• Has jQuery Served It's Purpose

    I used to be a jQuery hater. I’m sure that stuff is on the Internet somewhere. But when jQuery hit the scene, I was convinced that it didn’t really serve a purpose. I could already write JavaScript. What did I need a library for? Then I started to see some usefulness in the library. Animations were kinda cool. And the Ajax stuff was really cool.

    I started to convert. I started to see how this tool could actually help me. But it was a pretty long road. One that I fought pretty hard. But in the end. jQuery won me over.

    Those days were a little different. Writing the same code for different browsers was very common. There was a lot you had to remember. Lots of little quirks and bugs in browsers. I’m not so sure that’s the case anymore. Browsers have gotten pretty standard.

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  • Google Spotlight Stories Is Amazing

    Every once in a while something comes along on mobile and I am just absolutely blown away. It’s just one of those uses of tech that you start to wonder what’s possible and where it could possibly end up.

    Seriously. Stop what you are doing and go get Google Spotlight Stories. It’s amazing!

    The app puts you right in the center of a movie and physically move around to see what is happening.

    The first thing I did was download the movie Help. It’s a pretty large file and takes a while. But once you watch it, you’ll know why.

    It’s a completely immersive watching experience. I was literally spinning in my chair trying to look at everything.

    The coolest part is you will hear or see things happening behind you and try to turn around to see what is happening.

    This app is seriously cool.

    Read Google Spotlight Stories Is Amazing →
  • Saving The Web

    I just read a superb article on Medium. That’s quite ironic after you read the piece.

    In it, Hossein Derakhshan talks about the web we lost. Which seems to pop up every couple of months. I have to admit I’m intrigued every time I see one of these. They all make great points. We did lose something when we all got social.

    Hossein is right. I used to start my day in an RSS reader checking up on what was happening. I now start on Twitter or Facebook. I’m kinda ashamed about that. I do love the open web and wonder if we are on the cusp of some sort of, err I don’t know, revolution. One where those that are capable give those that are incapable the ability to host stuff on the internet free from censorship or any sort of silo.

    I don’t know what this might look like. Certainly not web rings. Please. Do not start web rings again.

    I imagine some sort of RSS or JSON would be involved and give people a way to share information without limitations.

    Certainly something to think about if you are technical enough to run servers and build software to empower people.

    Read Saving The Web →
  • Web Versus Native

    Somewhere along the way, we lost our way. We went from using the web at what it’s ideal for, linking documents together, to trying to make it do something it’s not good at. Making desktop-like applications. Or maybe we could call them native-type applications, since what we are really doing is trying to mimic mobile devices.

    I think I know what this stems from. I think it’s just a fact that mobile is taking over at an rapid pace. You either have to get on board or get out of the way. Clearly no one wants to get out of the way, making software is fun.

    But what if, like me, you don’t really have much, if any, experience making installable software? It’s not like web development. It’s a completely different animal. What do you do if you can’t get on board because you don’t want to make native software?

    Simple.

    You bring it to where you are comfortable. The web.

    Seems like a good idea. Use JavaScript to make smooth animations instead of page loads. The user will never know. They will think it’s like an iPhone app. But they will know. They will know they are on a website. They will know because, more than likely, they use the web everyday. And they know it’s not an iPhone app. And they are okay with that. They know pages load, links to go other pages, and they expect URLs to work.

    What we’ve done is make it convenient for us. Sure we tell the customer/user that we have done this for them. Look at how fast the transitions are! They don’t care. Look at how only part of the page gets updated! They don’t care. Look at how the URL changes but the page doesn’t. Again. They don’t care.

    If an effort to side step making a truly delightful web experience on the web. And a delightful native experience on a device. We have introduced a level of complexity that we think makes it awesome, when in reality, it causes more issues than it solves. Some may argue there wasn’t a problem to begin with.

    How do fix this?

    Let’s call it SRP. Use the web for the web and use native for native. Understand that native apps are generally faster. They are closer to the metal. Web apps will always have a browser between the user and the computer.

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  • Working With Git Stash

    Have you ever been working on something and you’re not quite in a good spot to commit? You know, a good commit. The kind with meaningful commit messages that describe what you’re committing and why.

    You don’t really want to commit because you have some garbage changes that you would like to go back and fix, but you haven’t gotten around to it. You’re still developing.

    Then something comes up and you need to jump on another branch and fix something really quick. Call it a hot fix.

    Now you’re stuck. You might just grumble a little bit, add what you have, and commit with a vague and often unhelpful commit message. I’ve done this a lot. Too often.

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  • How To Run Sinatra And Compile Sass Files At The Same Time

    I love me some Sinatra. More often than not, I reach for Sinatra when starting a new app. It’s not that I don’t like Rails. I just prefer the control and simplicity of Sinatra.

    Naturally when using something like Sinatra, you lose certain things like the auto reloading of files and niceties like compiling Sass for you.

    There are tools for these. Shotgun allows Sinatra apps to be reloaded when files change. You do still have to manually refresh the browser, but you no longer need to restart the server.

    Read How To Run Sinatra And Compile Sass Files At The Same Time →
  • Doing Your Best Work

    I’ve been thinking a lot about doing my best work. I ask myself questions like If I didn’t get paid, would I still do what I do everyday and What would it feel like to be immensely proud of what I’ve done

    This really has nothing to do with employers, clients, or friends. Most of the time, what they hire/ask me to work on is important to them. But not necessarily the most important thing to me.

    Recently, I was asked what the most important thing is to me regarding work. Without hesitation I stated that building software that changed someone’s life. Something that didn’t used to exist, but now does, serves a real purpose, and allows a person to do something that they couldn’t do before was the most important thing.

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  • The Case For Isomorphic Javascript

    If you know me at all. Even if you haven’t seen me rant on Twitter, you should know that I have this constant struggle with JavaScript. Not in the language itself, but more of an issue with what we, as developers, are doing with it.

    Granted, JavaScript is just a programming language. As such, you can do programmery things with it.

    My argument has always been Is this the right task for JavaScript?. One could say C++ is a great language, but you would be crazy to try and build a complete web application with it. That’s just not what it’s good at. It’s better at close to the metal stuff. Super fast code. And because of that, it’s more difficult to work with than a higher level scripting language.

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  • Final Four Saturday

    With all the stress of building software for other people, learning new tech, and complaining about JavaScript. Sometimes all I need is to make some homemade nachos and watch the final four with my son on a lazy Saturday.

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  • Stick To Principles Not Frameworks

    Studying frameworks, you have to relearn, moving to new solutions that appear all the time, and a part of your experience will be erased. But when you learn principles — they stay.

    And another golden nugget about front-end frameworks

    Programming becomes a victim of marketing. They promise us a magic button that will solve all of our problems. http://kukuruku.co/hub/programming/do-not-learn-frameworks-learn-the-architecture

    Read Stick To Principles Not Frameworks →

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