ngokevin

Half a year ago, I built an interactive photocentric storybook as a gift to my girlfriend for our anniversary. It binds photos, writing, music, and animation together into an experential walk down memory lane. I named it Adelheid, a long-form version of my girlfriend's name. And it took me about a month of my after-work free time whenever she wasn't around. Adelheid is an amalgamation of my thoughts as it molds my joy of photography, writing, and web development into an elegantly-bound package.

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At Mozilla Festival 2014, I facilitated a session on Pushing Hybrid Mobile Apps to the Forefront. Before, I had been building a poker app to keep track of my poker winning statistics, record notes on opponents, and crunch poker math. I used the web as a platform, but having an iPhone, wanted this app to be on iOS. Thus, the solution was hybrid mobile apps, apps written in HTML5 technologies that are wrapped to run "natively" on all platforms (e.g., iOS, Android, FirefoxOS).

I stumbled upon the Ionic hybrid mobile app framework. This made app development so easy. IT fulfills the promise of the web: write once, run everywhere. In being with Mozilla for over two years, I've read so little hype for hybrid mobile apps. Hybrid mobile apps have potential to convert much more native developers over to the web platform, but hybrid mobile apps aren't getting the ad-time they deserve.

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Building the Marketplace Feed

The "Feed", the new feature I spent the last three months grinding out for the Firefox Marketplace. The Feed transforms the FirefoxOS app store to provide an engaging and customized app discovery experience by presenting fresh user-tailored content on every visit. The concept was invented by Liu Liu, a Mozilla design intern I briefly hung out with last year. Well, it quickly gained traction by getting featured on Engadget, presented at the Mozilla Summit, and shown off on prototypes at Mobile World Congress. With more traction came more pressure to ship. We built that ship, and it sailed on time.

Planning Phase

The whole concept had a large scope so we broke it into four versions. For the first version, we focused on getting initial content pushing into the Feed. We planned to build a curation tool for our editorial team to control the content of the Feed, with the ability to tailor different content for ... »

If you want to test local Browserify modules in your project with Karma, you'll have to take an extra step. One solution is to use karma-browserify that bundles your modules with your tests, but it has downfalls requiring files that require other files. That really sucks since we'll often be unit testing local modules that depend on at least one other module, and thus it'd only be useful for like requiring simple NPM modules.

Another solution uses Gulp to manually build a test bundle and put it on the project JS root path such that local modules can be resolved.

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Browserify and Gulp Workflow for React

The JS world moves quickly. New web tools are adopted faster than new Spidermans (men?) are produced. One second, people are talking about AngularJS, RequireJS, and Grunt. The next, it's React, Browserify, and Gulp. Who knows, by tomorrow we could have some new shiny things called McRib, Modulus, or Chug. But the new workflows that come along never fail to keep development interesting and never fail to make our lives easier. Kay, it's time to freshen up. Let us answer: what is so streets-ahead about these new web technologies?

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