About Nicholas C. Zakas

Recent Posts

The innovations of Internet Explorer

Long before Internet Explorer became the browser everyone loves to hate, it was the driving force of innovation on the Internet. Sometimes it’s hard to remember all of the good that Internet Explorer did before Internet Explorer 6 became the scourge of web developers everywhere. Believe it or not, Internet Explorer 4-6 is heavily responsible... […]

Setting up SSL on an Amazon Elastic Load Balancer

In my last post, I talked about setting up Apache as an SSL front end to Play, with the goal of having SSL to the end-user while using normal HTTP internally. That approach works well when you have just one server. When you have multiple servers behind a load balancer, the approach is a little... […]

Setting up Apache as a SSL front end for Play

We’ve been using the Play Framework1 on WellFurnished since the beginning and have been delighted with the results. If you’re unfamiliar with Play, it’s a Java based MVC framework that allows for rapid application development. I’ve honestly never use a framework that let me get up and running so quickly. It’s been a pleasure to... […]

A critical review of ECMAScript 6 quasi-literals

Quasi-literals (update: now formally called “template strings”) are a proposed addition to ECMAScript 6 designed to solve a whole host of problems. The proposal seeks to add new syntax that would allow the creation of domain-specific languages (DSLs)1 for working with content in a way that is safer than the solutions we have today. The... […]

Thoughts on ECMAScript 6 and new syntax

I am, just like many in the JavaScript world, watching anxiously as ECMAScript undergoes its next evolution in the form of ECMAScript 6. The anxiety is a product of the past, when we were all waiting for ECMAScript 4 to evolve. The ECMAScript 4 initiative seemed more like changing JavaScript into a completely different language... […]

It’s time to stop blaming Internet Explorer

A couple of days ago, Smashing Magazine published an article entitled, Old Browsers Are Holding Back The Web1. The author of this article that “old browsers” are holding web developers back from creating beautiful experiences. Old browsers, in this case, apparently referred to Internet Explorer version 6-9. That’s right, the author groups Internet Explorer 9... […]

iOS has a :hover problem

Recently, I got my first iPad. I’ve had an iPhone since last year, and had gotten used to viewing the mobile specific view of most websites. When I got the iPad, it was my first time experiencing desktop webpages using a touch interface. Generally, the transition was easy. I just tapped on links I wanted... […]

Book review: Adaptive Web Design

I’ve known Aaron Gustafson for about five years. We met at a conference initially and stayed in touch throughout the years despite living on opposite coasts and rarely seeing each other in person. We have a lot in common, such as the belief in front-end engineering as an important discipline and the value of progressive... […]

What’s a software engineer, anyway?

I’ve received a lot of feedback over the past couple of weeks regarding my last two blog posts. The overwhelming majority seem to really like them. There are some, however, that have raised some interesting questions. Questions that deserve a bit more exploration than a simple blog comment provides. For instance, some seem to be... […]

Web developers are software engineers, too

When I went to college I knew I wanted to work with computers but I didn’t know what exactly I wanted to do. I had fallen in love with a Packard Bell “multimedia” computer with a Pentium processor and a (gasp!) CD-ROM drive. I spent every waking moment on that computer doing nothing in particular... […]