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HTML5 and JavaScript Web Apps

Cover of HTML5 and JavaScript Web Apps by Wesley Hales Published by O'Reilly Media, Inc.
  1. HTML5 and JavaScript Web Apps
  2. Preface
    1. Who This Book Is For
    2. Who This Book Is Not For
    3. What You’ll Learn
    4. About the Code
    5. Conventions Used in This Book
    6. Using Code Examples
    7. Safari® Books Online
    8. How to Contact Us
    9. Acknowledgments
  3. 1. Client-Side Architecture
    1. Before HTML5
    2. More Code on the Client
    3. The Browser as a Platform
    4. Conclusion
  4. 2. The Mobile Web
    1. Mobile First
    2. Deciding What to Support
      1. Mobile Web Browsers
    3. Mobile Browser Market Share
    4. Browser Grading
    5. HTML5 in the Enterprise
      1. Graceful Degradation
    6. QA and Device Testing
  5. 3. Building for the Mobile Web
    1. Mobile Web Look and Feel
      1. The Look
      2. The Feel
    2. Interactions and Transitions
      1. Sliding
      2. Flipping
      3. Rotating
      4. Debugging Hardware Acceleration
      5. Memory Consumption
    3. Fetching and Caching
    4. Network Type Detection and Handling
    5. Frameworks and Approaches
      1. Single Page
      2. No Page Structure
      3. 100% JavaScript Driven
      4. Mobile Debugging
  6. 4. The Desktop Web
    1. The Browser as a Platform
      1. Client Versus Server HTML Generation
    2. Device and Feature Detection
      1. Client-Side Feature Detection
      2. Client-Side userAgent Detection
      3. Server-Side userAgent Detection
    3. Compression
      1. GZIP Versus DEFLATE
      2. Minification
    4. JavaScript MVC Frameworks and the Server
      1. The Top Five Frameworks
      2. Backbone
      3. Ember
      4. Angular
      5. Batman
      6. Knockout
  7. 5. WebSockets
    1. Building the Stack
      1. On the Server, Behind the Scenes
    2. Programming Models
      1. Relaying Events from the Server to the Browser
      2. Binary Data Over WebSockets
      3. Managing Proxies
      4. Frameworks
  8. 6. Optimizing with Web Storage
    1. The Storage API
    2. The StorageEvent API
      1. What’s Racy and What’s Not?
    3. Using JSON to Encode and Decode
    4. Security and Private Browsing
      1. Security
      2. Private Browsing
    5. Who’s Using Web Storage?
      1. Using Web Storage Today
    6. Syncing Data from the Client Side
      1. Database Syncing with Backbone
    7. Using Web Storage in Any Browser
    8. Frameworks
      1. LawnChair
      2. persistence.js
  9. 7. Geolocation
    1. A Practical Use Case: User Tracking
    2. A Practical Use Case: Reverse Geocoding
    3. Frameworks
      1. geo-location-javascript
      2. Webshims lib
  10. 8. Device Orientation API
    1. A Practical Use Case: Scrolling with Device Movement
  11. 9. Web Workers
    1. A Practical Use Case: Pooling and Parallelizing Jobs
      1. Other Uses
  12. Index
  13. About the Author
  14. Colophon
  15. Copyright

Chapter 9. Web Workers

When your web application requires heavy lifting or background processing on the JavaScript side, the Web Workers API is your answer.

The Web Workers interface spawns real OS-level threads, allowing for data to be passed back and forth between any given threads (or worker). Furthermore, because communication points between threads are carefully controlled, concurrency problems are rare. You cannot access components unsafe to threads or the DOM, and you have to pass specific data in and out of a thread through serialized objects. So you have to work extremely hard to cause problems in your code. Regardless of how you plan to use Web Workers in your application, the main idea behind processing any behind-the-scenes data lies in the idea of creating multiple workers (or threads) in the browser.

As of this writing, Safari, Safari for iOS5, Chrome, Opera, and Mozilla Firefox support the Web Workers API, but Internet Explorer does not. (Internet Explorer 10 did add support for Web Workers in Platform Preview 2.) Web Workers in Android versions 2.0 and 2.1 support Web Workers, as well, but later versions of Android do not. The only shim currently available for Web Workers makes use of Google Gears. If the core Web Workers API is not supported on a device or browser, you can detect if Google Gears is installed. For more details, see

With Web Workers and its multithreaded approach, you do not have access ...

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