Author Archives: Stuart

meteor one javascript api for client and server

You’ve probably already heard about Meteor, it’s been around for a few years now and has a stable release (1.2) available. But if not…

In a nutshell – Meteor is a JavaScript framework which exposes an API for both client and server. So you can write your front-end and back-end all in JS. It’s built on Node.js and released under the MIT License.

Apart from allowing developers to write apps entirely in JS (well, through in some HTML and CSS for good measure), it also promotes a publish-subscribe pattern which means code changes can automatically be synchronized between server and all clients in real-time.

Check out the official Meteor website – it has great getting started guides. You could be running your first full app in about ten minutes!

Node.js openSSL and V8 security updates

Over the last few weeks several security updates have been released for Node.js.

OpenSSL – Various updates fix OpenSSL bugs and apply to most versions of Node.js from V0.10.

DoS – The next update fixes a DoS (denial of service) vulnerability for versions v0.12 to v5. An attacker could cause the HTTP Socket to shut down. This is critical severity. Reference: CVE-2015-8027.

V8 Out-of-bounds access – This bug is with the V8 engines JSON implementation. Under certain circumstances, the severity is rated as high.

Node.js recommend all users upgrade ASAP. If you’ve already got a version/upgrade since the 4th December 2015, you can relax. If not, you should arrange to upgrade soon.

The coolest JavaScript websites of 2013

Since our website was started, there’s been many great JavaScript related websites come and go.

We thought it would be nice to compile a list of the some of the best and coolest JavaScript website around today (I admit, most of these have been around for a while, but they are truly awesome).

JSFiddle
Probably one of the easiest ways to test out code with minimum effort.
1. Pick a JS Framework or extension.
2. Pick the load event.
3. Give it a name and description (if you want)
4. Use JavaScript or CoffeeScript.
5. Enter your HTML
6. Enter your JavaScript/CoffeeScript
7. Enter your CSS
8. Run it, save it, test it, play with it.
9. Enjoy.

jsfiddle

Visit JSFiddle and try it out.

JS Beautifier
Got some unformatted JavaScript code (or HTML)? use this free on-line service to make your code beautiful.
You can also get the source-code under MIT, or get an extension for your browser or IDE.

Simply paste your ugly code into the website, pick your preferred settings (indentation for example) and hit the button. Lovely code will soon appear.

jsbeautifier

Visit JSBeautifier and try it out.

JS Lint

Not sure if your JavaScript code is written well? need a second opinion? use JSLint. It’s a free on-line service where you paste in your code, pick from a bunch of settings and submit.
JSLint will go through your code, line by line, giving you an in-depth analysis of any potential problems.

It’s known as the “JavaScript code quality tool” for a good reason. It really can be very useful.

jslint

Visit JSLint and try it out.

Look out for the second instalment…

Building Mobile Apps with Jo

If, like me, you prefer to build your applications using HTML / JavaScript and CSS, then the Jo HTML5 Mobile App Framework could be your choice in the future.

Jo is a relatively new framework which was first released in June 2010 (version 0.0.1). In November 2010 they released version 0.3.0.

So what is Jo?

Jo is a JavaScript User Interface framework using CSS3 for mobile applications. It’s compatible with PhoneGap (popular framework for building native iOS, Android, Symbian and Blackberry applications using HTML and JavaScript).

Using Jo and PhoneGap, you can create native iPhone/Android/Symbian applications which are both lightweight and responsive as well as pretty. Jo currently supports the follow platforms – webOS, iOS, Android, Symbian, Safari and Chrome.

Once I’ve had a chance to really play with this, I’ll hopefully post up some tutorials. In the meantime, here are some handy references.

I think it looks great, what do you guys think?

Serious Flash Alternative using CSS3?

Sencha Animator

Although Adode Flash has improved performance-wise (arguably) recently and more people are upgrading to more powerful systems (desktops, laptops, notebooks, netbooks, tablets and other mobile web hardware) – still flash cannot offer what the world has been looking for. That is – even better performance cross-platform, more openness and better security (to name a just a few). Obviously the blanket ban flash has been given from some Apple products (think Iphone/Ipad) is not helping.

For the past couple of years, web technology has exploded in terms of what can be achieved using JavaScript. Things have also moved forward with HTML and CSS. The terms used to describe these recent improvements are HTML5.

Apple has mentioned many times that flash is not needed and that “everything that can be done in Flash, can be done using HTML5” (that is – HTML, JavaScript, CSS and perhaps Canvas). They are not the first to say this (Apple usually pick-up on what other already know!).

With the Iphone and Ipad selling like hotcakes, web application providers previously using Flash (or considering using it) need to have a serious think about the user reach. They could do the old-fashion thing – build a Flash web application and an alternative HTML 4 one. Or they could build one in HTML 5. Now that’s a hard one!

There are various JavaScript libraries out there with some great UI. But one of the newest ones using the very latest technologies comes from the team that brought us EXT JS (now run by Sencha). It’s called Sencha Animator. Is Sencha Animator a serious flash alternative?

Sencha Animator comes as a desktop application used to create rich HTML5 animation. It’s currently in its infancy but could have real potential. There is one drawback at this point-in-time however; it requires a Webkit browser to work. This means it will work in Google Chrome, Apple Safari, Iphone, Ipad, Blackberry torch, Google Android and other Webkit based browsers. But it will not fully work in IE, Opera or Firefox. At least not until the CSS3 is fully supported (IE 9 claims support).

At this time, many of the CSS3 techniques used by Sencha Animator are Webkit only (i.e. it has things like: -webkit-text-fill-color and -webkit-transform).

Sooner or later all major browsers should support these… but just not yet.