve been excited about this for a while, and now it’s here! I’m still very excited – can’t wait to get my hands in there and build something with it.


FB: Updating the Profile Box

Further to my previous post regarding updating the user’s profile box on a Facebook application, I found this site which shows you how to update everyone’s profile content in one go. Of course, this means its Asynchronous, which isn’t exactly what we want, but it appears this is the best Facebook allows for now. Obviously this poses a number of problems:

  • When to do the update. Since there is the opportunity to have people from all over the world using your app, there’s very little chance of there being actual downtime in which all the updates can take place. Similarly, if you need to update things once a day at midnight, you should really be checking which country the user comes from and update their profile content at the right time.
  • Resources. If you’ve got thousands of users, how do you process all of them without killing your server? There are,of course, many solutions to this (I’ve implemented something similar to this on a project of ours at work), but I think they’re all pretty resource intensive. In the worst case when everyone’s profile is different, even caching won’t help you.
  • How often to do the update. This of course depends on the nature of your application. With Blaccu, currently I only update everything once a day, but of course the weather will be changing many times during that day (subsequent visits to the canvas page / using the refresh button on the profile page do refresh the profile with the current weather, however), so it would be ideal to have it update many times during the day. This isn’t so bad now when I don’t have many users, but what about when (/if) I’vegot lots of users?

All things considered, this is a bad way of doing things, and it’s Facebook’s fault. I would love to see a way of making an Ajax call when the page loads, so that the content in the profile box could be drawn in asynchronously and be completely up to date. We’ll just have to wait and see, I suppose.