Sunday 7 April 2013

Weekly Roundup: 7th April 2013

After last week's Easter break, the Weekly Review is back with a change of direction. Rather than have a collection of links to recent news stories and blog posts that I've found interesting, I'm now going to link to open source projects and new libraries that I think would be good to get more attention in the wider world. I think the Weekly Review lost its way somewhat early on, and hopefully with a new name and direction it will get back on course. I'll still add the occasional news story and blog post in as well. These new "roundups" will probably be shorter than the old-style post but hopefully more interesting!

Let me know in the comments or via Twitter what you prefer.

Now, without further ado, let's get started with this week's "Weekly Roundup":

JavaScript Scope Context Coloring

Most developers are used to syntax highlighting; it's a great tool that helps make your code more readable and easier to follow. It is now standard practice to highlight keywords different from variables, and in turn have parameters highlighted differently again. This works well, however when we look at languages like JavaScript, where scope can affect the context of variables and methods, wouldn't it be good if we could highlight based on scope rather than syntax? There's a great new GitHub project that prototypes this exact thing, written by Daniel Lamb. This project can be found here and a demo here. I think this is a great idea and I'd like to see an IDE implement something like this.


ASM.js is an interesting project by Mozilla that allows code like C and C++ to be compiled down to a low-level subset of JavaScript. You will never write ASM.js directly but compile languages down; already the Unreal engine has been ported to ASM.js and has been shown running within a web browser. ASM.js is already built into Firefox nightly and will be in a RTW version within a few months.

As ASM.js is a subset of JavaScript, all existing browsers can run the compiled code, although a browser that can recognise ASM.js code will run it significantly quicker.

This week John Resig posted a detailed blog on ASM.js. This is very detailed and well worth a read, as it gives a good insight into ASM.js and also it also interviews David Herman (Senior Researcher at Mozilla Research) with some of the questions you might have about ASM.js. The blog post can be found here, and I highly recommend reading it.

Tear-able Cloth

What people are doing with JavaScript now is amazing. Every week someone creates something cooler than the week before.

This week was no exception!

An anonymous developer has created a recreation of cloth in JavaScript that is also tearable, my description does not do it justice! Check it out over at CodePen here.


We all love GitHub's Gists. This app connects to your GitHub account allowing access to your Gists, and allows you to edit and create new ones as well. It has a very nice, quick and fluid UI. If you use GitHub's Gists regularly then this web application might be for you.

So this is the end of the new Weekly Roundup, as always feedback is most welcome.

If you want more up-to-date links feel free to follow me on twitter @lancscoder as I tweet links throughout the week. Also if you find anything interesting don't hesitate to share it!