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.

Click below to see a screencast showing Sensei in action.

Or watch the screencast in mp4 format if you don’t have QuickTime.

To get your hands on this great app, contact us about holding a custom Dojo training workshop for you!