Node.js articles

Beyond The Browser: From Web Apps To Desktop Apps




 


 

I started out as a web developer, and that’s now one part of what I do as a full-stack developer, but never had I imagined I’d create things for the desktop. I love the web. I love how altruistic our community is, how it embraces open-source, testing and pushing the envelope.

Beyond The Browser: From Web Apps To Desktop Apps

I love discovering beautiful websites and powerful apps. When I was first tasked with creating a desktop app, I was apprehensive and intimidated. It seemed like it would be difficult, or at least… different.

The post Beyond The Browser: From Web Apps To Desktop Apps appeared first on Smashing Magazine.

How To Develop An Interactive Command Line Application Using Node.js




 


 

Over the last five years, Node.js has helped to bring uniformity to software development. You can do anything in Node.js, whether it be front-end development, server-side scripting, cross-platform desktop applications, cross-platform mobile applications, Internet of Things, you name it. Writing command line tools has also become easier than ever before because of Node.js — not just any command line tools, but tools that are interactive, useful and less time-consuming to develop.

How To Develop An Interactive Command Line Application Using Node.js

If you are a front-end developer, then you must have heard of or worked on Gulp, Angular CLI, Cordova, Yeoman and others. Have you ever wondered how they work?

The post How To Develop An Interactive Command Line Application Using Node.js appeared first on Smashing Magazine.

How My API-Driven Website Helps Me Travel The World




 


 

Recently, I decided to rebuild my personal website, because it was six years old and looked — politely speaking — a little bit “outdated.” The goal was to include some information about myself, a blog area, a list of my recent side projects, and upcoming events.

How My API-Driven Website Helps Me Travel The World

As I do client work from time to time, there was one thing I didn’t want to deal with — databases! Previously, I built WordPress sites for everyone who wanted me to. The programming part was usually fun for me, but the releases, moving of databases to different environments, and actual publishing, were always annoying.

The post How My API-Driven Website Helps Me Travel The World appeared first on Smashing Magazine.

Next Generation Server Compression With Brotli




 


 

Chances are pretty good that you’ve worked with, or at least understand the concept of, server compression. By compressing website assets on the server prior to transferring them to the browser, we’ve been able to achieve substantial performance gains.

Next Generation Server Compression With Brotli

For quite some time, the venerable gzip algorithm has been the go-to solution for reducing the size of page assets. A new kid on the block has been gaining support in modern browsers, and its name is Brotli. In this article, you’ll get hands-on with Brotli by writing a Node.js-powered HTTP server that implements this new algorithm, and we’ll compare its performance to gzip.

The post Next Generation Server Compression With Brotli appeared first on Smashing Magazine.

Optimizing Critical-Path Performance With Express Server And Handlebars




 


 

Recently, I’ve been working on an isomorphic React website. This website was developed using React, running on an Express server. Everything was going well, but I still wasn’t satisfied with a load-blocking CSS bundle. So, I started to think about options for how to implement the critical-path technique on an Express server.

This article contains my notes about installing and configuring a critical-path performance optimization using Express and Handlebars. Throughout this article, I’ll be using Node.js and Express. Familiarity with them will help you understand the examples.

The post Optimizing Critical-Path Performance With Express Server And Handlebars appeared first on Smashing Magazine.

How To Harness The Machines: Being Productive With Task Runners


  

Task runners are the heroes (or villains, depending on your point of view) that quietly toil behind most web and mobile applications. Task runners provide value through the automation of numerous development tasks such as concatenating files, spinning up development servers and compiling code.

How To Harness The Machines: Being Productive With Task Runners

In this article, we’ll cover Grunt, Gulp, Webpack and npm scripts. We’ll also provide some examples of each one to get you started. Near the end, I’ll throw out some easy wins and tips for integrating ideas from this post into your application.

The post How To Harness The Machines: Being Productive With Task Runners appeared first on Smashing Magazine.

Building A Real-Time Retrospective Board With Video Chat


  

If you’ve ever worked in an agile environment, chances are you’ve had your share of “retrospectives” — meetings where people write what made them “glad,” “mad” or “sad” onto different-colored notes, post them onto a board, arrange them in groups and — most importantly — talk about them.

How To Build A Real-Time Retrospective Board With Video Chat

These meetings are straightforward, as long as everyone is in the same room. But if you’re working with a locally distributed team, things can get a bit tricky. Let’s address this by creating a virtual version of our board to allow team members in different locations to hold their retrospective just as if they were in the same room.

The post Building A Real-Time Retrospective Board With Video Chat appeared first on Smashing Magazine.

Server-Side Rendering With React, Node And Express


  

Web applications are everywhere. There is no official definition, but we’ve made the distinction: web applications are highly interactive, dynamic and performant, while websites are informational and less transient. This very rough categorization provides us with a starting point, from which to apply development and design patterns.

Server-Side Rendering With React, Node And Express

These patterns are often established through a different look at the mainstream techniques, a paradigm shift, convergence with an external concept, or just a better implementation. Universal web applications are one such pattern.

The post Server-Side Rendering With React, Node And Express appeared first on Smashing Magazine.

The Issue With Global Node Packages


  

Node.js brought about a great revolution for JavaScript developers by allowing us to write code that runs directly on our machines; our skills were no longer limited to browsers alone. At first, many of us simply saw this as a way to write our application servers without needing to learn another language, but we all quickly caught on to the fact that we could also write tools for the command line that automate a lot of things in our development cycles.

The Issue With Global Node Packages

npm, which is bundled with Node.js, made this even easier by giving us quick and easy access to tools that others have created, which we install on our machines to access from wherever we are in our system. JavaScript was finally a “real” programming language. But with these new capabilities came a lot of best practices that needed to be discovered, because there were many new scenarios that wouldn’t be found in the browser. In particular, I’d like to discuss a practice that has been on my mind a lot lately that I think much of the community needs to evaluate.

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