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Smashing Conf Barcelona

You know, we use ad-blockers as well. We gotta keep those servers running though. Did you know that we publish useful books and run friendly conferences — crafted for pros like yourself? E.g. our upcoming SmashingConf Barcelona, dedicated to smart front-end techniques and design patterns.

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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Building A Real-Time Retrospective Board With Video Chat

If you’ve ever worked in an agile environment, chances are you’ve had your share of “retrospectives” — meetings where people write what made them “glad,” “mad” or “sad” onto different-colored notes, post them onto a board, arrange them in groups and — most importantly — talk about them.

How To Build A Real-Time Retrospective Board With Video Chat

These meetings are straightforward, as long as everyone is in the same room. But if you’re working with a locally distributed team, things can get a bit tricky. Let’s address this by creating a virtual version of our board to allow team members in different locations to hold their retrospective just as if they were in the same room.

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React Server Side Rendering With Node And Express

Web applications are everywhere. There is no official definition, but we’ve made the distinction: web applications are highly interactive, dynamic and performant, while websites are informational and less transient. This very rough categorization provides us with a starting point, from which to apply development and design patterns.

Server-Side Rendering With React, Node And Express

These patterns are often established through a different look at the mainstream techniques, a paradigm shift, convergence with an external concept, or just a better implementation. Universal web applications are one such pattern.

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Preload: What Is It Good For?

Preload (spec) is a new web standard aimed at improving performance and providing more granular loading control to web developers. It gives developers the ability to define custom loading logic without suffering the performance penalty that script-based resource loaders incur.

Preload: What is it good for?

A few weeks ago, I shipped preload support in Chrome Canary, and barring unexpected bugs it will hit Chrome stable in mid-April. But what is that preload thing? What does it do? And how can it help you?

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Simple Augmented Reality With OpenCV, Three.js And WebSockets

Augmented reality is generally considered to be very hard to create. However, it's possible to make visually impressive projects using just open source libraries. In this tutorial we'll make use of OpenCV in Python to detect circle-shaped objects in a webcam stream and replace them with 3D Earth in Three.js in a browser window while using WebSockets to join this all together.

Simple Augmented Reality With OpenCV and Three.js

We want to strictly separate front-end and back-end in order to make it reusable. In a real-world application we could write the front-end in Unity, Unreal Engine or Blender, for example, to make it look really nice. The browser front-end is the easiest to implement and should work on nearly every possible configuration.

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Quick Tips The Flexbox Reading List: Techniques And Tools

Flexbox gives us a new kind of control over our layouts, making coding challenges that were hard or impossible to solve with CSS alone straightforward and intuitive. It provides us with the means to build grids that are flexible and aware of dynamic content, and thus, give us the freedom to focus on the creation process instead of hacking our way towards a layout.

Using Flexbox Today

To give you a head start into Flexbox and provide you with ideas on how to use it to master common coding challenges, we have collected tips, tricks, and tools that help you get the most out of its power already today. The list is by no means complete but includes the resources which we found helpful and useful.

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Content Modeling With Jekyll

It’s not exactly a new subject, but lately I’ve had reason to revisit the skill of content modeling in my team’s work. Our experience has reached a point where the limitations of how we practice are starting to become clear. Our most common issue is that people tend to tie themselves and their mental models to a chosen platform and its conventions.

Content Modeling With Jekyll

Instead of teaching people how to model content, we end up teaching them how to model content in Drupal, or how to model content in WordPress. But I’d prefer that we approach it from a focus on the best interests of users, regardless of which platform said content will end up in.

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High-Impact, Minimal-Effort Cross-Browser Testing

Cross-browser testing is time-consuming and laborious. This, in turn, makes it expensive and prone to human error… so, naturally, we want to do as little of it as possible. This is not a statement we should be ashamed of. Developers are lazy by nature: adhering to the DRY principle, writing scripts to automate things we’d otherwise have to do by hand, making use of third-party libraries — being lazy is what makes us good developers.

High-Impact, Minimal-Effort Cross-Browser Testing

The traditional approach to cross-browser testing doesn’t align well with these ideals. Either you make a half-hearted attempt at manual testing or you expend a lot of effort on doing it “properly”: testing in all of the major browsers used by your audience, gradually moving to older or more obscure browsers in order to say you’ve tested them.

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Getting Ready For HTTP2: A Guide For Web Designers And Developers

The Hypertext Transfer Protocol (HTTP) is the protocol that governs the connection between your server and the browsers of your website’s visitors. For the first time since 1999, we have a new version of this protocol, and it promises far faster websites for everyone.

Getting Ready For HTTP/2: A Guide For Web Designers And Developers

In this article, we’ll look at the basics of HTTP/2 as they apply to web designers and developers. I’ll explain some of the key features of the new protocol, look at browser and server compatibility, and detail the things you might need to think about as we see more adoption of HTTP/2. By reading this article, you will get an overview of what to consider changing in your workflow in the short and long term. I’ll also include plenty of resources if you want to dig further into the issues raised.

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Hardware Hacking With JavaScript

The Internet of Things (IoT) has enabled the Internet to reach beyond the browser. Made up of electronically networked devices, these “things” are able to interact with the physical world via sensors that feed data they capture back into their ecosystems.

Hardware Hacking With JavaScript

Currently, these devices are mostly products, designed with a specific purpose in mind, a typical example being a fitness band that tracks activity. It reports the information gathered to an app, which is then able to analyze the data and offer suggestions and motivation to push the user further.

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Automatically Art-Directed Responsive Images? Here You Go.

In many projects, responsive images aren’t a technical issue but a strategic concern. Delivering different images to different screens is technically possible with srcset and sizes and <picture> element and Picturefill (or a similar) polyfill; but all of those variants of images have to be created, adjusted and baked into the logic of the existing CMS. And that's not easy.

Smartcrop.js

On top of that, responsive images markup has to be generated and added into HTML as well, and if a new image variant comes into play at some point (e.g. a file format like WebP or a large landscape/portrait variant), the markup has to be updated. The amount of extra work required often causes trouble — so if you have a perfect product shot, you need to either manually create variants for mobile and portrait and landscape and larger views, or build plugins and extensions to somehow automate the process.

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JavaScript AI For An HTML Sliding Tiles Puzzle

Sam Loyd (1841–1911), American chess player and puzzle maker, created the sliding tiles puzzle in the 1870s. The puzzle is represented by an m×n grid, where m is number of columns and n is number of rows, and each cell can be any imaginable value (number, letter, image, and so on.)

JavaScript AI For An HTML Sliding Tiles Puzzle

The purpose of the puzzle is to rearrange the initial configuration of the tiles to match another configuration known as the goal configuration. The rearrangement task is achieved by swapping the empty tile with some other tile in all possible directions (up, down, left, and right).

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Writing Next Generation Reusable JavaScript Modules in ECMAScript 6

Are you excited to take advantage of new JavaScript language features but not sure where to start, or how? You're not alone! I've spent the better part of the last year and a half trying to ease this pain. During that time there have been some amazing quantum leaps in JavaScript tooling.

Writing Next Generation Reusable JavaScript Modules

These leaps have made it possible for you and me to dive head first into writing fully ES6 modules, without compromising on the essentials like testing, linting and (most importantly) the ability for others to easily consume what we write.

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