Friday, October 29, 2010

Jangaron 0.71: fix for IE9 beta

Another new browser version needs another patch.
This time, it's IE9 beta: alas, it became too standards-compliant! Thus, a typical crude workaround needed for IE6/7/8 did not work anymore. I fixed it, so you can now enjoy Jangaron in Internet Explorer 9 (beta)! It's fast and it's fun!

In IE < 9, you will run into problems when trying to dynamically create an input field by code like this:
  var input = document.createElement("input");
  input.setAttribute("type", "radio");
Old IEs refuse to interpret the type, also if you set it as a JavaScript attribute. Thus, you are forced to use a proprietary, IE-specific API extension that allows to hand in HTML fragments instead of the element name:
// only works in IE < 9:
  var input = document.createElement("<input type='radio'>");
Unfortunately, the usual way to do feature detection instead of browser detection does not apply here, since the function createElement() is defined in any browser, only old IEs provide additional semantics. So I did browser detection (shame on me), which of course failed when IE 9 (note: only in IE 9 mode, not in any backwards-compatibility mode!) became standards-compliant.
The only way out was to use the anti-pattern programming by exceptions and simply try the extended API and catch the error for standards-compliant browsers. To avoid recurring runtime penalty, I only do this once and store the result in a feature flag:
    try {
      window.document.createElement("<input type='text'>");
      return true;
    } catch (e) {
      return false;
Instead of SUPPORTS_... I should maybe call that flag REQUIRES_..., since I do not use this feature because it is supported, but because the way the standard suggests does not work in old IEs.


  1. hey, I just wanted to let you know, I played jangaron with my friend today on my Chrome browser in preparation for the new movie! It's very exciting.

  2. Hi Alltin, thanks for playing Jangaron and great to hear you seem to like it! Good you chose Chrome, because it runs fastest there. Two player mode is also the best choice until I upgrade the AI.
    Can't wait for the movie, too!

  3. Hi, if you're there or if you read this at all,

    I played your game and I have some ideas for future updates if you have the time or need something to do:
    - Right now, your game only includes rectangles as the lightcycles, maybe you could use actual lightcycle models for the lightcycles instead of rectangles, like in the movie. You could make the model include part of the light wall/jet wall that shrinks and becomes whiter behind the back wheel.
    - Also, you could include a model for the walls of the game.
    - Maybe a starting sequence such as in the movie? (grab the handlebars by pressing enter when you are ready to start the game, maybe?)
    - Maybe the "Illegal code" announcement when you win or lose could be not over the actual game itself?
    I would love to hear back from you and future updates! Of course, these are just ideas, but I would love if you could update the game, as it hasn't really been touched in, what, seven years?.



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