EVE-Online + jQuery = WIN!

Let’s just get this out in the open: I play EVE Online. Yes, the game where Yahtzee, of Zero Punctuation fame, said that the players are what nerds are to nerds what nerds are to normal people (*cough*me*cough*).

And someone in the game gave me an idea.

See, there are a couple of online stock market (simulators, essentially) for EVE but, frankly, they’re not so great.

Now, I must confess, I have done hardly any front-end web development work for about, oh, nine years. Seriously, everyone wants me to be the back-end dev. Go figure. So I saw this as a great opportunity to play with the latest front-end toys.

Enter jQuery.

I’ve dabbled with jQuery for a bit over a year now but, until a few weeks ago, never set about writing anything particularly useful with it (one could argue that I still have yet to by virtue of writing a stock market for a game but I digress…).

jQuery’s AJAX and DOM manipulation facilities are just awesome.

Then, add to that, the jQuery-UI. The dialog widget alone is heaven sent (ok, I’m a Humanist but you take my meaning). But the tabs and accordion widgets? jQuery-UI made rolling my own desktop-ish app so much easier than I imagined it would be

And then there are the plugins.

Along the way, I also used:

  • Flot: A powerful client side graph rendering plugin. Really, folks, try this one.
  • Tablesorter: turns your boring everyday HTML table into a shiny new click-on-my-columns-hey-I’m-sortable table in one line of JavaScript (or a little more if you need custom sorting)
  • EasyNews: Useful for rendering a div where HTML content is swapped out periodically for other HTML content. While very cool, the documentation is a bit of a PITA. I spent several hours bending EasyNews to my will.

While Prototype still apparently has some adherents (although none of them were at JSConf 2008 when I was there), I just find jQuery’s wrap-any-DOM-object approach to make so much more sense to me than the Prototype way of doing things. Mind you, I was never a Prototype expert–but nor was I ever inspired to learn all that more about it from what I saw.

At the end of my hackery, I had EVE-Trade.

Which, by Yahtzee’s standards, probably means that I’m so nerdy that I make most EVE Online players look like David Hasselhoff.

Posted by admin on Tuesday, August 11, 2009

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