Knockout.js, jsRender, LESS, SquishIt

This week was all about Knockout.js and my seemingly total lack of understanding of javascript and jquery!  After struggling with Knockout (rather, struggling to implement it into an existing project that might be a little too complex for my first attempt with KO) I decided to back burner it for a while.  However I did learn a lot more about dealing with data, json, and oop in general with javascript and jquery.  This lead to a total overhaul of the client code for the project.  Also got back into using jsRender again.  (jsRender is the successor to Javascript Templates and the de facto templating solution moving forward.)

Discovered LESS and actually gave it a spin.  Very exciting stuff and I can see great potential for this with long or overly complicated CSS stylesheets.  (LESS basically lets you build dynamic stylesheets that have variables and functions, and is compiled into readable normal CSS at runtime.)  The dotless nuGet package was a snap and the only work required was renaming my .css files to .less.  I also optionally installed a Visual Studio plugin that forces the editor to open .less files using the CSS editor (color coding, syntax/intellisense, etc).  My fear with committing too much to LESS is that it could “break” my css skills and cause headaches if I need to go back to not using LESS.

Also discovered 3rd party solutions for bundling and minifying javascript and css – specifically SquishIt (from nuGet).  Haven’t played around with it at all, but looks pretty cool (despite bundling and minification support included in .net 4.5, but we are sticking with 4.0 for the time being).

(Probably going to backburner the XNA stuff for a while, since I seem to be on a tear with the web dev stuff.  Web Dev is obviously also a higher priority!)

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