Play Super Mario (Original) Online!

Close on the heels of writing about the Super Mario JavaScript implementation, I came across a Java implementation of Super Mario which to me seemed like the actual one that had a cult following when it was launched and still remains a cult for many years after that.

I am not completely sure if this game was a port of the actual assembler code or low level code that they may have used during those days, It sure looks the same!

Play the game!

Super Mario in JavaScript!

I was just reading this post on Arcade games and nostalgia on Coding Horror when I just came across this amazing implementation of the classic Super Mario game in JavaScript at nihilogic!! Everthing about the game is in JavaScript including the sound version which is supposedly base64 encoded! And to top it all, it is written in only 14KB of code! An amazing feat indeed.

Everything about the game is in JavaScript with no images or audio files used as quoted above. I tried my hand in it and the game was pretty decent enough, but the point here is not the game, but the fact that you can do so much using just a little JavaScript!

Check out the post here and the games with audio, without audio, with audio(2x size) and without audio(2x size).

But when it comes to Standards, Sorry Mario, but our Princess is in another castle!

Spry – Adobe Labs

I just came across Adobe Lab’s AJAX offering, titled Spry. Creating dynamic applications seems to be a breeze for non-programmers and time-saving for regular programmers. This is a completely client-side set of libraries with no dependency on any other downloadable or server side component.

A good set of demos are provided alongwith code samples that show how easy it would be to deploy Rich Internet Applications that can be rapidly developed by mashing up components from Spry to come up with your final RIA. Quite a few visual effects top up the icing on the cake. Spry also has pre-built widgets which you can customize out of the box. Quite a lot of other widgets that aid in form validation are also provided making it easier to validate form input too.

Just to refresh my memory, I checked out OpenLaszlo, another open source framework for RIAs, the last time I saw it, it seemed to be relying overly on Flash, but on my latest visit, found that there was rendering in DHTML too from version 4 onwards. Though I am not a critic of Macromedia Flash, er Adobe Flash, there are many things that can be achieved without going for plugins like Flash, which ultimately lies with the way the designer designs the system choosing whether or not to implement plugins for simple functionality.

Check out Spry here.

Standards. Standards. Burp.

I have been implementing some Web Services on WebSphere DataPower and it is almost a breeze in most cases, with the majority of the development time spent in coding the XSLs for transformation and the rest configuring and setting up appropriate error handling mechanisms. Even the binary to XML, XML to binary transformations can be simplified using tools such as WebSphere Transformation Extender or Contivo’s Analyst. All of these just leave you in a state of disjoint harmony, you absolutely like the fact that life’s made easy for you, while at the same time cringe on knowing that if you had done it by yourself, you would have learnt two(or a million) more new things today! We shall take that up for some other day, coming to standards now.

Standards and Web Browsers will definitely be remembered for a long long time to come. I was just reading this entry on Joel Spolsky’s blog on how the developers of IE8 are mulling over strict standards settings or to allow for default IE7 style behaviour which is not that strict when it comes to standards.

If you are a web developer, you must admit that we are all sick of trying to write code to make sites look as close as possible to being similar on all browsers. And with IE being IE(barring the recent move towards ‘standards’ mode), a lot of different hacks needed to be put in place just to get the same look and feel. Let alone JavaScript hacks. Now, with pages numbering in billions all over the Internet, when people go strict all of a sudden when it comes to standards, it really will get a good beating! Sites working previously might not even display! Whew! And as Joel rightly puts it in his post, developers are also to blame for coding code without giving any forethought if their code would actually be standards compliant or not(including me). I have done a lot of CSS and JavaScript coding over the past few months, but each time, barring for a few tests, I really do not do much to see if the code is really standards compliant. Partly since the applications that I built were not for public use and the target audience was well covered in terms of configuration since all of the apps were internal and mostly because I am sick of it. I have had enough searching Google for each and every hack to make a part of the page work as intended in IE, Firefox and Opera.

The list of hacks can become endless, but if you really want to have the cake and eat it too, well.. Never mind. We can probably wait for the next version of HTML, and probably start coding, ‘strictly’ adhering to standards, with the version tag telling all about it, just as all the others put forth, but ultimately, the major responsibility lies with the developer who is coding the pages in the first place, like you me and yeah all of us.