Archive for December, 2011

My office manager gave me this as a Christmas present. I have a great job.

Modern javascript provides a host of cool functional-programming toys like forEach and reduce, but I'm stuck with IE* at work, which does not. jQuery fills some of those gaps (it has $.each and $.map) but not everything one would want.

Enter underscore.js, which bills itself as "the tie to go along with jQuery's tux."

It doesn't modify any native objects, requiring you to wrap them as _([1,2,3]).map(function(x) {return 2*x;}), which returns [2,4,6]. Chaining has to be explicitly enabled, _([1,2,3]).chain().map(function(x) {return 2*x;}).reduce(function(memo, num){ return memo + num; }, 0) returns 12.

Looks useful.

I put yesterday's unmask password plugin together with the code to automatically create a checkbox to control it, and removed the dependency on jQuery UI.

Download the code.


<input type="password" id="password"/>
$('#password').showPassword('Show Characters as I Type');


$('[type=password]').showPassword(string) creates a checkbox as above with string as the label. If the checkbox is checked then the password field is unmasked. $('type=password').showPassword(true) unmasks the field directly, and $('type=password').showPassword(false) restores masking.

I hate password masking—hiding what I'm typing to prevent someone from looking over my shoulder at my passwords. I know when I'm in public and when I'm alone in the house, and it should be my choice to actually see what I'm typing, since it has to have some nonsense combination of characters. Even Jakob Nielsen agrees with me.

The logical thing to do is to have a checkbox that would show the characters, and the easiest way to do that is to change the type of the input element from password to text.

For most browsers, this is nontrivial but doable. You have to detach the element first in order to change its type. But in Internet Explorer, there's no way to change it. One solution is to create a new input element with type text and copy all the other attributes into it, but that seems like overkill. All we need is a way for the user to see what he is typing, so a tooltip-like overlay would work.

This is what I came up with (note that it requires jQuery UI position:

<input type="password" id="password"/>
<label><input type="checkbox" id="check"/> Show characters as I type</label>
  $('<input type="password">').detach().attr('type', 'text');
  $.fn.showPassword = function(shouldShow){
    var type =  shouldShow ? 'text' : 'password';
    return this.each(function(){
      /* from */
      marker = $('<span />').insertBefore(this);
      $(this).detach().attr('type', type).insertAfter(marker);
  $.fn.showPassword = function(shouldShow){
    return this.each(function(){
      if (shouldShow){
        var span = $(this).siblings('.showPassword');
        if (span.length > 0){
          span = $('<span>').addClass('showPassword').css({
            opacity: 0.9,
            background: 'white',
            position: 'absolute',
            fontFamily: 'sans-serif',
            paddingLeft: '2px'
            at: 'left bottom',
            of: this,
            my: 'left top'
          $(this).keyup(function(){ span.text(this.value); });

Try this in Internet Explorer as well as a standards browser. The details are different, but the functionality is the same.


Download the code. Use $.validateHTML5(callback), where callback (result, data) is a function that is called with the result, a string that can be "valid" if the page validated, "invalid" if it did not, "warning" if it validated but is "in some way questionable", or "not validated" if some error occurred. data is the actual JSON output from the validator.

Continue reading ‘HTML5 validator plugin’ »