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Chicago JavaScript Meetup Group draws a big audience with varied skill levels

The Chicago JavaScript Meetup Group spurred more than 50 of its members to brave harsh weather Thursday night for the group’s fourth free get-together since its founding last October. Organizer Vlad Didenko led the charge with an in-depth look at Firebug, while assistant organizer Justin Meyer contributed a discussion of Ajax fundamentals.
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jQuery 1.3: Good stuff, but the API browser's the real news

I’m as geeked about jQuery’s 1.3 release as the next developer. But I’m even more excited about the new API browser developed by Remy Sharp and available here. For as long as I’ve been a jQuery user – going on 18 months now – I’ve been frustrated by the slow speed and sometimes intermittent availability of the jQuery documentation site. Now we’ve got a blazing-fast API
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jQuery 1.3: Plugins continue to migrate to the core

jQuery celebrated its third birthday Wednesday with the release of the brand-new 1.3 version. This latest release includes a bunch of cool new stuff which has already been discussed to death elsewhere. To me, however, the most interesting aspect of jQuery 1.3 is the movement of former plugin functionality to the core library. Live events are a new twist on the venerable, and indispensable, Live Query plugin, while th
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Ask the readers: How do you keep DRY when exposing your Rails apps to iGoogle?

My most recent Pathfinder project calls for a pretty typical Ruby on Rails web application with two interesting additional components: a Facebook application and an iGoogle gadget. Though a Rails Facebook plugin was easy to find, Rails development tools for iGoogle weren’t as thick on the ground. First, a bit of background: iGoogle, Google’s personalized-homepage service, offers developers two methods of
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How to serve static websites and Passenger Rails projects from the same Mac OS X Apache instance

When your http://localhost/~username/ sites go haywire, it’s time to dig into your Apache config files As Rails pros know, Phusion Passenger allows you to serve multiple Rails apps on the same Apache webserver instance with few configuration or deployment headaches. When you install it in your local Mac dev environment, you can easily work on a bunch of Rails projects simultaneously without having to manually s
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Category and UI changes on Pathfinder blogs

If you read one or more of the Pathfinder blogs in our web interface, you may have noticed some tweaks to our navigation and top-level categories. Our goal in making these changes was to help different audiences drill down to the specific content that interests them. Instead of just a few top-level categories, we now boast around 20, though many posts appear in multiple categories. To subscribe via RSS to any specifi
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Receive 10% off Web Form Design: Filling in the Blanks by Luke Wroblewski

Rosenfeld Media contacted me after I published my review of Luke Wroblewski’s “Web Form Design: Filling in the Blanks.” They offered Agile Ajax readers 10% off “Web Form Design” or any other purchase at rosenfeldmedia.com. To redeem, simply enter the code PATHFINDER at checkout.
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Book recommendation: Web Form Design: Filling in the Blanks by Wroblewski

Usability and design guru Luke Wroblewski knows that web forms suck. More importantly, he knows why – and how to make them suck less. For the past few years, the Yahoo! product design exec has been presenting his ongoing research into the humble HTML form at conferences and on his blog, Functioning Form. I attended Wroblewski’s presentation at An Event Apart Chicago 2007 and came away super-impressed. His
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Ask a UI Guy: How should I structure my stylesheets?

Welcome to “Ask a UI Guy,” an occasional new feature in which we tackle JavaScript, markup and CSS questions for an audience of server-side developers. Today’s topic: strategies for organizing your style rules into reusable components. CSS doesn’t impose much structure on its practitioners. Individual developers must build their own structure if they wish to escape the trap of poorly organized
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Ask a UI Guy: What's so bad about inline styles?

Welcome to “Ask a UI Guy,” an occasional new feature in which we tackle JavaScript, markup and CSS questions for an audience of server-side developers. Today’s topic: the deceptive allure and subtle peril of inline styles. When you’re first cobbling together a new feature or content page, inline styles can seem like a great idea. You’re already editing an ERB, JSP, PHP or ASP template, s
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