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Web Development

07/24/2017   InfoWorld Application Development

Scalability, latency, and throughput are key performance indicators for web servers. Keeping the latency low and the throughput high while scaling up and out is not easy. Node.js is a JavaScript runtime environment that achieves low latency and high throughput by taking a “non-blocking” approach to serving requests. In other words, Node.js wastes no time or resources on waiting for I/O requests to return.

Let me explain…

In the traditional approach to creating web servers, for each incoming request or connection the server spawns a new thread of execution or even forks a new process to handle the request and send a response. Conceptually, this makes perfect sense, but in practice it incurs a great deal of overhead.

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07/24/2017   CSS Tricks

A bit of a wordy title, huh? What is server side rendering? What does it have to do with routing and page transitions? What the heck is Nuxt.js? Funnily enough, even though it sounds complex, working with Nuxt.js and exploring the benefits of isn't too difficult. Let's get started!

Server side rendering

You might have heard people talking about server side rendering as of late. We looked at one method to do that with React recently. One particularly compelling aspect …


Simple Server Side Rendering, Routing, and Page Transitions with Nuxt.js is a post from CSS-Tricks

07/24/2017   InfoWorld Application Development

Scaling a relational database isn’t easy. Scaling a relational database out to multiple replicas and regions over a network while maintaining strong consistency, without sacrificing performance, is really hard.

To read this article in full or to leave a comment, please click here

(Insider Story)
07/24/2017   InfoWorld Application Development

When working with applications, you will often want to know the memory allocation, garbage collection (GC) overhead, and throughput of the code. Your application might be slow, or it might be consuming a lot of resources, and you want to find out what’s wrong.

Although you can detect functional problems and code defects using unit tests and code reviews, you might still need a way to isolate performance issues. Here’s where NBench comes in handy. This article presents a discussion of NBench and how we can use it to write performance tests for .NET applications.

What is NBench? Why should I use it?

NBench is a popular performance testing framework that can be used to profile the performance of methods in our application. NBench can measure the throughput of your application’s code, the memory allocation, and the GC overhead involved in reclaiming memory by cleaning up unwanted objects.

To read this article in full or to leave a comment, please click here

07/24/2017   InfoWorld Application Development

As it’s been said, every company – from manufacturing to retail and healthcare – is a software company today, since software is a strategic driver of their business success.

Yet let’s face it: if you’re a pharmaceutical manufacturer, you still need to spend most of your time developing innovative drugs.

And this is where outsourced application developers come into play. Many firms rely on the expertise of these developers to help them build technology solutions that are customized to meet their specific needs. Since choosing to hire an application developer is still a significant investment in time and money, it’s important to make the relationship a productive one.

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07/24/2017   InfoWorld Databases

Scaling a relational database isn’t easy. Scaling a relational database out to multiple replicas and regions over a network while maintaining strong consistency, without sacrificing performance, is really hard.

To read this article in full or to leave a comment, please click here

(Insider Story)
07/23/2017   Smashing Magazine

   

Earlier this year, support for CSS grid layout landed in most major desktop browsers. Naturally, the specification is one of the hot topics at meet-ups and conferences. After having some conversations about grid and progressive enhancement, I believe that there’s a good amount of uncertainty about using it. I heard some quite interesting questions and statements, which I want to address in this post.

Progressively enhanced CSS Layout, with Flexbox and CSS Grid.

“When can I start using CSS grid layout?” “Too bad that it’ll take some more years before we can use grid in production.” “Do I need Modernizr in order to make websites with CSS grid layout?” “If I wanted to use grid today, I’d have to build two to three versions of my website.” The CSS grid layout module is one of the most exciting developments since responsive design. We should try to get the best out of it as soon as possible, if it makes sense for us and our projects.

The post Enhancing CSS Layout: From Floats To Flexbox To Grid appeared first on Smashing Magazine.

07/21/2017   InfoWorld Application Development

The next version of Microsoft’s open source, cross-platform version of the .Net software platform, .Net Core 2.0, will bring profile-guided optimization (PGO) to Linux x64. PGO is native compilation technology used by the C++ compiler to generate faster-running code. 

PGO features a two-step process, including a training run that records information about execution and a build step that uses the results of the training run to generate better optimized code, Microsoft’s Bertrand Le Roy and Daniel Podder explained in a blog post. The .Net Core 2.0 upgrade will add PGO optimizations to .Net Core on both the Windows x86 and Linux x64 platforms. PGO began working with Windows x64 in the .Net Core 1.1 release and it has been used in the Windows-based .Net Framework for years.

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07/21/2017   CSS Tricks

A few weeks ago I held a CSS Grid Layout workshop. Since I'm, like most of us, also pretty new to the topic, I learned a lot while preparing the slides and demos.
I decided to share some of the stuff that was particularly interesting to me, with you.

Have fun!

Negative values lower than -1 may be used for grid-row-end and grid-column-end

In a lot of code examples and tutorials you will see that you can use grid-column-start:


A Collection of Interesting Facts about CSS Grid Layout is a post from CSS-Tricks

07/21/2017   InfoWorld Application Development

JavaScript may be the language of the web, as Jon Udell wrote back in 2015, but it’s a language that forces us to “battl[e] the language itself” as we try to apply it to more complex problems. As Tom Dale, a senior software engineer at LinkedIn and a JavaScript luminary, more colorfully described it to me, “JavaScript is like the hippie parents who let you have premarital sex and smoke weed.” That sounds great, he notes, even liberating, but “eventually you resent that you didn’t have any structure and now you’re 32 and living in their basement.”

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07/21/2017   Smashing Magazine

   

New APIs offer great possibilities to build better web services. And some people push these new technologies to their limits. For example, we can use JavaScript to generate images that we then can use in Web Notifications. We can use the Storage API to find out if and how much data we can save on a user’s device and can adjust the behavior of our applications accordingly.

The post Web Development Reading List #190: Images in Web Notifications and Angular Code Splitting appeared first on Smashing Magazine.

07/20/2017   InfoWorld Application Development

Viget Labs has published a data layer for Facebook’s popular React JavaScript UI library. Called Microcosm, the open source tool manages state and data flow for React applications, keeping track of user actions even when users switch context or lose connectivity. 

Formally introduced to the public this month, Microcosm reduces the need for boilerplate code and keeps React apps organized. The company has described Microcosm as being an evolution of Facebook’s Flux application architecture for client-side web applications. Viget has been running Microcosm in production itself for two years.

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07/20/2017   CSS Tricks

Stuck making "a few easy changes" to the website for someone? Component IO makes it quick and simple for you or your team to make edits (even for non-technical users).

You can manage content with a WYSIWYG editor or instantly update HTML, CSS, and JavaScript right from your website. Make changes faster, empower your team, and avoid redeployment bugs. Works with every web technology, from WordPress to Rails to React.

Join hundreds of projects already using Component IO, with …


​Edit your website, from your website is a post from CSS-Tricks

07/20/2017   CSS Tricks

About a year ago, Twitter announced it would start displaying embedded tweets with the shadow DOM rather than an <iframe>, if the browser supports shadom DOM?

Why? Well, speed is one reason.

They say:

Much lower memory utilization in the browser, and much faster render times. Tweets will appear faster and pages will scroll more smoothly, even when displaying multiple Tweets on the same page.

Why the choice? Why is it necessary to use either iframes or shadow DOM? …


Playing with Shadow DOM is a post from CSS-Tricks

07/20/2017   InfoWorld Application Development

Apache Solr is a subproject of Apache Lucene, which is the indexing technology behind most recently created search and index technology. Solr is a search engine at heart, but it is much more than that. It is a NoSQL database with transactional support. It is a document database that offers SQL support and executes it in a distributed manner.

Sound interesting? Join me for a closer look. (Full disclosure: I work for Lucidworks, which employs many of the key contributors to the Solr project.)

You need a decent machine (or just use an AWS instance) with ideally 8GB or more RAM. You can find Solr at http://lucene.apache.org/solr. You also need the Java Virtual Machine version 8. Unzip/untar Solr into a directory, make sure JAVA_HOME is set, and that the java binary is in your path. Change to the directory Solr is in and type bin/solr start -e cloud -noprompt. This starts a two node cluster on your laptop with a sample collection called gettingstarted already loaded.

To read this article in full or to leave a comment, please click here

07/20/2017   InfoWorld Application Development

Everyone wants faster database queries, and both SQL developers and DBAs can turn to many time-tested methods to achieve that goal. Unfortunately, no single method is foolproof or ironclad. But even if there is no right answer to tuning every query, there are plenty of proven do’s and don’ts to help light the way. While some are RDBMS-specific, most of these tips apply to any relational database.

To read this article in full or to leave a comment, please click here

(Insider Story)
07/20/2017   InfoWorld Application Development

Python, which was already surging in popularity among developers, has received another endorsement, getting the nod as the most popular tool in IT service provider Packt’s just-released developer survey.

The language is used by nearly 20 percent of respondents, giving it the top spot. The report echoes Python’s high rankings in language popularity indexes from Tiobe, PyPL, and RedMonk, which all have the language finishing in their recent top five rankings.

To read this article in full or to leave a comment, please click here

07/20/2017   InfoWorld Databases

Apache Solr is a subproject of Apache Lucene, which is the indexing technology behind most recently created search and index technology. Solr is a search engine at heart, but it is much more than that. It is a NoSQL database with transactional support. It is a document database that offers SQL support and executes it in a distributed manner.

Sound interesting? Join me for a closer look. (Full disclosure: I work for Lucidworks, which employs many of the key contributors to the Solr project.)

You need a decent machine (or just use an AWS instance) with ideally 8GB or more RAM. You can find Solr at http://lucene.apache.org/solr. You also need the Java Virtual Machine version 8. Unzip/untar Solr into a directory, make sure JAVA_HOME is set, and that the java binary is in your path. Change to the directory Solr is in and type bin/solr start -e cloud -noprompt. This starts a two node cluster on your laptop with a sample collection called gettingstarted already loaded.

To read this article in full or to leave a comment, please click here

07/20/2017   InfoWorld Databases

Everyone wants faster database queries, and both SQL developers and DBAs can turn to many time-tested methods to achieve that goal. Unfortunately, no single method is foolproof or ironclad. But even if there is no right answer to tuning every query, there are plenty of proven do’s and don’ts to help light the way. While some are RDBMS-specific, most of these tips apply to any relational database.

To read this article in full or to leave a comment, please click here

(Insider Story)
07/19/2017   InfoWorld Application Development

The Open Container Initiative, a consortium founded to develop open standards around Docker-style containers across platforms, has delivered 1.0 milestones for two crucial specifications under its banner.

The new standards aren't likely to affect the way developers work with containers. The real impact is likely to be felt by commercial producers of container-related products, especially if they are angling to have OCI certification applied to what they produce.

OCI's newly finalized standards cover two key components of the container ecosystem -- the image format for containers, and the runtime specification. The OCI Image Format, as the first is formally called, is easy enough to grasp. It describes the way a container image is laid out internally and what its various components are.

To read this article in full or to leave a comment, please click here

07/19/2017   CSS Tricks

We get a decent amount of comments on blog posts right here on CSS-Tricks (thanks!), but I'd also say the hay day for that is over. These days, if someone writes some sort of reaction to a blog post, it could be on their own blog, or more likely, on some social media site. It makes sense. That's their home base and it's more useful to them to keep their words there.

It's a shame, though. This fragmented conversation is …


Implementing Webmentions is a post from CSS-Tricks

07/19/2017   CSS Tricks

Let's take a look at Hoodie, the "Back-End as a Service" (BaaS) built specifically for front-end developers. I want to explain why I feel like it is a well-designed tool and deserves more exposure among the spectrum of competitors than it gets today. I've put together a demo that demonstrates some of the key features of the service, but I feel the need to first set the scene for its use case. Feel free to jump over to the


Intro to Hoodie and React is a post from CSS-Tricks

07/19/2017   Smashing Magazine

   

When we think about a slider, we usually imagine an image gallery slider, or the infamous carousel, or perhaps off-canvas navigation, with the overlay sliding in from the side. However, this article is not about those kinds of sliders. Instead, we’ll look into the fine details of designing better slider controls for selecting a value or a range of values. Think of price range sliders, 360-degree-view sliders, timeline sliders, health insurance quote calculators, or build-your-own-mobile-plan features.

A playful animation of a slider, changing the appearance of a house.

In all of these use cases, a slider is helpful because it allows users to explore a wide range of options quickly. For precise input, a slider can never beat a regular input field, but we can use a slider to nudge our customers to explore available options and, hence, aid them in making an informed decision.

After a close look at perfect accordions and date and time pickers, let’s turn our attention to sliders, with do’s and don’ts and things to keep in mind when designing one. But first, we need to figure out when a slider makes sense in the first place. (Please note: that article is quite large, and contains many animations and videos.)

The post Designing The Perfect Slider appeared first on Smashing Magazine.

07/19/2017   InfoWorld Application Development

MongoDB is a favorite database for developers. As a NoSQL database option, it provides developers with a database environment that has flexible schema design, automated failover, and a developer-familiar input language, namely JSON.

There are many different types of NoSQL databases. Key-value stores store and retrieve each item using its name (also known as a key). Wide column stores are a kind of key-value store that uses columns and rows (much like a relational database), only the names of the columns and rows in a table can vary. Graph databases use graph structures to store networks of data. Document-oriented databases store data as documents, providing more structural flexibility than other databases.

To read this article in full or to leave a comment, please click here

07/19/2017   InfoWorld Application Development

Python has been described as an easy language—both easy to learn and easy to use. Python makes it easy to develop powerful software for an enormous variety of applications. But it can be as difficult to get started with Python as it is with any other programming language. Every choice you make will matter—the OS, the Python runtime, and the editor or IDE you will use to write your code.

In this article, we’ll walk through the steps needed to get your “sea legs” with Python. We’ll discuss the different Python distributions, the best choices among development environments, and supporting tools for your Python workspace, such as code formatters, project templates, and virtual environments. Hopefully, we’ll help you avoid some of the pitfalls that come with putting together a Python programming environment.

To read this article in full or to leave a comment, please click here

07/19/2017   InfoWorld Databases

MongoDB is a favorite database for developers. As a NoSQL database option, it provides developers with a database environment that has flexible schema design, automated failover, and a developer-familiar input language, namely JSON.

There are many different types of NoSQL databases. Key-value stores store and retrieve each item using its name (also known as a key). Wide column stores are a kind of key-value store that uses columns and rows (much like a relational database), only the names of the columns and rows in a table can vary. Graph databases use graph structures to store networks of data. Document-oriented databases store data as documents, providing more structural flexibility than other databases.

To read this article in full or to leave a comment, please click here

07/18/2017   InfoWorld Application Development

Wanting a more full-featured documentation tool for large JavaScript projects, Mozilla has unveiled Sphinx-js, a plug-in that pulls JSDoc-formatted JavaScript documentation into the Sphinx documentation tool used in the Python world.  

Sphinx-js consumes documents and tags from the JSDoc markup language used to document JavaScript APIs and libraries. Sphinx-js delegates the parsing to JSDoc itself. The Sphinx tool, meanwhile, is used to initialize a docs folder in the root folder of your project, whereupon the plug-in is activated and you document your code using the reStructuredText plain text markup syntax and parser system.

To read this article in full or to leave a comment, please click here

07/18/2017   InfoWorld Application Development

Russian search engine creator Yandex has joined the ranks of Google, Amazon, and Microsoft by releasing its own open source machine learning library, CatBoost.

The Apache-licensed CatBoost is for “open-source gradient boosting on decision trees,” according to its GitHub repository’s README. It provides a way to perform classifications and rankings of data by using a collection of decision-making mechanisms, or “learners,” rather than a single one. Results generated by the learners are weighted and classified based on the strengths and weaknesses of each learner. By combining many learners, CatBoost can yield better results than decision-making systems that rely on individual learners.

To read this article in full or to leave a comment, please click here

07/18/2017   CSS Tricks

The following is a guest post by Rob Levin and Chris Rumble. Rob and Chris both work on the product design team at Mavenlink. Rob is also creator and host of the SVG Immersion Podcast and wrote the original 5 Gotchas article back in '14. Chris, is a UI and Motion Designer/Developer based out of San Francisco. In this article, they go over some additional issues they encountered after incorporating inline SVGs in to Mavenlink's flagship application more then


More Gotchas Getting Inline SVG Into Production—Part II is a post from CSS-Tricks

07/18/2017   InfoWorld Application Development

A couple of weeks ago I bought a Surface Laptop because I wanted to spend some time using Windows 10 S. It has been an interesting experience. I’ve learned a great deal about Microsoft’s latest operating system—and its prospects as a tool for the enterprise.

Windows 10 S is a variant of the familiar Windows 10 Pro, but locked down to work only with Windows Store applications and to prevent local scripting tools and system-level commands from running. There is no access to cmd.exe, no PowerShell, no RegEdit, and certainly no Bash prompt, all aimed at reducing the risk of a user changing device configuration or getting around the operating system’s restrictions. Power users may bristle at this approach, but Windows 10 S isn’t intended for them. The locked-down nature of the OS and the initial focus on the education market is an intriguing combination, and a pointer to a possible enterprise future.

To read this article in full or to leave a comment, please click here

07/18/2017   InfoWorld Application Development

The Amazon Alexa platform is on a roll, now crammed with more than 15,000 “skills,” up from 10,000 in February, as reported by Voicebot. While this sounds amazing, the reality is that the vast majority of Amazon Echo customers don’t know 99.999 percent of those skills exist. Worse, there seems to be no viable way for anyone to discover what all those skills are.

So while Amazon keeps fanning the flames with developer outreach like the upcoming Alexa Dev Days, Amazon’s far larger problem is Alexa skill discovery, not skill development.

To read this article in full or to leave a comment, please click here

07/18/2017   WebAppers

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Whether content is delivered late, structured differently to the design or lost in email threads – content always gets the blame for website project delays. As a designer or developer involved in a website project, you’re probably familiar with having to adjust or even re-do your work when content finally arrives. Why does this happen […]

The post Don’t Let Content Delay Website Launches appeared first on WebAppers.

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07/17/2017   InfoWorld Application Development

Go, Google’s open source, concurrency-friendly programming language, has soared to new heights with developers, cracking the top 10 in the Tiobe index of language popularity for the first time.

With an all-time high rating of 2.363 percent, Go ranks as the 10th most popular programming language in this month’s index, ahead of languages such as Perl, Swift, Ruby, and Visual Basic. The Tiobe Programming Community index assesses language popularity using a formula based on frequency of searches for the languages in popular search engines such as Google, Bing, Baidu, and Wikipedia.

Tiobe called Go’s latest rise an important landmark and pondered what was next. “Is Go really able to join the big stars in the programming language world and leave languages such as JavaScript and Python behind? We will see.” The language was ranked in 55th place in the index a year ago. Go’s previous high score was a 2.325 percent rating in January, when it placed 13th.

To read this article in full or to leave a comment, please click here

07/17/2017   CSS Tricks

HTTP/2 has been one of my areas of interest. In fact, I've written a few articles about it just in the last year. In one of those articles I made this unchecked assertion:

If the user is on HTTP/2: You'll serve more and smaller assets. You’ll avoid stuff like image sprites, inlined CSS, and scripts, and concatenated style sheets and scripts.

I wasn't the only one to say this, though, in all fairness to Rachel, she qualifies her assertion …


Musings on HTTP/2 and Bundling is a post from CSS-Tricks

07/17/2017   Smashing Magazine

   

Creating large, harmonious and uniform color palettes can be a challenge. Good intentions and confident plans can be abandoned when things get a little unwieldy.

Taming Advanced Color Palettes In Photoshop, Sketch And Affinity Designer

But you can equip yourself with some tools to manage the complexity. With the right techniques, large color palettes can be created, refined and refactored at will. Large color palettes can be tamed.

The post Taming Advanced Color Palettes In Photoshop, Sketch And Affinity Designer appeared first on Smashing Magazine.

07/17/2017   InfoWorld Application Development

When working with ASP.Net Web API, it is important to return a consistent response for all the requests that are processed by your API regardless of success or failure. This makes it a lot easier to consume the API, without requiring complex code on the client. By using a custom wrapper for Web API responses, you can ensure that all of your responses have a consistent structure, and you can also include custom metadata. This article presents a discussion on how we can decorate Web API responses with useful information.

Let's understand the problem we are trying to solve. In essence, your standard Web API response will vary when executing different action methods, and we need a way to get around the inconsistency of these responses. When you are trying to retrieve data using HTTP GET, the response may contain data for one or more records. When you are executing a HTTP POST, the response may not even include a body, but only a header. And when there is an error when executing the request, the API will return an object with the appropriate error message.

To read this article in full or to leave a comment, please click here

07/15/2017   CSS Tricks

Hidde de Vries gathers some of the early thinking about CSS:

There is quite a bit of information on the web about how CSS was designed. Keeping it simple was a core principle. It continued to be — from the early days and the first implementations in the late nineties until current developments now.

The four main design principles listed are fascinating:

  • Authors can specify as much or little as they want
  • It is not a programming language by design


Did CSS get more complicated since the late nineties? is a post from CSS-Tricks

07/14/2017   CSS Tricks

Let's say you've written a super handy little bit of JavaScript. Nice! Well done, you. Surely, the world can benefit from this. A handful of people, at least. No need to keep this locked up. You've benefitted from open source tremendously in your career. This is the perfect opportunity to give back!

Let's do this.

You're going to need to chuck it into a GitHub repo. That's like table stakes for open source. This is where people can find it, …


Let’s say you wanna open source a little thing… is a post from CSS-Tricks

07/14/2017   Smashing Magazine

   

Do you feel stressed from time to time? I do. Recently, I experimented with meditation and yoga, just to see if and how they work. There's a lot of advice you can find online and they all claim to transform your life entirely.

The post Web Development Reading List #189: Sync Via Push API, RTL CSS, And The Disaster Factory appeared first on Smashing Magazine.

07/14/2017   InfoWorld Application Development

The official Go blog has provided the first concrete details about the next version of Google’s Go language, which is used to create popular applications like Docker and Kubernetes, as well as to incrementally replace critical internet infrastructure.

But Go developers waiting for immediate word about generics, or other pet features they’ve long been waiting to see added to the language, are going to walk away disappointed.

The post, written by Go architect Russ Cox, details how the chief goal for Go 2 is “to fix the most significant ways Go fails to scale.” By “scale,” Cox is referring to both production and development. The former is about “concurrent systems interacting with many other servers, exemplified today by cloud software,” and the latter is about “large codebases worked on by many engineers coordinating only loosely, exemplified today by modern open-source development.”

To read this article in full or to leave a comment, please click here

07/13/2017   Smashing Magazine

   

Web developers spend their days writing hypertext, but, byte for byte, most of the web is composed of images. It is hard to overstate the effect that images have on the average web page’s performance; faster websites have broader reach and a higher impact. The first and most important thing you can do to improve the performance of your website’s images is figure out how to measure them.

Introducing The Website Speed Test Image Analysis Tool

Enter Website Speed Test, a free and drop-dead-simple tool that leverages our (Cloudinary’s) image smarts to let you measure, diagnose and (crucially) communicate about the image performance of any website. Better yet, it’s built on top of, and integrated in, Pat Meenan’s WebPagetest. Interested? Read on!

The post Introducing The Website Speed Test Image Analysis Tool appeared first on Smashing Magazine.

07/13/2017   WebAppers

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The need to manage huge amounts of website data can become a formidable task. One you generally don’t look forward to. It’s just not numbers either. Statistics, labels, categories, and other important data types often come into play. An obvious solution is to invest in a data management tool or plugin.  Unless what you buy […]

The post Create Interactive and Responsive Tables and Charts with WpDataTables appeared first on WebAppers.

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07/12/2017   Smashing Magazine

   

It wasn’t long after Hollywood released its first 3D films that the movie format quickly gained huge popularity worldwide. Thanks to developments in video-recording technology, any user can now shoot a video on their own. You can make a stereo record of memorable events in your life or create wonderful material for your business.

How We Built An iOS App To Shoot A 3D Video (Case Study)

Our team was also attracted to 3D filming. We thoroughly studied the features of the human visual apparatus and the technical details of stereoscopic photography. Then, we decided to develop an iOS app to shoot 3D videos and upload the videos to YouTube. The idea behind the app was to facilitate the shooting of 3D video by mounting two iPhones to a special frame — and we did it! That was how the Stereo Video Recorder app appeared.

The post How We Built An iOS App To Shoot A 3D Video (Case Study) appeared first on Smashing Magazine.

07/12/2017   InfoWorld Databases

DynamoDB, a fully-managed NoSQL database, is an impressive piece of technology, and it’s amazing that AWS has opened it for the entire world to use. What took millions of dollars in R&D to build – a product that services millions of queries per second with low latency – can be effectively rented for dollars per hours by anyone with a credit card. For those who need a key-value store that can store massive amounts of data reliably, there aren’t many better options.

While DynamoDB generally works quite well, it’s inevitable that we all run into issues. A few months ago at Segment, my colleagues wrote a detailed blog post about our own DynamoDB issues. Mainly, we were hitting our rate limits due to problems with our partitioning setup – a single partition was limiting throughput for an entire table. Solving the problem took a superhuman effort, but it was worth it (to the tune of $300K annually).

To read this article in full or to leave a comment, please click here

07/11/2017   Smashing Magazine

   

Some people hate writing documentation, and others just hate writing. I happen to love writing; otherwise, you wouldn't be reading this. It helps that I love writing because, as a design consultant offering professional guidance, writing is a big part of what I do. But I hate, hate, hate word processors.

Documenting Components In Markdown With Shadow DOM

When writing technical web documentation (read: pattern libraries), word processors are not just disobedient, but inappropriate. Ideally, I want a mode of writing that allows me to include the components I'm documenting inline, and this isn't possible unless the documentation itself is made of HTML, CSS and JavaScript. In this article, I'll be sharing a method for easily including code demos in Markdown, with the help of shortcodes and shadow DOM encapsulation.

The post Building Pattern Libraries With Shadow DOM In Markdown appeared first on Smashing Magazine.

07/10/2017   Smashing Magazine

   

For many people, a map of a transportation network is a given, an expected part of the system, something that just is — like a fire-escape plan in a building. So, when I say that I design transportation maps, they don't understand. What is there to design even?

Things To Keep In Mind When Designing A Transportation Map

Well, let's take the London underground map as an example. Designed by Harry Beck, it was the world's first transportation map to use the principles of electrical circuit drawings. All line segments were put to the angles of 45 or 90 degrees. The distances between stations were equalized.

The post Things To Keep In Mind When Designing A Transportation Map appeared first on Smashing Magazine.

07/07/2017   Smashing Magazine

   

CSS is an amazing tool which we constantly use but we don't seem to honor it appropriately. Whenever I see the growing browser support of the :focus-within selector, the much wanted justify-content: space-evenly for Flexbox or how great CSS Grids already work, I feel really grateful to have such awesome tools available to work with.

The post Web Development Reading List #188: Real-World Accessibility, Flexbox Madness, And The Ephemerality Of Things We Build appeared first on Smashing Magazine.

07/06/2017   Smashing Magazine

   

Whether you're into good ol' drawing and painting, or quick editing in Photoshop or Illustrator, one thing's for sure: they're all creativity's best friends. Some draw pictures all day, while others find their inspiration in uncommon sources in order to break out of the box.

Challenge Yourself More Often, And Create Artwork Every Day

Whatever it is that you decide to do, it's good to challenge yourself more often and get out of your comfort zone. If you don't, you may never discover something that you love doing, or perhaps even worse, never learn a whole lot about yourself.

The post Challenge Yourself More Often By Creating Artwork Every Day appeared first on Smashing Magazine.

07/05/2017   Smashing Magazine

   

What could be so difficult about designing a decent date picker? Basically, we just need an input field and an icon that represents a calendar clearly enough, and once the user clicks on that icon, we pop up a little overlay with the days lined up in rows. Right?

Designing The Perfect Date And Time Picker

Well, not every date picker fits every interface, just like not every interface actually needs a date picker. But when a date picker is required, quite often it's just a bit too tedious and annoying to specify that one date, and too often it produces irrelevant results or even a zero-results page, although just a few minor refinements would make it much easier to use.

The post Designing The Perfect Date And Time Picker appeared first on Smashing Magazine.

07/04/2017   Smashing Magazine

   

What comes to your mind when you hear the word “business”? White collars, cubicle offices, and encrusted habits? Not when you ask the folks at Vexels. Their Business Concept icon set manages to break free from the conceptions that are stuck in our heads and paints a fresh and creative picture instead. One that captures the liveliness of today’s startup world. And, well, we are very happy to present you the icons as a freebie.

Business Concept Icons

Colorful, friendly, but nonetheless straight to the point, that’s Vexels’ take on the business subject. There are 28 icons in the set in total, depicting concepts that help a business thrive — from vision and strategy to teamwork and competition. All icons are available in AI, EPS, SVG, PSD, and PNG formats.

The post Free Business Icons For The Startup World (28 Icons, 5 Formats) appeared first on Smashing Magazine.

07/03/2017   Smashing Magazine

   

Apple's Worldwide Developer Conference (WWDC) has been running for 34 years, which is 6 years longer than The Simpsons. Like Netflix, Apple likes to drop a whole season at once. When it does, I devote that week and the following weekend to binge-watching as many videos as I can and trying out some of the new technology, especially as it relates to iOS.

From Apple's WWDC 2017 Highlights For Web Developers

In the past 10 years, a big portion of these conferences has been devoted to iOS. This is where we learned about the first iPhone SDK, notifications, share and today widgets, the iOS 7 redesign, iPad multitasking, and other iOS milestones. I was genuinely surprised with some of the announcements this year.

The post Apple’s WWDC 2017 Highlights For iOS Developers appeared first on Smashing Magazine.

06/30/2017   Smashing Magazine

   

July is almost here, and that means, well, new wallpapers. It’s been nine years already since we embarked on this mission to welcome the new month with a fresh batch of desktop eye candy, with wallpapers that are a bit more distinctive as the usual crowd. And it wasn’t any different this time around.

Desktop Wallpaper Calendars July 2017

Bound to spark new ideas, artists and designers from across the globe once again challenged their creative skills and created a lovely collection of wallpapers for July 2017. All of them come in two versions — with and without a calendar — and can be downloaded for free. Now you only need to decide which one will make it to your desktop. Enjoy!

The post Starry Summer Nights, Unexplored Worlds, And… Ice Cream! (July 2017 Wallpapers) appeared first on Smashing Magazine.

06/30/2017   Smashing Magazine

   

This week, we’ll explore some rather new concepts: What happens if we apply artificial intelligence to text software, for example? And why would a phone manufacturer want its business model to be stolen by competitors?

The post Web Development Reading List #187: Webpack 3, Assisted Writing, And Automated Chrome Testing appeared first on Smashing Magazine.

06/29/2017   Smashing Magazine

   

How do you keep a team engaged? How do you make sure the team gets up to date with everything that’s being released? How often do the team members talk to each other face to face? Do they have enough support to finish their tasks or to pursue their growth?

How To Make Use Of Weekly Design Meetings

These are questions that popped in my head once a design team started to grow quickly in front of my eyes. As a team leader, I was faced with a new challenge: making sure there’s enough recurrence in my team’s communication to facilitate the team’s development. Enter the weekly design meetings.

The post How To Make Use Of Weekly Design Meetings appeared first on Smashing Magazine.

06/27/2017   WebAppers

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As a web designer, you should also devote yourself to managing the accounting affairs of your business.  You may feel that you’re in a strange territory. You may or may not be a “numbers person”. But, there are various tasks that you need to do. For example, submitting quotations and invoices. You might also have […]

The post Time Tracking And Invoicing Apps To Boost Your Productivity appeared first on WebAppers.

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06/26/2017   Smashing Magazine

   

Lettering and calligraphy are quickly becoming desired skills in a designer's toolbox. Designers such as Marian Bantjes, Jessica Hische, Sean Wes and Martina Flor, just to name a few, have become not only an inspiration to the rest of us, but also a standard.

Left-Handed Brush Lettering: How To Get Started

Their work is not only client-based; they have become their own brand by providing products to their followers as well. Other designers have followed suit, and now it would seem that lettering and calligraphy are everywhere.

The post Left-Handed Brush Lettering: How To Get Started appeared first on Smashing Magazine.