Apr 222009

Over the last two years, I, along with many another developer, have developed a bit of a man-crush on John Resig, the primary creator of the jQuery Javascript Library. jQuery has taken a lot of the pain out of writing cross-browser javascript, and replaced it with a much more intuitive syntax and a compressed idiom of expression that, to me, makes the chore of writing scripts that reliably work on all browser platforms much less debilitating.

This is an enlightening presentation by John on the challenges of scripting for the Document Object Model, or DOM, the conceptual framework that allows developers to work with documents in a dynamic way. This is particularly relevant to anyone who develops work presented in the browser. It’s interesting to note that many of John’s points have little to do with the DOM itself, as an abstract entity; it’s the implementation of the DOM by the different browser manufacturers that causes issues. While the Browser Wars are often declared over by many writers on the subject, it’s shocking to see some of the current inconsistencies dug up here. As the Web gains more and more primacy as information repository and communications medium, should the people’s access really be so shaped by market concerns?