Hacking: Yahoo Hack Day
I attended Yahoo Hack Day. It was a lot of fun. They put on a concert by Beck, which I unfortunately didn't get to see. They also loaded us up with plenty of swag, including a T-shirt, a copy of Yahoo Hacks, and a 256 mb non-branded USB flash drive, which was one of the weirdest but most useful bits of swag ever. I attended talks all day long. Here are some of the takeaways:
- Yahoo! UI Library: Fonts CSS is a CSS library that completely levels the playing field concerning fonts across all of the browsers. I'm not that great a CSS developer, so I wasn't all that excited about this, but my friends explained to me how hard cross-browser uniformity is to achieve.
- Yahoo! UI Library: Grids CSS is a CSS library that lets you do standardized layout in a cross-browser way that works now. I wasn't so thrilled about this either since I knew that even though CSS layout isn't ready for prime time, tables still do the trick. However, once again, my friends set me straight by explaining how powerful it was to simply flip a few class attributes and have the layout change drastically, even within the user's browser. That at least is a bit harder to do with tables.
- The ECMAScript standard is unreadable. Furthermore, Microsoft insisted on encoding various bugs in the standard itself.
.setAttribute('foo', 'bar')is when you consider it next to code such as
img.src = 'foo.jpg'!
- Yahoo's Design Pattern Library got a plug as well. I saw a talk on this a few weeks ago, and it looked pretty useful.
- And of course, one of the speakers gave a plug for "working is better than elegant", which is always a challenge to perfectionists like me.