JavaScript Made Easy – Start Enriching Your Gaming or Media Site

Blogging

This year there has been a lot of rumour around the release of HTML 5. It does have some great rich features, but that’s not what this article is about. Why? Because of the browser legacy the average gaming- or media portal is facing… Especially sites trying to target a worldwide audience can bump into serious browser issues. Per continent you have different versions of browsers you have to consider when developing. Even Internet Explorer 6 still has a big enough market share you have to take it into account.

We all know how frustrating it alone can be to develop a combination of HTML and CSS that will work on IE 6, 7, 8+, Chrome, Firefox, Safari and so on. Especially when it comes to designing web sites for IE 6, this normally causes a lot of headaches in the web designer community. Put this together with writing compatible JavaScript and “frustration frenzy” can start! I must say things get better, but still… This article is written to help you make your developer life easier. I have chosen to write this article about jQuery, because I have good experiences with this product. There are also other frameworks out there, like for example Mootools and ExtJS. Just search for JavaScript frameworks on a search engine and you will find a bunch.

The jQuery framework is so called open source software, making your JavaScript (and possible CSS) life a lot easier. There is a whole community behind the framework writing additions to it, helping each other and thus save a lot of work. You can just use this plugins on top of the basic jQuery framework. With this little helper you don’t have to know JavaScript inside out anymore; with just easy lines of code you can create functionality that would have normally taken you days or weeks to create.

The real strength lies in the plug-ins that have specially been developed for this framework and take some ‘every day’ development work from your hands. This goes from easy embed of video and flash content, to drag and drop, advanced AJAX functionality and a lot more just at your fingertips! The product has excellent support from extensive manuals and an active community. The jQuery is supported with excellent documentation, shared tutorials and an active forum. Here you can ask all of your jQuery related questions.

Still I have noticed some essential functionalities lack in jQuery for a gaming or media portal. The first one would be a script showing advertising in front of the game, while it is preloading. Some refer to it as “game preloader with ads”. I have used it on my Balloon Tower Defense portal. Another would be a decent frontend for rating content (mostly a 5-star rating module). I have already written a tutorial for showing ads while a game is loading, you can find it here: http://www.balloontowerdefense.net/jquery-preloader/jquery-preloader.html. It is complete with all the files you need and a working example of the code you can even copy-paste.