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Rob talked me in to it. He wanted to learn about javascript and called me out on the podcast to cover it. Talk about a daunting challenge. To share about javascript, give something practical for listeners, and do it without any visual aids. That's just what we did.

This week on the podcast we cover javascript, javascript libraries, the pains of javascript, some practical needs to know, and so much more. Javascript, AJAX, and AHAH technologies and methods are revolutionizing the Internet and the browser; so, it's important to know and utilize.

Before we dive into javascript we talk about the high expectations in church media. What are the expectations of viewers of your media? What are the expectations of church leaders in their media people? What has media saturation done to sharing the greatest message ever?

Come take a listen.... it's Geeks and God!!!

Javascript and Dynamic Drive

Hey, Just learned about your podcast the other day. Interesting mix of topics.

Just finished listening to today's podcast and stuff about javascript. You didn't mention Dynamic Drive (http://www.dynamicdrive.com)

Dynamic drive has tons of already hashed javascript that can be easily cut and paste into your pages (for free).

The community can share their own javascript there for the benefit of all users.

Nice podcast guys !


Be Careful with Dynamic Drive

I do use and have used dynamic drive but it's something to be careful with. While there is some good stuff there is some absolutely terrible things that should never be used.

For example, the In-your-face message greeting or the Autumn leaves. Don't use these or anything like them. In the first part of the episode we talked about media and your church. This will give a very bad impression.

If you are using a framework look for a way to do it with that framework first. You will typically find that this will produce less overall code, file size, and number of files to download if you use more than a tiny amount of javascript on a site.

Matt Farina
Geeks and God Co-Host

Matt Farina
Geeks and God Former Co-Host

Win a worst web site competition with these scripts

Some scripts are good for winning "world's worst web page" competitions, as I did with this page (warning: save any work on your computer before you view it, in case it crashes your system, or you feel compelled to reboot just to get it off your screen):


and the page about the competition:


Since were talking about code

A few days ago, Panic software released an app called Coda. Very interesting app. Seems like it would be a good choice for coding for websites. I've always been a fan of other applications they make, and have a feeling this might be another on the list. I'm going to try to play around with it to see if its something I could use which might make life a little bit easier.



Before you give up on programming altogether, at least give Python a try. It's a very simple language to learn, but very powerful at the same time. Experienced programmers can learn it in 2 days, yet they use it at Google. It's also not an ugly language like Javascript or (in my opinion at this point in time) PHP. Two things if you decide to try it though:

1) If you tried learning from books for Javascript and PHP, then don't get a book for it. Just find a beginner's tutorial on the internet. I myself vastly prefer to find a quick tutorial on a language to get into it right away rather than trying to trudge my way through an overly wordy book that tries to fit everything you'll need to know between its two covers. These kinds of books are great for robots (no offense, robots) or as references, but you can't download information into your brain that way. Tutorials are also good because if there's something you don't get, you probably haven't wasted much time reading it and you can go and find another one that explains a concept in a way you actually understand.

2) When first learning to program, don't try to use Python (or any language, really) for web programming right away. I mean, you could try it, but I just don't think that's the right way to go about it. You need to learn about and practice programming in general before you can start writing complicated web apps.

If you can't learn a relatively simple language like Python then it may just be that your brain is not suited to programming. I read an interesting article somewhere (can't remember where) that talked about how (in theory anyway) it seems that not all people's brains are suited to processing abtract, meaningless information, so they can't deal with such things as keeping track of variable assignments. They might be otherwise brilliant, but it's like they're just missing their Meaningless Information Processing Units.

Exaggerated a bit, maybe...

Ok, so maybe on the 'cast I was exaggerating a bit (although MF may not think so :) )

I'm not a total dunce...I can use some PHP and Javascript as long as I've got a little direction (usually stealing and modifying other code). So i'm not totally hopeless.

At this point, if I take the time to learn anything it's going to be to go further into using Jquery and PHP. I've found that I'm learning them out of necessity (just learning as I use them). And, I can do some stuff...it may take me twice as long to learn, but a learning from necessity is sometimes the best way to go (gives lots of real world application).

Anyway, good suggestion, though. If I had a reason to use python in my sites, I'd probably do it...but at this point, with drupal it's silly for me not to concentrate on PHP and using jquery...

At the same time, I'm still going above and beyond learning any of this...I mean, heck, I'm a designer. Not many designers would touch php code anyway, so I feel like anything I learn puts me ahead of the game...or at least that's what I tell myself :)

-Rob Feature
Geeks and God Co-Host

-Rob Feature
Geeks and God Co-Host

A Python Buttttt.....

Python is great. They use it at Google and Yahoo. They even use it over at IBM. But, there is a butt to this. Python is not widely supported by hosting solutions. PHP is virtually everywhere. Python is only on some hosts.

In places where I would want to use python I would use django. Yet, many hosts have trouble with PHP, Python, and django working together due to functionality and security reasons.

I think one of the powerful parts to drupal is that it is heading in the direction of eliminating the developer middleman.... read what Dries had to say... http://buytaert.net/drupal-and-eliminating-middlemen

Matt Farina
Geeks and God Co-Host

Matt Farina
Geeks and God Former Co-Host

python web frameworks

I'm investigating various web frameworks, especially Python ones, for a project I'm considering. How do you think Django compares to TurboGears, Zope, and Plone? (Whichever ones you have experience with, if any.)

no experience outside django

I don't have development experience outside django. TurboGears and Plone are content management systems. Zope and django are frameworks.

So, it depends on what you are trying to do. Do you want a CMS or a framework?

Matt Farina
Geeks and God Co-Host

Matt Farina
Geeks and God Former Co-Host

I want a framework, unless I

I want a framework, unless I can find a CMS that exactly fulfills my requirements. That basically means I want a framework, I think.

I thought TurboGears was a framework. Its website says it's a "megaframework."