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mirror, mirror on the wall ... what (toolsets) makes the prettiest interface of all ?

[eluser]Randy Casburn[/eluser]
[quote author="mpc" date="1223519665"][quote author="Colin Williams" date="1223511976"]
3.) JavaScript (possibly empowered by a library like jQuery or Prototype or YUI) makes things behave like dropdowns, popups etc.[/quote]

Colin: Do you find that JavaScript (and those mentioned libraries) play 'nicely' with PHP and CodeIgniter?[/quote]

Beautifully! I'm not Colin, but there is no question about this answer.


[eluser]Randy Casburn[/eluser]
[quote author="inparo" date="1223520620"]Any javascript will play nicely with any backend. Heck, it plays nicely with pure html.

Think of it as frontend vs backend. They're two parts - the only time they communicate are async requests. And those look like a browser one way and like html (or xml or json) the other way.[/quote]

To you and I inparo this is very easy stuff...to a beginner, or likely even an intermediate developer not exposed to this, I suggest you've over simplified the reality of what most of us deal with as the dreaded "interface requirements".

Agree? Disagree? I mean we do have our own troubles with this. I have a beautiful ExtJS compartmentalized UI all built and modularized. But that darn thing is a bear to work with.


[eluser]Pascal Kriete[/eluser]
I was answering about how they work together. Javascript is very backend independent. PHP's json_encode is a huge timesaver, but in essence ajax calls could go to small html snippet files and it would work.

I wouldn't call it easy though. I'm working on a YUI app right now, and yes it can be a huge pain. Javascript is one of the worst languages to debug, even with tools like firebug.
On the other hand it's also one of the greatest language to work with. One file and you're good to go - no compiling, every computer has an interpreter (browser). I also find it quite amusing. Animations aren't everything, but they sure are fun.

The question was about CodeIgniter + Javascript and my answer is - it'll work no problem.

Making it degrade is a different story.

Thanks to all for the perspective(s), especially Colin Williams for that first reply that so succinctly layed it all out.

It started me looking into books. I was about to get "JavaScript, the Definitive Guide", when I came across "JavaScript, the Missing Manual", which seem more oriented toward the JQuery, JavaScript library and putting it all together a la NetFlix et al. I was also influenced by the fact that JQuery is, now, distributed by Microsoft in ASP.Net and Visual Studio ... not that I intend to use those, but rather as an indicator of broad acceptance of the JQuery JavaScript library. So, I got "JavaScript, Missing Manual", instead of the 1,000 pages of syntax, which probably leads to a library - to get anything done without reinventing every wheel, anyway.

... many thanks, again, for the expert guidance! I hope the thread benefits some others as much as it did me.

[eluser]Nick Husher[/eluser]
I highly recommend Javascript, The Definitive Guide by O'Reilly. It's an amazing introduction to the language, fully explains its quirks and differences from classical object-oriented languages. There's also Javascript, The Good Parts that explains best-practices for writing larger javascript apps.

Generally, whatever JS library you bother using, CI will be fine with it. The big thing that you have to work around is CI's lack of out-of-the-box support for query strings. Certain kinds of asynchronous scripts will want to make use of GET parameters by default, which you'll have to factor in and switch them over to POST.

For professional design tools, if you're on a really tight budget, GIMP for Windows or Linux is a great option. If you're running OS X, things are a little less good: GIMP for OS X is total ass, Seashore is really limited, and Photoshop is the 800lb gorilla in the room. When I was in college and fresh out, my design toolchain was GIMP, Wings 3d, YAFRAY and a really ancient version of Illustrator (Illustrator 6?) and an old copy of Corel Painter.

Also, my time is billed at between $120 and $200 an hour by my company, and we're operating out of central Vermont. I see embarassingly little of that money in practice, as it goes toward overhead: management, server maintenence costs, taxes, rent, power, that kind of thing. And I'm a relatively junior member of our team. As a freelancer, I probably couldn't bill that due to relative inexperience, but $100/hr for certain sets of skills and experience isn't unheard-of. Our office has a license for Adobe CS3 that we all operate on: I'm the only designer, so I'm the only person really using it.

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