Enlighten your coding skills as you would play a videogame

We all know that becoming a solid software developer is not something that happens in a day.

However, one should not stop learning when he knows enough coding to land a good job. Coding is an exercise like running, swimming, or playing a musical instrument: if you don’t practice enough, you will get rusty.

So why not combine business with pleasure and taking coding challenges as you play a videogame?

On this post at Medium, originally made for Avenue Code‘s Code Highway blog, I suggest how to game your way to coding success.

marionette-vdom

In January, 2015 I published the marionette-vdom project on GitHub. This project aims to implement Marionette.js views with virtual-dom, in a React similar fashion.

Motivation

One among React’s top-notch features, virtual DOM is gaining momentum in the front-end development community. Since Marionette.js is a formidable and constantly evolving library, why not adding one good thing to another?

A key concern here is ensuring that whatever code implementing virtual DOM features won’t break any existing functionality. That is why we have incorporated the whole test suite from Backbone.js and Marionette.js for the related classes, and all the 163 specs are passing.

Current status

To the date, its version 0.1.2 is implementing VDOM versions for Marionette.ItemView and Marionette.CollectionView. It can be used through node.js, available on NPM.

Travis CI status:

Usage

This module exposes VDOMItemView as the VDOM implementation for Marionette.ItemView and VDOMCollectionView for Marionette.CollectionView:

Example

jasmine-precondition

In January, 2015 I published the jasmine-precondition project on GitHub. This project aims to implement a Jasmine instruction to ease setting up asynchronous pre-conditions before, during and after tests.

Motivation

Since Jasmine 2.0, the runs, waits, and waitsFor methods have been removed in favor of allowing functions run as part of the spec to receive and invoke a done callback. This new approach is described at Upgrading Jasmine - Asynchronous Specs.

The done callback works great for asynchronous features with a callback (such as AJAX, jQuery animations or anything else with promises). However, there are yet other asynchronous features that will complete on their own and would be using waitsFor before Jasmine 2.0, like rendering Google Maps, images or anything else that can change both the DOM and the CSSOM.

While it is utterly possible to re-implement waitsFor I believe that Jasmine 2.0 direction is more towards stepping away from this idea and instead taking more advantage of done callbacks, like putting one it block as a pre-condition for another.

Thus, the preCondition instruction defined here will simply poll a given conditional function at a certain time interval, and once its condition is met the callback done will be fired off.

Current status

To the date, its version 0.1.0 can be used either standalone and through node.js, available on NPM.

Travis CI status:

Usage

preCondition(condition, done, interval);

where:

  • condition: a conditional function that shall only return true when the condition you are expecting for is met.
  • done: the done callback from beforeEach, it or afterEach must be passed here.
  • interval (optional): a time interval in milliseconds between two condition executions. Default is 100.

Example

Stateless UIs with React + Flux with Backbone & Multiple Inheritance with Mixins

On January 15th, 2015 I hosted the Backbone.js Hackers meetup in San Francisco, CA at Brandcast.

Thanks Avenue Code for sponsoring the food and drinks and Dan Lynch from Brandcast for arranging the venue!

On this meetup we had 2 talks:

1) Hao Liu - Backbone View Multiple Inheritance Through Mixins

Backbone provides a convenient way to subclass your view through single inheritance. However, it does not prescribe a way to extend your view with properties from multiple superclasses, i.e. multiple inheritance. In this presentation we are going to discuss how to achieve multiple inheritance through view mixins, and demonstrate how it can be implemented as a framework.

2) Jordan Garcia - Writing Stateless UIs with React + Flux

Easier testability, quicker development and code that’s easier to reason about are just some of the benefits of writing stateless UIs. This session will deep dive into the core concepts of Flux Architecture and how it partners with ReactJS. Finally we will demonstrate how these concepts can be applied to your Backbone application to achieve a highly decoupled View layer.

Check out Stateless UIs with React + Flux with Backbone & Multiple Inheritance with Mixins.

You can also watch the Video.