From Backbone to React + Vagrant & Node & Backbone & RequireJS

On February 12th, 2015 I hosted the Backbone.js Hackers meetup in San Francisco, CA at Place.

Thanks Avenue Code for sponsoring the food and drinks and Chengyin Liu from Place for arranging the venue!

On this meetup we had 2 talks:

1) Doron Segal - Vagrant + Node + Backbone + RequireJS showcase

This talk is a showcase about how these technologies play along in a effective way: Vagrant + Node + Backbone + RequireJS.

2) Chengyin Liu - From Backbone to React: Our Experiences

Since June last year, Place (formerly Backplane) has used React to build a platform for online communities. Instead of taking 2 months off to rewrite our system, we incrementally migrated our stack from Backbone to React. We would like to share our experience to help Backbone developers to start with React.

Check out From Backbone to React + Vagrant & Node & Backbone & RequireJS.

You can also watch the videos for slides and speakers.

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On this post at Medium, originally made for Avenue Code‘s Code Highway blog, I suggest how to game your way to coding success.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

Security breach warning - update your git client ASAP!

A critical security breach with Git clients was discovered mid-December. It affects all versions of official Git clients, both command-line and graphical tools such as the GitHub app.

According to GitHub engineers, this breach would allow hackers to hijack your Git tree when cloning/checking out a repository, allowing them to execute any command in the client machine. So, it is strongly suggested that you take 5 minutes of your time to update it ASAP!

On this post at Medium, originally made for Avenue Code‘s Code Highway blog, I provide a quick and short guide on updating your git client.

Jasmine Testing for Models and Views + Directory structure on modularized apps

On November 13th, 2014 I hosted the Backbone.js Hackers meetup in San Francisco, CA at Macy’s.com.

Thanks Avenue Code for sponsoring the food and drinks and Yulia Kukuyuk from Macy’s.com for arranging the venue!

On this meetup we had 2 talks:

1) David Beck - Modularized Backbone Apps Part 2: Directory Structure

This talk is about modularization of the front end into encapsulated, reusable packages, via development of tools such as cartero, backbone.subviews, and backbone.courier.

2) Brenda Jin - Jasmine Testing for Backbone.js Models and Views

This session will cover a breakdown of how to approach Jasmine testing for Backbone.js Models and Views, how Jasmine testing works with instantiating new Models and Views, and how to trigger and test custom events and their callbacks. Her slide deck is also available.

Check out Jasmine Testing for Models and Views + Directory structure on modularized apps.

You can also watch the Video.

Backbone.js tricks or treats for HTML5DevConf

I gave this talk on October 20th, 2014 at HTML5DevConf in San Francisco, CA, and also on October 9th, 2014 at Backbone.js Hackers meetup also in San Francisco, CA.

This talk explains some pitfalls, solutions and good practices for common scenarios in Backbone.js. In this talk the audience will learn about Marionette.js, React, Epoxy.js and Sinon.JS and how do they solve problems about performance, memory, productivity and code organization.

Slide deck

Prerequisites:

  • Backbone.js
  • Design patterns for large-scale javascript
  • Curiosity
  • Opinion

Resources:

Backbone.js best practices & Marionette.js + Backbone.Subviews/Ba­ckbone.Courier

On October 9th, 2014 I hosted the Backbone.js Hackers meetup in San Francisco, CA at Cloudflare.

Thanks Avenue Code for sponsoring the food and drinks and James Kyle from Cloudflare for arranging the venue!

On this meetup we had 2 talks:

1) David Beck - Modularized Backbone Apps Part 1: Subviews and messaging

This talk is about modularization of the front end into encapsulated, reusable packages, via development of tools such as cartero, backbone.subviews, and backbone.courier.

2) Tiago Garcia - Backbone.js tricks or treats

This talk explains some pitfalls, solutions and good practices for common scenarios in Backbone.js. In this talk the audience will learn about Marionette.js, React.js, Epoxy.js and Sinon.JS and how do they solve problems about performance, memory, productivity and code organization. His slide deck is also available.

Check out Backbone.js best practices & Marionette.js + Backbone.Subviews/Ba­ckbone.Courier.

Web Components 101

Over the past few years a lot of people have been trying to rethink the way the web can/should be used. Currently, front-end developers find themselves in the often-frustrating situation of having to build complex websites with HTML–which can often be a fairly blunt tool–on top of the clunky foundations of Jurassic-age web browser limitations.

On this post at Medium, originally made for Avenue Code‘s Code Highway blog, I answer the million-dollar question: is it possible to abstract low-level constructs of HTML to define high-level semantic components? And the answer is yes!