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About Me

The Javascript Toolbox is a personal project of Matt Kruse. It began as a simple collection of useful javascript functions and grew into a collection of libraries, then finally became formalized into a site of its own in January 2006.

I began working with the web very early by most standards - in 1993. The college I was attending got a connection to the internet, and shortly afterwards I was experimenting with the NCSA Mosaic browser. When Netscape released a browser update with the new "LiveScript" (what they called it at the time) I was immediately interested and invested a lot of time learning how to use it to enhance web pages. At that time the functionality was very limited and "DHTML" was nowhere to be seen, but it captured my interest because it was something new and different. There were no experts on the language or its use, nor any books or standards. People were just beginning to figure out what it was capable of.

Fast-forward a number of years and Javascript has evolved into a complex and still-misunderstood development tool. Much of the appeal of it for me is still the fact that many people are confused by the language and how to properly use it. It's not a language that has decades of history behind it, many school courses devoted to it, and lots of solid understanding from developers. Even experienced web developers are sometimes mystified by the 'right' way to use it.

My approach to Javascript development has always been to try to be realistic and practical. I understand that many developers want to use the functionality provided by Javascript, but don't necessarily have the experience or time to learn it from scratch and create solid, portable code. Some in the Javascript crowd will argue that these people shouldn't be catered to and don't deserve to have advanced functionality, but I disagree. I prefer to realize the common needs of developers, write code to meet as many of those needs as possible, and package the code up into reusable, cross-browser, standards-compliant libraries (as much as possible!). Providing a 'black box' of sorts enables web developers to enhance their sites with advanced functionality without needing to devote the hours needed to code it from scratch. If they want to learn Javascript also, great! But if not, at least they have solid code to use in their sites.

Of course, part of the reason I develop these libraries is also because they meet my own needs. As I develop projects or see needs in the work I do, I have an entire set of tools ready to be used that I fully understand. Since I share the code for free and it gets used by literally thousands of web sites, this also acts as my external testing. My code improves because many people use it, test it, and offer suggestions. Everyone wins.

I currently work as a consultant for a national consulting company. I live in Illinois with my wife, daughter Emily, son Kevin, two dogs, and three cats. I try not to work too hard ;)