paul bennett

Archive for the ‘reviews’ Category

I’ve been using components of the YUI framework for a while now and have been really impressed with the depth and breadth of what it enables you to do. I was pretty convinced I’d stick with YUI for a good while….until today.

Now, I’d heard about jQuery a lot but had never taklen a decent look at it. I decided to after reading Cameron Moll’s latest post in his ‘the highly extensible interface’ series. I had a nice challenge for it too. I needed to recreate our sites navigation using way cleaner mark-up and unobtrusive JavaScript to replace the existing ‘tables-and-document.write’ nightmare.

To cut a long story short, I was able to not only recreate but also improve the navigation and it all took only 2 hours and about 50 lines of code. All I ended up with a solution which was less than a quarter the size of the original but supported more browsers and (in my opinion) had a more satisfying behaviour.

Seriously, a framework which makes things this easy and yet is so powerful deserves a lot of praise. Even after being reasonably familiar with YUI, I believe it wouyld have taken me around three times as long to get a working solution using ther YUI components. Remember – this was the first time I’d ever used jQuery

jQuery, I’m converted.


I’ve been trying Tumblr over the last couple of days (

Bascially it’s a ‘microblogging’ (my term..) service. You signs up, you creates posts (text, image, link, audio, video, chat) and you have a stream of posts.

The good

  •  UI is good
  • very easy to create posts
  • default themes are nice
  • fast, fast, fast to set up
  • post options allow you to keep it short and cover most things you’ll need to post

The bad

  •  no comments 😦
  • you can tag stuff, but I have no idea how you can view posts by tag
  • no ability to auto discover other ‘tumblogs’
  • no public groups to join, no ability to discover other groups

How to improve 

  •  comments
  • list public groups
  • list other users to follow


If tumblr allowed the above improvements I’d be there in a shot. It would be like Twitter but with a far richer data stream, and the ability to easily communicate and follow others.