YUI customer success stories: google???

Looks like google has been using CSS from the YUI javascript library for the google personalized homepage. As Pat Cavit writes, “YUI is so awesome even google uses it“.
Now some would be tempted to make a fuss over the fact that google has technically violated the BSD license that YUI ships with by removing the copyright notice from the source code (which was really silly, since it’s just in the source code: it doesn’t appear on the page at all).
But I think Yahoo should instead take this as a compliment to the awesome work that the YUI team has done over the past year. If the google devs are happy with how the code has worked, maybe they can write a customer testimonial for the YUI marketing folks to put on the YUI web site. Or maybe next year the google team can demo at the YUI party?

Yahoo YUI hosting javascript!

OK I’m a few days late with this one. But Yahoo has announced that they will be hosting all current and subsequent versions of their YUI javascript library, for developers to use in applications, free of charge.
Why is this a big deal? Well, let’s take a look at some bandwidth stats for slideshare. 12.7% of our hits, and a monstrous 40% of our consumed bandwidth, are js files!
SlideShare don’t happen to use YUI (we use prototype and scriptaculous). But if we did, we would snap this up! Yahoo is effectively giving one more piece of distributed infrastructure to entrepreneurs looking to bootstrap a web startup. This is really generous of them.
Thanks, yahoo!

HOW-TO: Make an AJAXified Digg-It button (with bonus RSS subscription!)

I made a little widget for my blog that supports both bookmarking (to popular bookmarking sites like Digg) and subscribing to my site (via popular RSS readers like BlogLines). The widget uses a little javascript to hide the (hideously tacky) icons of the various sites until the user clicks on it. Check out the top right corner of my blog, or the bottom of this article, for a demo.

The cool things about this widget are:
1) It is much less ugly and distracting than current solutions (which embed a gaudy list of icons into your blog).
2) It is independent on any server-side environment: because it’s all in javascript, it can run in WordPress, Moveable Type, Drupal, or any other blogging engine or CMS. In fact, it can run in any web page at all.
3) It frames RSS subscription in language the user can understand (e.g. “Add this to Bloglines”, rather than “XML”).

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AJAX Design Pattern: Login Panel

I’ve noticed another new AJAX convention cropping up in a few places that I though I’d share. It solves a real problem in an elegant fashion: how to handle registration of new users.
Every site that requires a login needs to provide a way for new users to register. The tradeoff between supporting new users and existing users is always tricky: for example, most brokerage sites are oriented towards marketing to new users, and have a little link in the corner where existing clients can log in. Other sites orient towards existing users, and new users are shunted off to a registration page.
Ideally, we’d keep the user on the same page. With a little bit of Javascript trickery, this is possible. The best example of this I’ve seen so far is in ZohoCRM.
The login widget starts out oriented towards existing users.

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