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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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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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The Search For The Holy Grail: How I Ended Up With Element Queries, And How You Can Use Them Today

For some time, we’ve run up against the limits of what CSS can do. Those who build responsive layouts will freely admit the frustrations and shortcomings of CSS that force us to reach for CSS preprocessors, plugins and other tools to help us write the styles that we’re unable to write with CSS alone. Even still, we run into limitations with what current tools help us accomplish.

The Search For The Holy Grail: How I Ended Up With Element Queries, And How You Can Use Them Today

Think for a moment of a physical structure. If you’re building a large edifice with weak material, a lot of external support is required to hold it together, and things have to be overbuilt to stay sturdy. When you’re building a website out of HTML, CSS and JavaScript, this external support might look like frameworks, plugins, preprocessors, transpilers, editing tools, package managers and build processes.

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Improving User Flow Through Page Transitions

Any time a user’s experience is interrupted, the chance of them leaving increases. Changing from one page to another will often cause this interruption by showing a white flash of no content, by taking too long to load or by otherwise taking the user out of the context they were in before the new page opened.

Improving User Flow Through Page Transitions

Transitions between pages can enhance the experience by retaining (or even improving) the user’s context, maintaining their attention, and providing visual continuity and positive feedback. At the same time, page transitions can also be aesthetically pleasing and fun and can reinforce branding when done well.

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