Archive for category: Web

Cache-busting HTML Pages

17 Feb
February 17, 2014

I ran into a scenario twice this week where I pushed updates to a site and it was important that the changes were reflected immediately. Most of the time it isn’t a big deal if a change takes an hour or so before someone sees them without a forced refresh (Shift + Refresh). Indeed, according to the Apache Caching Guide, “The default expiry period for cached entities is one hour.” This time, I was making a change, and then sending out an email to all our subscribers linking directly to the change. I only got the go-ahead to push the change live about 5 minutes before the email was supposed to be sent. On a final test of the email blast, I noticed the link went to the old version; the changes weren’t being shown until after I refreshed a few times. Read more →

Using Bower + Grunt in existing python projects

07 Jan
January 7, 2014

When I set out to integrate Bower and Grunt into our current Python projects I wasn’t looking to upset the balance, but instead improve the process for front-end development. Integrating these tools allows us to lighten our repository by moving third party dependencies to Bower, along with giving us easier access to build tools like Require.js and Sass. Ultimately these tools give us the ability to deploy optimized assets without the need to check them into git and manage changes to built files across branches. Read more →

CSS background-size and background-position

18 Dec
December 18, 2013

It feels like I come back to this awesome Pen at least once a month, so I wanted to share. It’s a great way to see how the different properties for background-size and background-position affect the image. At first, I went here to figure out which option it was that I wanted, now I use it to quickly illustrate the differences to others. Enjoy!

Default javascript object sorting across browsers

01 Nov
November 1, 2013

Today I was presented with puzzling issue that I had never encountered before. When accessing an item from a javascript object using underscore’s _.first() method I was getting two different items in Chrome and Firefox.

My object is an object with a string keys. The key is a numeric string (’01234′ ’12345′ etc) because javascript will trim off the leading zero if converted to a number.

Read more →

A Crack in the Armor

02 May
May 2, 2013

It’s been almost two months now since we went live with our first Magento Commerce site.

Over all, I think it has been a real success story. There have been a few bugs, and some customer inquiries, but not as many as I expect with the first implementation of a new technology.
We have been more flexible in addressing problems and implementing solutions since the rollout, and that looks to continue.

However, I seem to have found the first major flaw with the Magento framework.

Read more →

console.log(’8 Javascript Debugging Tips’);

21 Mar
March 21, 2013

The webkit developer tools are the single most helpful front-end development resource I have. I use them every day, and wanted to share a few tricks I use to track down bugs or unexpected behaviors in my javascript code. My browser of choice is Chrome,  so all examples and screenshots below will be pulled from the Chrome console.

First, if you’re still using Alerts to give yourself feedback, please stop. The unobtrusive console.log statement will give you feedback that can be much more descriptive, and sticks around for as long as you want it to. To get started, use the shortcut CMD+Option+J (Windows: CTRL+SHIFT+J) to pull up the Chrome console any time. Alternatively, you can right click the page and hit ‘Inspect Element’ to bring the panel up, then select the ‘Console’ tab.

Logging All HTTP Requests Automatically

Screenshot of the javascript console right-click options

Right click in the console to bring up these options

This one is simple, but can save a lot of manual logging, and potentially reveal some unwanted/unexpected/unnecessary network calls. You can right click in your Console to reveal the option to “Log XMLHttpRequests.” This will show you a twirl-down stack of calls that resulted in the sending, and finishing of an XMLHttpRequest (like a jQuery $.ajax() call). Read more →

Why the best tool for the job isn’t always the right tool for the job

09 Nov
November 9, 2012

We started our #hackaway with some lofty goals for hearquotes. I spent the day working with the team focused on developing the web application, and learned a lot in that 24 hours about javascript, web applications, my coworkers, and myself.

Early in the day, I made the decision to use Backbone to drive the web application. I knew that Ron, the other front end dev working with me, had some experience with Backbone, and I had been tinkering with it in a side project. There has been a really steep learning curve for me with backbone, and I still didn’t feel completely comfortable it, but felt like it was the best tool for the job. Plus, this was meant to be a day for learning, stepping out of my comfort zone, and working with a technology that I wasn’t necessarily familiar with, so I thought, “Let’s go for it.”

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Easy Python SOAP with SUDS, with a few Date/Time gotchas.

27 Sep
September 27, 2012

suds duckIn the world of web services, SOAP is a bit like the quip about the old Holy Roman Empire. It’s neither Simple nor an Object nor a Protocol (talk amongst yourselves). Actually though, the main thing is that it’s not all that simple. It’s just a teensy bit verbose and over-engineered for most uses. So in order to consume a partner’s SOAP web service with a minimum of overhead and teeth-gnashing, we use a very lightweight SOAP client called “suds”. In addition to its too-precious name, the other benefit of suds is that it is simple. To connect to a web service, you just do the following:

from suds.client import Client
url = 'http://localhost:3000/webservices/WebServiceTestThing?wsdl'
client = Client(url)

And you have a connection to the web service. It’s just that easy™. Read more →

Integrated Database Development with SQL Developer

25 Sep
September 25, 2012

SQL Developer is a free integrated development environment from Oracle.

Out of the box SQL Developer connects to Oracle databases. With a few clicks, and downloading of a jar files, SQL Developer can connect to MySQL,  Mircrosoft SQL Server, Sybase, Cloudscape, DB2, Firebird, Informix , PostgreSQL, and others. Read more →

Moving from ColdFusion to railo

22 Jun
June 22, 2012

Although ColdFusion is not our standard language when creating sites, we have often used it in the past to create small and easily configurable web pages.  These sites were all hosted through one hosting company and were serviceable in the early years of our company.  However, starting a year or so ago, we ran into a few issues with having our ColdFusion sites hosted at this particular company.

Read more →

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