WebKit Is Usable By End Users?

by Jon Davis 3. May 2008 18:20

I've been hearing a lot about WebKit being on the bleeding edge of staying up-to-date with performance and passing various tests like ACID 3. I was confused and concerned, though, because I had thought WebKit was only available to developers as a set of components (DLLs) and was not actually usable by end users.

I was sort of right, but mostly wrong. WebKit's nightly build, which is downloadable, runs on top of Safari (from a user perspective, that is .. technicaly, Safari sits on top of WebKit), replacing Safari's rendering engine with the latest "new and improved". After Safari 3.1 is fully installed, just download the latest nightly build of WebKit, run the batch file and go. (There were two batch files, I ran run-drosera.cmd and then I added a shortcut to run-nightly-webkit.cmd to my Quick Launch toolbar and changed the icon.)  WebKit does not kill off the official Safari renderer when Safari is launched in its normal fashion, it only overrides its renderer when launched from WebKit's .bat file.

Now I'm starting to think that Safari on the latest WebKit is the best browser. *gasp* Who'da thunk?

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Open Source | General Technology | Computers and Internet | Web Development

innerXHTML DOM-to-XHTML Generator in Javascript

by Jon Davis 13. March 2008 00:25

Developers often need XHTML-compliant HTML markup when they fetch DOM elements' innerHTML. Since the W3C hasn't standardized on this property (and I don't know why?!), the browsers have been inconsistent in their approaches to innerHTML. Firefox doesn't put the trailing slash in <br> tags, for instance, while Internet Explorer shows tags in all-caps and strips the quotation marks from some attributes.

This week after my rant got posted on Ajaxian.com, I figured I'd do my part to express my sincerity with the situation of by creating innerXHTML() and outerXHTML() functions in Javascript. Not the first-ever effort, but seemed appropriate considering the strong weight of my public rant. I intended to add it to the prototype of HTMLElement, but *gasp* .. wouldn't you know it, Internet Explorer doesn't expose a prototype for DOM elements!! Ack!! (Dang it, IE team, get out of your cave. :P )

So, take it or leave it, I wrote the innerXHTML() and outerXHTML() functions anyway, added them to the HTMLElement prototype for browsers that support it (yay Firefox), and added xhtml() for innerXHTML() equivalence for jQuery.

I posted it up at http://cachefile.net/scripts/xhtmljs/ with a lightweight test for initial coding efforts. More code than desirable is devoted to formatting (pretty line breaks and tabs), and if you don't like any of that fluff you can turn it off by setting the global variable xhtmlFormatting to "none" or, for now, to anything other than "formatted".


Hope everyone likes it. Please give feedback (ideas, concerns, complaints, bug reports, etc) to jon@jondavis.net. I might post this on CodePlex if I get a lot of feedback, but in the absence of feedback I don't see much point.  

kick it on DotNetKicks.com

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About the author

Jon Davis (aka "stimpy77") has been a programmer, developer, and consultant for web and Windows software solutions professionally since 1997, with experience ranging from OS and hardware support to DHTML programming to IIS/ASP web apps to Java network programming to Visual Basic applications to C# desktop apps.
Software in all forms is also his sole hobby, whether playing PC games or tinkering with programming them. "I was playing Defender on the Commodore 64," he reminisces, "when I decided at the age of 12 or so that I want to be a computer programmer when I grow up."

Jon was previously employed as a senior .NET developer at a very well-known Internet services company whom you're more likely than not to have directly done business with. However, this blog and all of jondavis.net have no affiliation with, and are not representative of, his former employer in any way.

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