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Smashing Conf Barcelona 2016

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Category: Coding

This extended category features articles on client-side and server-side programming languages, tools, frameworks and libraries, as well as back-end issues. Experts and professionals reveal their coding tips, tricks and ideas. Curated by Dudley Storey and Rey Bango.
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Sponsored Post S(GH)PA: The Single-Page App Hack For GitHub Pages

For some time now, I’ve wanted the ability to route paths for a GitHub Pages website to its index.html for handling as a single-page app (SPA). This is table-stakes because such apps require all requests to be routed to one HTML file, unless you want to copy the same file across all of your routes every time you make a change to the project. Currently, GitHub Pages doesn’t offer a route-handling solution; the Pages system is intended to be a flat, simple mechanism for serving basic project content.

The Single-Page App Hack For GitHub Pages

In case you weren’t aware, GitHub does provide one morsel of customization for your project website: the ability to add a 404.html file and have it served as your custom error page. I took a first stab at an SPA hack simply by duplicating my index.html file and renaming the copy to 404.html.

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A Glimpse Into The Future With React Native For Web

One of the hardest decisions to make when starting a new app is which platforms to target. A mobile app gives you more control and better performance but isn’t as universal as the web. If you’re making a mobile app, can you afford to support both iOS and Android?

A Glimpse Into The Future With React Native For Web

What about trying to build a mobile app and a responsive web app? Ultimately, the best experience for your customers is for your app to work everywhere, but the development and maintenance costs of that can be prohibitive.

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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.

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Sponsored Post How To Create A Responsive 8-Bit Drum Machine Using Web Audio, SVG And Multitouch

In this little tutorial, I’m going to share some tips I recently followed to build a fun demo for the Build 2016 conference. The idea was to create a small 8-bit drum machine, with 8-bit sounds and graphics:

How To Create A Responsive 8-Bit Drum Machine Using Web Audio, SVG And Multitouch

This small web app was used in one of our demos to illustrate how you can easily provide a temporary offline experience when your hosted web app loses Internet connectivity. It works in all desktop browsers as well as on all smartphones (iOS, Android and Windows Mobile).

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Using A Static Site Generator At Scale: Lessons Learned

Static site generators are pretty en vogue nowadays. It is as if developers around the world are suddenly realizing that, for most websites, a simple build process is easy enough to render the last 20 years of content management systems useless. All right, that’s a bit over the top. But for the average website without many moving parts, it’s pretty close!

Using A Static Site Generator At Scale: Lessons Learned

However, does that hold true for websites bigger than your humble technology blog? How do static site generators behave when the number of pages exceeds the average portfolio website and runs up into the thousands? Or when development is a team effort? Or when people of different technical backgrounds are involved? This is the story of how we managed to bring roughly 2000 pages and 40 authors onto a technology stack made for hackers.

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The Illusion Of Life: An SVG Animation Case Study

With flat design becoming the ever visible trend of 2016, it’s clear why there’s been a resurgence in SVG usage. The benefits are many: resolution-independence, cross-browser compatibility and accessible DOM nodes. In this article, we’ll take a look at how we can use SVGs to create seemingly complex animations from simple illustrations.

The Illusion Of Life: An SVG Animation Case Study

This project began as a simple thought experiment: How far can we push SVG animation? At the time, designer Chris Halaska and I were colleagues working on an illustration-heavy campaign website. While aesthetically pleasing, the designs lacked the required “oomph” that all creatives search for.

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Making And Maintaining Atomic Design Systems With Pattern Lab 2

The benefits of UI design systems are now well known. They lead to more cohesive, consistent user experiences. They speed up your team’s workflow, allowing you to launch more stuff while saving huge amounts of time and money in the process. They establish a common vocabulary between disciplines, resulting in a more collaborative and constructive workflow.

Making And Maintaining Atomic Design Systems With Pattern Lab 2

They make browser, device, performance, and accessibility testing easier. And they serve as a solid foundation to build upon over time, helping your organization to more easily adapt to the ever-shifting web landscape. This article provides a detailed guide to building and maintaining atomic design systems with Pattern Lab 2.

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Sponsored Post Building A Cross-Platform WebGL Game With Babylon.js

Here’s a challenge for you: what about building a 3D game over the weekend? Babylon.js is a JavaScript framework for building 3D games with HTML5, WebGL and Web Audio, built by yours truly and the Babylon.js team. To celebrate the new version 2.3 of the library, we decided to build a new demo named "Sponza" to highlight what can be done with the WebGL engine and HTML5 when it comes to building great games nowadays.

Sponza Demo, built with Babylon.js and WebGL

The idea was to create a consistent, similar, if not identical, experience on all WebGL supported platforms and to try to reach native apps’ features. In this article, I'll explain how it all works together, along with the various challenges we’ve faced and the lessons we've learned while building it.

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