DIY Developer

Power tools, software, 3d printing


Animating Aurelia

Have you heard of Aurelia? It’s Rob Eisenberg’s new framework. If you travelled forward in time two years and wrote a framework based on cutting edge tech, Aurelia would be the result. Aurelia is built on technology so new that the standards haven’t been ratified yet. I’m talking ES6, ES7, transpiling, a proper module loader, lambda expressions (arrow functions), computed properties, and more.


Now let’s use this massively powerful framework to animate a few boxes.

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Developing for Screen Readers is a special kind of hell

Picture the scenario…. your manager asks you add support for assistive technologies to your shiny new SPA (Single-Page-App is a development pattern that can be roughly described as a highly responsive javascript explosion). Your client wants to implement the W3C-AA Accessibility Standard.

You are going to pull out your IDE, make a few tweaks to the app, and the screen reader will happily read your web application out to appreciative users.

After adding a few ARIA tags, you fire up a screen reader….

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Create a tag cloud using Jekyll

I’ve recently switched from Blogger to Github pages, and I’m using the very cool Jekyll app to manage my blog posts. For those that don’t know, Jekyll allows you to end your blog pages locally using Markup syntax, then it translates your post to HTML. From there, you commit it to a git repository.

One feature missing from Jekyll is Word Clouds. I will show you how to add one.

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Create a Single Page App in 2 Minutes using Ember App Kit

Single Pages Apps (SPAs) are the current flavour of the month. They have seemingly appeared from nowhere, but now it seems like every developer is talking about them. Wikipedia describes this pattern as follows:

A single-page application (SPA), also known as single-page interface (SPI), is a web application or web site that fits on a single web page with the goal of providing a more fluid user experience akin to a desktop application. In a SPA, either all necessary code – HTML, JavaScript, and CSS – is retrieved with a single page load, or the appropriate resources are dynamically loaded and added to the page as necessary, usually in response to user actions.

In my experience they offer some advantages over traditional apps:

  • Very responsive
  • Rapid development time
  • Data is usually provided via a REST API - making integration to other systems easy

along with some disadvantages:

  • Usually implemented with javascript (with all baggage it brings, such as horrendous function passing syntax everywhere)
  • Can be harder to debug - you can end up in dependency hell
  • Common tasks such as continuous integration is harder than with more mature patterns such as MVC (example: making javascript unit tests play nice with TFS).

The high responsiveness alone makes SPAs worth of investigating. Responsive web apps == happy users!

Now I’m going to show you how to build one.

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Fix Visual Studio taking a long time to load debug symbols

I lost a good couple of hours tracking this one down. If Visual Studio is taking a very long time to load debug symbols when debugging (think 5 minutes to 30 minutes), try this… Delete all break points (Debug - > Delete All Break Points). Sometimes something small like this can be a lot more frustrating than a big issue. Hopefully this saves someone from going crazy.