About Nicholas C. Zakas

Recent Posts

Computer science in JavaScript: Base64 encoding

Not too long ago, I wrote about data URIs and released a couple of tools to help generate them. A key part of the data URI equation is base64 encoding. Base64 encoding is described in RFC 3548, along with base16 and base 32 encodings, all of which are ways to represent single-byte data with a... […]

Empty image src can destroy your site

This is a problem I’ve come across frequently, and since it has come up again recently, I thought I’d explore this issue in the hope that it will save others some trouble. There are so many problems that this one issue can lead to that it’s baffling browsers still behave this way. The issue? An... […]

What makes a good browser API?

Last month, I attended another discussion at Mozilla, this one about the future of web databases. Though the content of the discussion was interesting, I found a rather general debate much more so. There ended up being two schools of thought related to native browser APIs for JavaScript. One camp firmly believes that native JavaScript... […]

The curious case of JavaScript unit testing

JavaScript unit testing, and front-end testing in general, is a fascinating topic to me. Coming from a job where I developed in Visual Basic.NET and used nUnit for testing, I instantly fell in love with unit testing. Not too long ago I created the YUI Test JavaScript testing framework (for YUI 2.x and YUI 3.x)... […]

Introduction to web accessibility

One topic that is close to my heart is web accessibility. It’s not something that I’ve written or spoken about in the past, and so I thought it was time to get the ball rolling. At Yahoo!, we’re fortunate to have a great number of people who are not only aware of accessibility issues but... […]

Automatic data URI embedding in CSS files

Last week, I posted about data URIs and why they’re an interesting feature of web browsers. In the conclusion, I mentioned that the best use of data URIs is to embed them in CSS files so that they have the best chance of being cached by the browser. I got a lot of responses, both... […]

YUI 3 IdleTimer now available on YUI Gallery

Today, YUI engineer Dav Glass introduced the YUI Gallery at YUIConf.  The YUI Gallery is a place for YUI users and developers to share their work. You can create your own YUI 3 modules, submit them for review, and have them appear in the gallery. As an added bonus, submissions are eligible to be distributed... […]

Data URIs explained

One of the most frequently requested browser features in recent memory is data URI support. There’s been a fair amount written about data URIs recently: my colleague Stoyan Stefanov has written a couple of posts about data URIs, and my former colleague Hedger Wang also penned a post about how to use data URIs in... […]

Book review: jQuery UI 1.6

A little while ago, I reviewed the Packt book, Learning jQuery, which covered the core jQuery library. The book stopped short of discussing jQuery UI, which is an extension to jQuery that provides basic UI widgets. That’s precisely where another Packt book, jQuery UI 1.6, picks up. The book is targeted at a similar audience:... […]

JavaScript sleuthing: Buggy native JSON

Debugging is a huge part of any software engineer’s life: something goes wrong, and it’s your job to figure out what happened and how to fix it. The more time I spend debugging, the more I feel like a detective trying to tickle out details and evidence in order to determine what happened. Whenever I... […]