– getting user confirmation before a postback

In web applications, it is common to have dozens — if not hundreds — of user controls that perform postbacks to the server, actions initiated by a user such as a button click. Often before a save, delete, or other critical action is performed, it is desirable to ask the user if they are sure.

In web applications, buttons and other controls have two event properties that we are concerned with: onClick , and onClientClick .

The onClick event calls a specified function in the code-behind file. At this point, the postback has occurred, and any confirmation would have to take place with another rendered page — meaning lots of wasted time and wasted resources.  With the onClientClick event, we can interrupt the onClick event with our own javascript function or inline statement.

Using jQuery, we can bind function to all of these “confirm-able” user controls, which will interrupt the default post-back behavior  presenting users with a confirmation dialog box:

Using this method, we can target all user controls with the CSS class confirm. Additionally, if we wanted a broader reach, we could modify the jQuery selector to  input[type=button] or for all buttons, or all links.

The confirm box  var response = confirm("Are you sure?"); used in this example is a default JavaScript confirmation dialog box — which will be rendered differently per browser or platform — but you could easily swap this for any other confirmation script or function that returns a boolean value.

Creating a microformat / richsnippits resume

What are microformats?

Microformats are small patterns of HTML to represent commonly published things like peopleeventsblog postsreviewsand tags in web pages.

Microformats are the quickest & simplest way to provide an API to the information on your website. See what else you can do with microformats.

Have you ever searched for a recipe on Google, and wondered how the highlight data like ingredients or cook time on the search results? Microformats. Or, wondered how they can aggregate reviews, locations, and prices for a restaurant search? Microformats.

Make your resume semantically searchable and available by implementing microformats.

There are several types we will implement from the microformat standard,, for fields on our resume:


Resume Sample

View the resume here, and a Google’s report on extracted data here.


Full-adders, 32-bit adders in JavaScript

Full-Adder circuit diagram
A Full-Adder, courtesy of the Wikimedia Commons

Fascinated by a lecture as part of my CS degree pursuits (there is light at the end of the tunnel!), I  decided to build some digital circuitry beginning with logic gates and ending with a full 32-bit adder. LIVE DEMO

So here’s my question: I’ve got a 32-bit adder… What now?

Beginning with basic AND, and OR functions, (&& and || operators are native to JavaScript), I built a simple XOR function — which is the first building block not built in to JavaScript:

I wanted each gate/function to work with simple Boolean values, as in JavaScript 1==True, 0==False can get a bit messy. For formatting reasons, I return each value + 0, so they results of higher order circuits are displayed numerically in   binary, rather than a series of True, False’s

After implementing, these foundational gates, I coded up a full adder:

 Within the returned object, “c” represents the carry, and “s” represents the sum. Information about how adders function can be found at this great Wikipedia article.

While there are more complex versions, a simple 4-bit adder is just 4 full-adders daisy chained together which each carry leading into the next adder. The final carry is returned from the 4-bit adder:

16, and 32 bit adders function in the same way: several smaller units daisy chained together, returning the final carry along with the sum:

The functions can be used like so:

So here’s where you come in: What do I do with a 32-bit adder, other than build a 64-bit adder?

Horizontal vs. Vertical button groups

Button groups are an important part of user interface design, but choosing their orientation can often be difficult. I’d advocate that horizontal groupings are better in most cases — consider this:

Imagine that each element on the page is assigned a “Danger Zone” — and area where within one unit of margin of error,  an undesirable action will occur. In mobile interfaces, this unit is the width of a finger, or the accuracy of a touch on the device.

Horizontal vs Vertical button groups
The orange area represents the “Danger Zone”

The danger zone in button groups extends along the edge of the button that is touching another item. As represented above in orange, the danger zone for a vertical button group extends across the width of each button — covering nearly 50% of the surface. This reduces the touch-safe portion of the button to a slim area, greatly diminishing the effect of “friendliness” in the minds of the users. Clicks to these buttons must be precise, and the consequence is not just the inconvenience of a missed button, but the danger of a click on the wrong one.

Consider the horizontal button group: the danger zone only extends over a small percent of each button. Users can click or touch imprecisely and without stress. Additionally, horizontal button groups easily convey a “forward” and “backward” action, which lends itself well to buttons like Save or Cancel.

One major offender is jQuery Mobile — arguably the defacto  standard framework for mobile development. By default, button groups in jQuery Mobile are vertically oriented. Although it is simple to switch the grouping to horizontal, some are under the false impression that the default option is the best choice.

jQuery Button Groups
How easy is that to “Fat Finger”?