Angular 2 — Getting Started Guide for Beginners

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For about half a year, I’ve been organizing a local Meetup group around Software Craftsmanship. I recently also published a video course on “Learning Angular 2 Directives” and given that Angular 2 finally released RC1, I decided to organize a Meetup session to introduce Angular 2 to our members.     

Click to get access to the slides   


This article is for those of you who are new to Angular 2 or even to web development in general. Here, I’m going to give you a good overview of what Angular 2 is all about, highlighting some of the main concepts behind. The idea is to give you a good starting point.

A Look at Two Static Website Generators—Hugo and Jekyll

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Today, I had to quickly assemble a wiki/blog website for our family temple back in India. At first, I considered doing my traditional option to leverage WordPress, but then I thought of all the complexities of setting up a MySQL database, creating and registering the site with WP Jetpack, etc.

I wanted something quick, easy to maintain and something that I can hand over to someone else for maintaining. Most software developers are used to Git for source control, and if there was a way to keep the source files in a Git, then this opens up the possibility of merely giving the end-user the access to the repository. With that, they can then either maintain it in the long run or branch it into their own copy. Spending a bit of time researching my options, I came across a suite of tools that allows you to generate static-blogs and wiki. Out of the dozen or so options, I decided to explore the one with the most traffic (Jekyll) and one that is ranking fourth but built on GoLang (Hugo).

Healthcare and Hackers

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At first, the typical criminal was a scary guy with a big gun who robbed banks and random victims in dark alleys. Then there were the black hat hackers capable of stealing money and personal information from financial organizations and countless people in the blink of an eye, without even leaving their homes. The internet has brought equality: it doesn’t matter if you are an investment banker in New York or the typical working-class family in the midwest, you run into the same risks of being hijacked by stealth criminals who hide behind their computers all over the world.  

As if that wasn’t enough to scare you, the latest trend in cyber threats is even more serious, because it doesn’t only threaten your money, but your very health—possibly even your life.

Advanced CSS Tricks and Techniques

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As time goes by, CSS is becoming more and more powerful. Nowadays, it allows a lot of possibilities. This article is a compilation of fresh, advanced tips and techniques to master your CSS skills.   

Warning: Some techniques contained in this article are still considered as experimental. Make sure to check the browser compatibility before you implement them on a production site.

Google AMP: Replacing Embedded Content

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Google’s new initiative called Google AMP (Accelerated Mobile Pages) focuses on stripping out extra fluff around your web pages to create mobile versions. Each AMP page should load 2x-4x faster than normal.

Since I started this particular mission to convert my content pages over to AMP (here, here, and here), I’ve been watching my site through the Google Search Console (Search Appearance -> Accelerated Mobile Pages) to see if everything is proceeding as planned.

6 Crucial Mistakes to Avoid as a Professional Web Designer

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The world changed completely when the Internet was born. A business that used to spend millions of dollars on TV advertisements and newspaper ads had to realize the change the Internet brought. They had to change the directions of their investments and put their money in a place that had more potential to bring more customers. Soon, it became compulsory for businesses to have an online identity if they were to compete and be known in the world. A business is now represented most effectively with a website.

The people who give businesses their online identity are web designers. The online image of a business now relies quite a bit on these professionals—even an established brand could ruin its image by having a bad website. The true representation of a business in the form of a website depends on how a designer has understood the industry, the idea of business, its mission and how it has decided to deliver it. When you work as a website designer, here are the top six mistakes that you must avoid:

Adding Authentication to a Native Desktop C# App with JWTs

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There are different frameworks for building native desktop C# apps. We have WPF (Windows Presentation Foundation) and Universal Windows. Universal Windows apps enable you to target every Windows device in one solution. You develop once, share most of your code, and deploy on Windows, Windows Phone, or Xbox. It reduces the effort needed in building and maintaining an app for each type of device.

The limitation of Universal Windows right now is that it only works from Windows 8 and above. Meanwhile, WPF has been around for a very long time. It was introduced with .NET Framework 3.0. It uses Direct3D rendering, which employs graphics cards to render the output on the screen. Thus, the drawing in the form will be smooth and there is also a chance to utilize the hardware capabilities installed in your machine. WPF controls are actually drawn over the screen, hence you can totally customize controls and modify their behavior when required.

Getting Started With Angular 2.0 RC1

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A few months ago, I wrote a tutorial on Getting Started with Angular 2. That tutorial was based on Angular 2.0.0 Beta 9. Rather than simply updating that tutorial and blog post for 2.0.0 RC1, I decided to create a new version for posterity’s sake. The 2.0 Beta 9 version will remain on my blog and I’ve tagged the source on GitHub. This is an updated version of Getting Started with Angular 2, complete with the largely undocumented component router, and lazy-loaded components.

If you’d just like to see what’s changed since the last release of this tutorial, you can view the pull request on GitHub. Note that I did sync my angular2-tutorial project with angular2-seed. This made it fairly easy to upgrade, believe it or not. My upgrade notes are in a gist. The best diff to read to see what changed is likely the diff of this tutorial.

The Most Important Thing When Picking HTTP Status Codes

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Every couple of months, I’m in a meeting where a couple of developers start arguing about which HTTP status codes to use in their RESTful API or decide not to use HTTP status codes at all and instead layer their own error-code system on top of HTTP.

In my experience, HTTP status codes are more than adequate for communicating from servers to clients. Furthermore, it’s preferable to stick with this standard because that’s what most client- and server-side HTTP libraries are used to dealing with.

A Simple TDD Environment in Haskell

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I recently implemented the bowling kata in Haskell. In the process, I found out how set up my environment to comfortably do Test Driven Development. Hopefully, others might find this post helpful to begin their journey with the language. I used the following components:

  • Haskell installation: Haskell Platform. This also gives you GHCi which you can use as an interactive environment and type inspector.
  • IDE: Any editor would suffice, but I used Visual Studio Code as they have an extension for Haskell that gave me some basic IntelliSense features.
  • Test libraries: Hspec, which is based on RSpec. This can be installed using Haskell’s package manager, cabal, from the command line with cabal install hspec.
  • Helper libraries: Printf for colourful command line output.

Using the example from Hspec’s documentation, I began with this structure for my code:

Changes With the Drupal Association

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The Drupal community is special because of its culture of adapting to change, determination and passion, as well as its fun and friendship. It is a combination that is hard to come by, even in the open source world. Our culture enabled us to work through long, but ground-breaking release cycles, which also prompted us to celebrate the release of Drupal 8 with 240 parties around the world.

Throughout Drupal’s 15 years history, that culture has served us really well. As the larger industry around us continues to change—see my DrupalCon New Orleans keynote for recent examples—we have been able to evolve Drupal accordingly. Drupal has not only survived massive changes in our industry; it has also helped drive them. Very few open source projects are 15 years old and still gaining momentum.

PowerShell Profile Shortcuts

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Since I have been using the MEAN stack and node quite a bit lately, I have found myself using the command line all the time. Not just in using node and git, but also to create files (Touch), launch my editor (code or subl), and work with MongoDB (Mongo). My command line of choice for my Windows machines is cmder. I will make another post explaining why I like it, but in this post, I wanted to show you just a few of the things I’ve added to make life easier from the command line.

First, cmder uses conemu, which is not a shell but adds features to the shell you prefer to use—in this case, PowerShell. The small additions to my profile that I am going to show you will work with PowerShell and so, in essence, with cmder.

Client Side Exporting in Highchart

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In this post we will discuss how we can enable client-side exporting in HighChart. Normally, the data of your chart is sent to the external server here. But if your product is already in the production environment, your clients will agree with the idea of sending their data to any third party server. Am I right? To overcome this, HighChart has given an option called offline-exporting. We will discuss that here.

For starters, there is a demo here.

Front-End First Development?

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Whenever a new product or new feature implementation is ahead of us, there are many ways to approach the implementation phase. Besides choosing the software development framework such as SCRUM or Kanban, we also need to figure out from what angle do we approach the implementation itself, the order of epics, stories, and tasks.

This largely depends on a few things, such as operational capacity (team size, project budget, required skillsets, etc) and type of project, but also with respect to product and stakeholders. For example, we may not have the budget for a large team, in which case things need to be done in a more sequential order. We must choose if we will develop the frontend of the app first or focus on back-end development.

Life of JavaScript Libraries in 2016

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Nowadays, following the trends of web development became the uneasy task. There are tons of libraries, and each of them intends to implement the latest features in the pursuit of developer’s attention. To make your life a little bit easier, we’ve gathered together info about the latest updates of known (or not so well-known) JavaScript libraries. This article does not claim to be the full overview of the recent tendencies, but still, we hope you’ll find it useful.

Here is the list of libraries for today:

Good Practices for Efficient and Maintainable CSS

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As time goes by and the CSS specification grows bigger, writing an efficient and maintainable stylesheet has become a bit trickier than before. Here’s a round-up of best practices, tools, and tips to produce super clean, optimized, and maintainable CSS files.

Always Create a Table of Contents

As CSS files are becoming bigger and bigger, the easiest way to quickly find what you’re looking for is to create a table of contents and organize your IDs and classes.

9 Tips for Writing Secure Applications in ASP.NET

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Security is one of the most important aspects of any application – and when we talk about security, particularly in ASP.NET applications, it is not limited to development. A secure app involves multiple layers of security in the configuration, framework, web server, database server, and more. In this post, we’ll take a look at the top nine tips for writing secure applications in ASP.NET.

Cross Site Scripting (XSS)

This vulnerability allows an attacker to inject some malicious code while entering data. It could be JavaScript code, VB script, or any other script code.By default, ASP.NET MVC validates the inputs and throws a server error in case of script. Say we put the script in the input form:

Raising Chatbots: Is the Solution Apparent?

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Imagine you have a young bright child (I’m sure those of you with children already do). You hope they will broaden their experience by talking to people and learning new things. They will learn quickly. And they can apply what they’ve learned to future conversations getting better and learning more all the time. How do you help them learn? What is the best way for them to gain the knowledge that will make them a better person. How do you help them grow into a person you can be proud of?

Perhaps you could go to the center of your city, to the municipal park. And just in case it wasn’t obvious from their childlike countenance you could pin a sign on your child saying something like “Gullible Innocent Being”. Then you instruct your child to talk with any and all the people that approach and of course you tell your child to learn what they teach you. Finally you set your child down on the bench where some other diverse people are gathered, then you leave. Perhaps you look back and see their smiling innocent face just before you turn the corner and leave the park. What could go wrong?

Javascript Callback Functions

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Lately, I had issues trying to understand callback functions. I didn’t quite get it how they work and how to use them in  Javascript code. Here I’ll try to explain them as simply as possible. I hope it helps someone.

Javascript Functions

In Javascript functions are objects, like strings, arrays, etc. So if it is an object, this means that you can pass wherever you want, as you would with every object. For example:

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