Shane O'Sullivan's technical blog… really ties the room together

Archive for March, 2007

A IE-native module

Posted by Shane O'Sullivan on March 6, 2007

The Dojo Ajax toolkit contains a module called which can be used to store large amounts of non-cookie-based data on the client side. This can be useful for all manner of reasons, which you can read in Brad Neuberg’s announcement on his blog. uses a very high-level API that hides the details of how exactly the storage is implemented. This is necessary because each browser forces an application to store it’s data in completely different ways. Because of this, the primary storage mechanism used in is Adobe Flash. Flash allows you to store up to 100K of data per page (more that 100K if you allow it), however, while Flash has a very impressive install base of over 95% of all browsers, this unfortunately is not 100%.

Because of this lack of full coverage, the WhatWG storage provider was written, which provides native storage support in Firefox 2 without Flash.

This leaves poor feeble Internet Explorer out in the cold however. So, to fix this, I’ve written a module that supports client side data storage in Internet Explorer. It is based on native capabilities in IE 5+ described here. I’ve submitted it as a patch to Dojo, and hopefully it’ll make it into the build over the next couple of weeks.

For those who can’t wait (and are wise in the ways of Subversion), you can download the patch from which you can apply to the nightly code. It was created against the 0.4.2 build. Note that this is probably not the exact code that should make it into the build, as the review process may change it slightly. However, I have tested this with IE6 and IE7, and it seems to work pretty much flawlessly.

Update: It seems that the patch was submitted too late for the 0.4.2 release, so for people who’d like to use the IEStorageProvider¬† with the 0.4.2 release, you can apply the patch above, or download the dojo/src/storage.js and /dojo/src/storage/browser.js files. Make sure to put them in the /src and /src/storage folders respectively.

All comments/feedback/bug reports welcome, just add a comment to this post.

Posted in Ajax, Dojo,, Flash, Internet Explorer, Javascript, open source, Technical | 3 Comments »

Ubuntu Ultimate Edition, with preinstalled coolness

Posted by Shane O'Sullivan on March 2, 2007

I recently went through the relatively painless but lengthy process of installing Ubuntu 6.10 on my Thinkpad X41 and getting all the programs I want on it (you can read the instructions I posted based on it here if you like). However, I’ve just come across a distro with pretty all these programs already installed over at It contains loads of very handy programs, and also the very sexy Beryl window manager.

I haven’t tried it out myself, so caveat emptor, but if you’re thinking of installing Ubunty Edgy (6.10) and would like lots of the extras listed on that page, then it could be worth giving a go.¬† If you have a Thinkpad X41 and want to get it’s pen and screen features working however, you will still have to install these yourself.¬† I’ve posted instructions here.

Posted in open source, Technical, Thinkpad, Ubuntu, X41 | Leave a Comment »

Dojo Builder release candidate 1 available

Posted by Shane O'Sullivan on March 1, 2007

The first release candidate of DojoBuilder has just been released. DojoBuilder is an Eclipse RCP based tool for generating customised builds of the Dojo Ajax toolkit. It provides a number of useful utilities for working with Dojo, including checking out the source code from source control (Subversion), configuring the build, and running the build. For information on what it can do, check out

In addition to previous features described here, Dojo Builder now supports custom modules and XDomain builds. See for documentation and download details.

Posted in Ant, Dojo, eclipse, Javascript, open source, Technical | 10 Comments »

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