Saturday, June 26, 2010

RightJS Development Status

Hey folks, to keep in touch, some notes on the RightJS development status.

As you probably already know the next step in the RightJS evolution is coming. Currently I do all the fixes and main feature updates in the 'master' branch and all the dramatic changes go into the 'two.o.o' branch. So if you'd like to see what's going on, go and check it out from github.

So what's actually going on?

New building system

First of all I move the source code building system from the amaturish concatenation of some pieces of code to more serious layouts based builds.

What does it mean?

It's fairly simple. Instead of having all sorts of small isolated pieces of code, now we have one global function which isolates the RightJS initialization process inside. It doesn't mean that RightJS now closes its insides like jQuery does. No, all the crazy monkey patching abilities remain in place and it is still an open architecture, but now we don't need to worry about accidentally polluting the global scope with some temporary variables, plus it gives us a great deal of optimization abilities in speed and size.

Secondly, now we use the google's closure compiler to compact the javascript code. It works a bit faster and provides slightly better results than my FrontCompiler.

I haven't finished yet with all the size optimizations yet, but the layout based builds + google-compiler are already giving us some benefits. Despite that I already added quite a few new features and methods, the size of the builds went down at about 1K and goes like 40K of the minified (not packed) code, which is about 15K in gzip.

Then it seems like I'm going to get rid of the albeit-packed builds. The reason is that most of the web-servers those days use gzip compression and in this case there is no significant difference between the packed and minified versions. And as the packed version initializes slower than the minified one I think there is not much of reasons to continue to support it.

In any case, you'll be able to albeit-pack RightJS with FrontCompiler at any moment by yourself.

The Safe Mode

The are another reason for the layouts based builds - the safe-mode development. And currently there are several directions which the safe-mode development goes.

First of all the name spaced mode. Now as RigthJS initializes inside of a layout, it extends the global scope only at the very end. So you can easily have a name spaced build by removing one line of code from the end of the file and all the RightJS global objects will be available in the scope of the RightJS object.

You still will have all the native and dom object extensions with all the benefits and troubles and your code would look like that

with (RightJS) {
var MyClass = new Class({
include: Options,

initialize: function(id) {
this.element = $(id);

Or, if you're against the with calls, like that

var MyClass = new RightJS.Class({
include: RightJS.Options,

initialize: function(id) {
this.element = RightJS.$(id);

The second direction is so called condom-mode. The idea is that we initialize RightJS in a separated IFrame and then hook up the main window to the functionality via the RightJS object. In this case you have almost complete isolation of the contexts, RightJS won't touch the main window units and you also will have access to the RightJS fancy native extensions like that.

var R = RightJS;

R(function() { }).bind(...);

RightJS will extend only those dom-elements which you actually work with. So you'll still have the RightJS speed and easy goingness, but you also have the ability to safely implement say widgets on someones page.

The condom mode is mostly ready, it still has some unfinished parts with the window and document access, but all the other things are already working. you can build and play with it in the `two.o.o` branch like so

rake build OPTIONS=safe

The DOM-Wrappers

The condom-mode is just a step to the next level, it is an interesting thing but it still does extend dom-elements you access. So I'm currently working on the next step which is the dom-wrappers.

The idea is to replace the direct dom-elements access with some artificial proxy which will have all the same interface as a normal dom-element but without actually extending the dom-elements themselves. The reasons are obvious, it's a peaceful coexistence with another scripts on the page and better cross-frame scripting abilities/performance.

This feature is still in progress and you'll see the first results in about couple of weeks.

After that, that's it, we release.

The Summary

One way or another, with the 2.0.0 release we should fix the only problem that wrong with the right javascript framework, the safety. We will have normal quick and naughty builds as we have now, but we also will have options with the namespaced and condom modes.

Which means we will have a rock-solid safety against the anxious MSIE or any other browser that will think its smarter than others, and you also will have the ability to use RightJS to develop widgets in the safe-mode.

That's about it.
Have fun!


Андрей said...

Ты молодец. Продолжай; в том же духе. Надеюсь к твоему фреймворку придёт всемирная известность =)
Скоро сам начну его изучать и пользоваться.

А можно как нибудь ... попросить тебя сделать полноценную standalone-документацию

У меня интернет (gprs) -> я скачал все доки, синатру ... и только хотел запустить, как обнаружил, что оно тянет с нета файлы. А так как я все смотрю на компе где линукс и нет интернета - то я обламался.

Мне просто показалось это странным -> standalone документация с внешними файлами =)

Nikolay V. Nemshilov said...

@Андрей, запаковал что было с локалхоста (2МБ)

Доки да, внешние вещи вроде картинок и цсс ссылается назад на, чтобы не дуплить файлы. Это репозиторий для майнтенейров документации, собственно с документацией.

Можете при желании подправить файл index.rb, думаю там не больше десятка файлов вам нужно.

Marcin said...

You mentioned the idea of wrapping dom elements with proxy object to avoid extending prototypes - check out UnderscoreJS, it's doing this exact thing.

Nikolay V. Nemshilov said...


Everyone does this exact thing those days