Scott Hanselman

Hanselminutes Podcasts 128 and 129 - Ajax with Scott Cate and JavaScript with Bertrand Le Roy

September 16, 2008 Comment on this post [3] Posted in ASP.NET | Javascript | Podcast
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Ajax LogoMy one-hundred-and-twenty-eighth and one-hundred-and-twenty-ninth podcasts are up. Both are on JavaScript and each has a very different perspective. I also talked to jQuery creator John Resig a few weeks ago so check that out. Watch for a possible upcoming podcast with the creator of JavaScript, Brendan Eich, soonish. I'm trying to give JavaScript pretty full coverage. If anyone wants to introduce me to Douglas Crockford, please do so. ;)

Anyway, the first show is "Object Oriented AJAX with Scott Cate." Surprisingly, to me, a number of folks didn't agree with Scott's perspective and some even felt he "got it all wrong." However, Scott's go a very successful, very Javascript heavy product, so he must be doing something right. Scott's into MS-AJAX and is even a fan of the UpdatePanel. Apparently at this point some listeners cried. I love a pragmatist.

The second show is "Thoughts on Javascript with Bertrand Le Roy." Bertrand is the PM for MS-AJAX, and a JavaScript Ninja. We chat about where he thinks Javascript is going and how fast it'll really get. He also re-explains JavaScript's prototype model and how OOP works in a JS world. We finish up with a good understanding on how BLR's new JavaScript Templating system (preview) will let me write more Ajax-using sites with less JavaScript and more declarative HTML.

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Do also remember the complete archives are always up and they have PDF Transcripts, a little known feature that show up a few weeks after each show.

Telerik is our sponsor for this show.

Telerik's new stuff is pretty sweet, check out the ONLINE DEMO of their new ASP.NET AJAX suite. RadGrid handles sorting, filtering, and paging of hundreds of thousands of records in milliseconds, and the RadEditor loads up to 4 times faster and the navigation controls now support binding to web services on the client.

As I've said before this show comes to you with the audio expertise and stewardship of Carl Franklin. The name comes from Travis Illig, but the goal of the show is simple. Avoid wasting the listener's time. (and make the commute less boring)

Enjoy. Who knows what'll happen in the next show?

About Scott

Scott Hanselman is a former professor, former Chief Architect in finance, now speaker, consultant, father, diabetic, and Microsoft employee. He is a failed stand-up comic, a cornrower, and a book author.

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September 16, 2008 11:17
September 17, 2008 6:55
Near the beginning of show 129, Scott asked Bertrand about the "right way to think about JavaScript". If you think of JavaScript as a stew, "Object prototypes" is a single flavor in that stew. But a stew made with only one flavor is pretty bland. It's important to also understand the taste of closures, of "every object is a hash", of free functions, and so on. All of the various flavors in JavaScript stew come together to make something pretty amazing, and it's important to be able to notice and appreciate each of the flavors.

I was using ASP.Net before I was using JavaScript. Moving from a classical OO environment to an open environment was very frustrating for me. Like Scott Cate, I didn't think that JavaScript provided any real encapsulation. Douglas Crockford wrote one of the first things I read on the subject. It turns that closures are an excellent mechanism for hiding information. However, they're still not in heavy use. I suspect that performance, memory footprint, or IE garbage collection issues might have discouraged people from using them. I don't know. They have worked for me.

JavaScript is an exciting technology, especially as it and its ecosystem (such as the DOM, XMLHttpRequest, and all the libraries) get better. I have been using JavaScript for something like 4 years (and was even exposed to XMLHttpRequest just as Google started making it hip). I was once terrified of JavaScript (especially browser compatibility), then grew to love its simplicity and power, and finally grew frustrated by its limitations. EcmaScript Harmony looks promising, but how long will it be until everybody is using a browser that supports it? And when you've tasted something like Lua, JavaScript just seems unrefined.
September 22, 2008 7:32
Hi Scott,

After listening to ep. 128, I also got the impression that Scott Cate explanation on some of the basics of JavaScript was a bit off. I agreed that Scott Cate, to his credits, did a very nice product on top of JavaScript and Microsoft AJAX Library, but I also understand why some people were complaining about it.

A good reference to the basic of JavaScript that I found so far is by Douglas Crockford. You can find his video online on YouTube or Google Video talking about these stuffs, but show 129 with Bertrand did clarify some of the basic concepts like prototype chain, etc.

If you can get Douglas Crockford on the show and talk to him about this, it will make another great JavaScript related show.

Keep on trucking :) Good show!!

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Disclaimer: The opinions expressed herein are my own personal opinions and do not represent my employer's view in any way.