Seven Kotlin Libraries for Android Developers

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After the official launch of Kotlin by Google for Android app development, many developers have taken a keen interest in the language. According to researchers, Kotlin has become so popular that it has replaced the developer’s number one choice, Java, and is surely the future of Android apps. 

In this article, we’ll discuss major Kotlin libraries and help developers choose the right one for their needs.

Create Your First Angular Schematics

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I experienced a lot of pain points when I first started using Angular; I needed to open up so many files just to create a simple Hello World app. Luckily, Angular CLI took away a lot of my initial troubles. 

Angular CLI is a command-line tool that creates a simple Angular project. Angular CLI asks you questions about your app and, based on your answers, it determines the routing and the stylesheet format. How does Angular CLI do this? It uses Schematics. 

Selenium Python

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Selenium Python

Today, companies and applications are widely structured on web-based systems. The information that these systems contain is dense and requires extensive processing. Various tasks are repeated, tedious and take significant amounts of time and money. These repetitive tasks can be taken care of by Web Automation. The common tasks in web automation include form filling, screen scraping, data collection, transferring between applications, website testing, and generating periodic reports.

Web Automation Tool

There are many tools available for automation. A variety of skill levels are required for the automation tool. A non-programmer might simply have to record some test scripts; whereas programmers and advanced testers need more advanced libraries and scripts.

Installing ASP.NET Core 3.0 on RaspberryPi and Windows 10 IoT Core

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ASP.NET Core 3.0 will run on RaspberryPi and other boards out of the box. There are also SDK binaries available in .NET Core 3.0 download page. Having a full SDK available on RaspberryPi means that we can now build applications on board. Let’s see how it works.

Installing .NET Core 3.0 on a RaspberryPi

For this tutorial, I’m going to use a RaspberryPi 2 with the latest Windows 10 IoT Core. In order to download .NET Core 3.0, follow these next steps: 

Developer Tips: C# Selenium with MSTest Basics

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Selenium is a great tool for testing your user interface (UI). There are plenty of great tutorials on the web that I encourage you to review. This article is going to cover some basic setup steps and a simple .NET Core 2.1 code sample.

Browser Settings

  1. Assumptions: Chrome/Firefox (64-bit)/IE11/Edge (Win10 or higher).
  2. Most of these settings have to be done for IE11 as the modern browsers do this by default or the alternative usually still works.
    • Always open pop-ups in a new tab.
    • Turn off pop-up blockers.
    • IE11: Enable Protected Mode for all security zones.
    • Disable save password prompts.
    • When prompted to AutoComplete, click "No".
    • Set zoom to 100%.
  3. Restart the browsers.

Windows Settings

  1. Disable the logon screen save while you’re sitting back watching your automated tests run the screen saver does not kick on ruining your test.
  2. Restart the computer.

Set the WebDrivers

  1. IE 11.
  2. 64 bit should also work, but some consultants I worked with recommended the 32 bit over 64 bit as of 12/2018.
    • Extract "IEDriverServer.exe" from the zip to c:\Selenium.WebDrivers
  3. Microsoft Edge (EdgeHtml).
    • https://developer.microsoft.com/en-us/microsoft-edge/tools/webdriver/
    • Edge version 18 or great, then run the following in command prompt as an administrator.
      • DISM.exe /Online /Add-Capability /CapabilityName:Microsoft.WebDriver~~~~0.0.1.0.
      • Edge version less than 18, then do the following.
    • Under "Downloads" > Microsoft Edge (EdgeHtml) > click the top Release.
      • Save "MicrosoftWebDriver.exe" to c:\Selenium.WebDrivers.
  4. Microsoft Edge (Chromium).
    1. Since this version is in Preview  I did not download and test but here are the steps.
    2. https://developer.microsoft.com/en-us/microsoft-edge/tools/webdriver/
    3. Under "Downloads" > Microsoft Edge (Chromium) > for the top Release click x64.
    4. Extract "msedgedriver.exe " from the zip to c:\Selenium.WebDrivers.
  5. Chrome.
    1. https://sites.google.com/a/chromium.org/chromedriver/
    2. Under "All versions available in Downloads" next to the "Latest stable release" click the ChromeDriver link > Click "chromedriver_win32.zip."
    3. Extract "chromedriver.exe" from the zip to c:\Selenium.WebDrivers.
  6. Firefox.
    1. https://github.com/mozilla/geckodriver/releases
    2. Under the latest release v#.##.# under "Assets" click the geckodriver-*-win64.zip.
    3. Extract "geckodriver.exe" from the zip to c:\Selenium.WebDrivers.

Create the Application

The full source code is in https://github.com/penblade/Tips/tree/master/Tips.Selenium.

ASP.NET Core Health Checks Quick Start

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ASP.NET Core comes with built-in support for health checks that allow us to monitor system health. It’s not about logging or advanced monitoring — it’s about giving quick information if the system is okay or not. This blog post shows how ASP.NET Core health checks work.

Health Checks at a Glance

A health check is a quick check for system health. It can be a simple yes-no style check, but it can also check multiple components. It’s like visiting a doctor for a regular checkup; the doctor performs a few tests and tells you if everything is okay or not. If something needs more attention, then there will be a follow-up appointment. If everything is fine, you’ll see the doctor again in the next six months or so. 

10 Powerful Node.JS Frameworks to accelerate the Web Development

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Node.js has several frameworks that make web app development more convenient and efficient. Let us have a look at some of the most powerful Node.js frameworks that can accelerate web app development for your 

Hapi.js 

Hapi.js is one of the most powerful frameworks of Node.js. It is feature-rich and powerful. It is used to build an application that interfaces with APIs and other software applications.

Three Ways to Define Functions in JavaScript

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Functions are one of the key components in programming. They are defined to perform a specific task and can be called again and again to execute that task. The main difference between functions in JavaScript and other programming languages is that in JavaScript, functions are first-class objects, which means that they behave like objects and can be assigned to variables, arrays, and other objects.

This post discusses three different ways to define functions:

Introduction to Django Views and Models

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Introduction

In this article, we will be taking a look at the views and models from the Controller and Model components of the MVC architecture. First, we will take a look at the way these are connected in a Django project to form a cohesive system. Next, we will see these components in more detail. And finally, we will take a look at how we can create object-oriented views (or class-based views) in a project.

Views and Models – The Connection

In order to understand the relationship between Django Views and Models, we need to have a clear understanding of the Model-View-Controller (MVC) design pattern. The MVC design pattern works by separating the presentation logic from the data and the controller component logic. The user initiates some activity through the presentation component, and the Controller makes the necessary computations or actions using the data from the Models component. Finally, the change in the state of the system due to the user’s actions on the presentation component is displayed to the user on the presentation component itself. The presentation component forms the View of the MVC design pattern. This should not be confused with the Django views.py files, as the views.py file functions actually form the controller component of the MVC design pattern.

Using Image Processing in Website Load Optimization – Automatically Generate CSS Sprites

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Image Processing For Web Site Load Optimization

Many times, we develop a website that has simple features; at first, everything looks solid, including the speed of loading pages. Over time, after additional features are added, this changes, and the site’s loading speed gets completely bogged down. 

We encountered this problem. Although we were using caching and CDN strategies to increase loading speed, users were still experiencing issues. As a result, we reduced the count of requests. Some of these are web-service calls that can be aggregated to one service call. Others are media that can be streamed or images that can be spirited with CSS sprites. In this article, we focus on reducing request calls by using CSS sprites.

New Features Of Angular 7

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Angular is a popular framework for developing mobile and web applications. The first version of Angular was released in 2012 by Google. Through the years, it has seen tremendous growth with every version enhancing performance and developer experience. In this article, we will discuss some of the powerful features of Angular 7.

New Features Of Angular 7

CLI Prompts

The CLI prompts in Angular 7 has been upgraded to v7.0.2 with several new features. Users will now be prompted when they type commands such as ng-new, ng-add, and @angular/material. This enables them to identify the in-built routing, SCSS support.

What Is New in .NET Core 3.0?

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After the recent arrival of Visual Studio 2019, Microsoft defined a large number of new highlights coming in .NET Core 3.0. .NET Core 3.0 won’t ship until later this year, but it’s accessible as a review in VS 2019, so designers can give it a shot (with a straightforward change).

The three primary features of .NET Core 3, Hunter, an executive of Microsoft stated, are:

Ktor: a Kotlin Web Framework

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Ktor is an asynchronous web framework written in and designed for Kotlin. Allowing the more impressive features of Kotlin, such as coroutines, to not only be used but supported. Typically, Spring is my go-to general framework, and usually what I use when I need to put a REST API together. However, after recently attending a London Kotlin meetup where there was a presentation on Ktor, I decided I’d try something new for once. That is how I ended up here, writing a blog post about Ktor. So, this post is a learning experience for both you and me. 

Implementation

Dependencies

buildscript {
  ext.kotlin_version = '1.3.41'
  ext.ktor_version = '1.2.2'

  repositories {
    mavenCentral()
  }
  dependencies {
    classpath "org.jetbrains.kotlin:kotlin-gradle-plugin:$kotlin_version"
  }
}

apply plugin: 'java'
apply plugin: 'kotlin'

// might not be needed but my build kept defaulting to Java 12
java {
  disableAutoTargetJvm()
}

// Ktor uses coroutines
kotlin {
  experimental {
    coroutines "enable"
  }
}

compileKotlin {
  kotlinOptions.jvmTarget = "1.8"
}
compileTestKotlin {
  kotlinOptions.jvmTarget = "1.8"
}

dependencies {
  // Kotlin stdlib + test dependencies

  // ktor dependencies
  compile "io.ktor:ktor-server-netty:$ktor_version"
  compile "io.ktor:ktor-jackson:$ktor_version"
  // logback for logging
  compile group: 'ch.qos.logback', name: 'logback-classic', version: '1.2.3'
  // kodein for dependency injection
  compile group: 'org.kodein.di', name: 'kodein-di-generic-jvm', version: '6.3.0'
}

Why Developers Love Visual Studio

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About a month ago, I was asked by a fellow developer why developers love Visual Studio and not any of the other IDEs like Visual Studio Code, WebStorm, or Rider? He mentioned that Visual Studio Code should be enough for anybody and added that Visual Studio has become bloated over the years of development.

While I do have copies of Visual Studio Code, WebStorm, and Rider in my possession, I somehow keep coming back to Visual Studio (currently 2019). Today, I wanted to analyze why developers (myself included) keep coming back to Visual Studio and share why developers love it so much.

Component Development With Storybook and KendoReact

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Storybook provides an environment for experimenting with UI components in isolation through a variety of different configurations. In this article, I’ll show you how to get started with Storybook, highlight a few add-ons, and showcase a Storybook built for KendoReact.

I’ve been working with Storybook for the past few months. I’ve found it to be an excellent environment to test UI components in an isolated manner. What exactly is Storybook? From Learn Storybook:

Learn What Schematics Are and How To Use Them With Your React Apps

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Developers love to create streamlined processes and programs that help us achieve efficiency. I’ve done a lot of live demos, and, over the years, I’ve noticed that my demos have a lot of instructions. Instead of writing everything down in scripts, I’ve started using automation tools powered by Schematics.

Schematics is a project that was released by the Angular team. In short, it provides an API that allows you to manipulate files and add new dependencies to any project that has apackage.json file. It can also work in non-Angular projects.

Three Ways to Combine Arrays in JavaScript

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1. Concat()

The most basic way is using the concat() method. It’s very simple; you just have to define two arrays and combine them as shown. (Remember the sequence matters.)

let firstArray = [1,2,3,'Shinchan']
let secondArray = ['Nohara',4,5,6]
let combinedArray1 = firstArray.concat(secondArray)
let combinedArray2 = secondArray.concat(firstArray)

console.log(`Combined Array1 = `+combinedArray1)
// Combined Array1 = 1,2,3,Shinchan,Nohara,4,5,6

console.log(`Combined Array2 = `+combinedArray2)
//Combined Array2= Nohara,4,5,6,1,2,3,Shinchan

When Django Is Better Than JavaScript Frameworks for Business Processes

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Django, one of the most widely-used web frameworks in the world, has many advantages over JavaScript-based frameworks due to the flexibility of Python. Although some people view Django as old technology compared to the hot JavaScript framework of the year, Django is mature, stable, easy to use, and better suited for a wide range of business tasks.

I’ll illustrate this point with components for a VR or 360 image management system based on Django that provides the following functionality:

How to Use GraphQL in React Using Hooks

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What are Hooks?

React Hooks, introduced in version 16.8.0, are reusable stateful logic functions. They aim to simplify the development of complex components by splitting them into small functional blocks that are easier to manage, test, and reuse.

Using hooks removes the need for many abstractions like Higher Order Components (HOC) and render props. They allow you to add functionality to the application without having to change the component hierarchy and or encapsulate components.

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