Archive for September 15, 2011

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Google, JavaScript, and Dart


A leaked Google memo, The Future of JavaScript, from November 2010 is being circulated around the Internet, outlining Google’s supposed technical strategy for Web programming languages. Google plans to improve JavaScript, while also creating a competitor to JavaScript, Dart (ex-Dash), that it hopes will be the new lingua franca of the Web.

Apple and Microsoft already control the primary languages for their platforms.

Update (2011-09-16): JavaScript creator Brendan Eich:

A Dart to JS compiler will never be “decent” compared to having the Dart VM in the browser. Yet I guarantee you that Apple and Microsoft (and Opera and Mozilla, but the first two are enough) will never embed the Dart VM.

So “Works best in Chrome” and even “Works only in Chrome” are new norms promulgated intentionally by Google. We see more of this fragmentation every day. As a user of Chrome and Firefox (and Safari), I find it painful to experience, never mind the political bad taste.


Grappler, from The Little App Factory, is a little app for downloading videos from YouTube and other sites. I’ve tried a variety of applications, scripts, and helper Web sites over the years, as well as View Source and Safari’s Activity window. Grappler is much easier. Often, I don’t actually want to watch the video, just listen to the audio from my iPhone. Grappler makes that easy, too.


John Gruber:

Metro is to Microsoft what iOS is to Apple — starting over from scratch, carrying no legacy baggage or expectations. Windows 8’s “Desktop”, the traditional Windows interface, is like Mac OS X. The big difference, obviously, is that Apple has clearly separated the two, and Microsoft has put them together.


Windows 8, even with both environments, can still be used to power an iPad rival. I certainly didn’t expect to be writing that until just recently, but it’s true. Microsoft has made the right bet and made it look like the recumbent “let’s do nothing and hope we still win” position. Windows 8′s tablet chops are now on the non-ridiculous end of the scale and you could do something brilliant with Metro apps.

Steven Sinofsky:

For the web to move forward and for consumers to get the most out of touch-first browsing, the Metro style browser in Windows 8 is as HTML5-only as possible, and plug-in free. The experience that plug-ins provide today is not a good match with Metro style browsing and the modern HTML5 web.

Reliable Crash Reporting

Landon Fuller:

Implementing a reliable and safe crash reporter on iOS presents a unique challenge: an application may not fork() additional processes, and all handling of the crash must occur in the crashed process. If this sounds like a difficult proposition to you, you’re right. Consider the state of a crashed process: the crashed thread abruptly stopped executing, memory might have been corrupted, data structures may be partially updated, and locks may be held by a paused thread. It’s within this hostile environment that the crash reporter must reliably produce an accurate crash report.

Mac developers may soon be updating their crash reporters, as Lion’s application sandbox requires a temporary entitlement to access the crash log files.

In theory, you can get crash logs from iTunes Connect, but there’s no way to contact the user who submitted them, and I’ve never actually seen any crash logs show up there for my applications.