Tuesday, October 14th, 2008

Sensei: A beautiful Dojo application

Category: Dojo, Showcase

I have seen some of the great applications that SitePen produces, but unfortunately too many of them are for companies behind the firewalls.

It is great to see Sensei a really compelling Dojo application that SitePen wrote for their training class. This isn’t one of those simple training examples that you normally get though. This says quality.

Revin Guillen explains:

When conducting Dojo training courses, we’ve found it to be very valuable to go beyond simple code snippets to demonstrate APIs, patterns, and other key concepts. Snippets and demos are useful, but they often lack a very important quality: context. Nothing beats having a full application in front of you—with code available to read and modify as you learn the ropes—so we built the Dojo Sensei Reader, a rich, powerful RSS reader realized as a single-page web application.

We designed Sensei specifically for training sessions. We wanted something that demonstrates the major areas of functionality Dojo offers, but as a single cohesive application rather than a collection of unrelated demos. We wanted something small enough that training groups could easily grasp the entire codebase, yet large enough to be worth using as a real-world application. We wanted something that shows the development process from start to finish, to demonstrate the level of polish you can achieve in a Dojo-based application. Beautiful as well as functional, it does all of this while providing a great, fast user experience.

One of the beautiful things about Sensei is that it proves that you don’t have to sacrifice maintainability to build a fast application. One key goal in our development process was to create an easy way for training groups to introspect the code, follow the app as it works, and even modify or augment its behavior at run-time by swapping code in and out. To deliver on this, we designed and integrated what we call Blox, a small JavaScript package with the power to make it all possible (it’s Sensei’s flux capacitor; we’ll cover it later). The result is a codebase that is very easy to work with but incurs negligible performance impact for its trouble.

Check out the screencast to see it in action

Posted by Dion Almaer at 2:24 am

3.9 rating from 32 votes


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why a .mov file for the screencast? I was interested in watching it, but I guess I won’t be able to.

Comment by Fyzbo — October 14, 2008

I have seen some of the great applications that SitePen produces, but unfortunately too many of them are for companies behind the firewalls.

What a roundabout way of saying that they are butt ugly.

Comment by Jordan — October 14, 2008

@Jordan – no, just hidden by NDAs and contracts … Some of the most amazing uses I’ve seen of Dojo are stuck living on corporate intranets, never to see the light of day. Well, if you work at TacoBell …

Comment by phiggins — October 14, 2008

@Fyzbo: there’s an .mp4 (H.264/AAC) version available if that’d help.

Comment by banthafodder — October 14, 2008

An RSS reader without keybindings? That sounds hellish. I love using NNW for all of its shortcuts. Then again, Google Reader does well.

Comment by tmallen — October 14, 2008

I use this feedviewer written in ExtJS:


Comment by NOSLOW — October 15, 2008

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