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blue-ridge is a no-hassle JavaScript testing framework. Built on the same principles as Rails such as Convention over Configuration, this combines the power of Rhino, Screw.Unit, Smoke, and env.js so you can test the core logic behind your JS without having to deal with a browser. This is built right into your Rails testing framework of choice, and it even has an interactive console so you can debug your code instead of using a tool like Firebug. By default it assumes you’re using jQuery, but Prototype can be swapped in with barely any effort. Check out this great blog post to see how to get started, and browse around a sample application to see it in action.

Notably New Projects

PNGSquash is for those who love OSX apps and smaller images. Save some bandwidth and some frustration by allowing this app to crush your PNGs for you. Pick from your favorite algorithm for shaving bytes off images such as PNGCrush or OptiPNG to literally squash those bits down. Download the app here if you’d like to try it out.

loli is a Haskell web development DSL inspired by Sinatra that can run on Hack (which is based on Rack). This is a neat way to express a web application that’s both classy and extremely functional. It’s already got some great view template support, including Rails-inspired partials and layouts.

v8-gl fuses the ubiquitious graphics engine, OpenGL, with the speed demon of a JavaScript interpreter, v8. The result is that you can code graphical apps in JS instead of C/C++. This project aims to be a full toolkit, but right now it’s just getting the bindings down so everything is possible in pure JS. The progress so far looks pretty stunning, and I’m sure this project could use your help if you’re of the graphical/gaming type.

bananajour is a wacky name for a slick interface to Git repositories served up over Bonjour. Think of this like gitjour, but with a really nice web application on top of it. Why is this useful? Well, if you happen to be attending certain gatherings without internet access, this is a great way to share your code. If you can’t connect to GitHub, this looks like your best option to get your Git on.

Palette is little Python project that uses the Python Imaging Library to create a color map of any picture. The most interesting visualization it can create is a ‘star’ color wheel, where the length of the ray is proportional to the hue. Here’s what it looks like for our dear friend the Octocat. This could be a neat little project to hack on if you’re new to Python and would like something a bit visual to hack on.