Review – Building an Application with CoffeeScript

coffeescript course image

The intro of the video course states “familiarize yourself with CoffeeScript” and I did (course link http://bit.ly/1ix4XXb)  The other list items of learning in the description are also fairly accurate.  The “cake” built tool was demonstrated, using jQuery with coffeescript was demonstrated, built a simple framework was also demonstrated.  The inaccurate part of the description is the “Who is this video course for” which states “if you’re a beginner Javascript developer… this course is for you” …NOT!  Realistically it should be written as “if you’re a beginner coffeescript developer this course is for you”.  The usage of MVC concepts was great but it’s helpful if you’re already familiar with MVC.

After going through the course, I realized it is a good overview of coffeescript and how useful it could be, even though it’s not what I would call a “walkthrough” course.  It’s more of a class lecture where the professor describes the things you can do with coffeescript with a few examples then you get homework and have to figure it out on your own.

I was really excited at the beginning (section 1) watching the author use http://js2coffee.org to see the instant conversion of javascript.  It’s really fantastic how coffeescript applies good coding methods to develop your code.  This is also the part the author referred to the coffeescript’s documentation which is fine, but an actual demo would have been better.  I found the command line “cake” easy to understand but the author just types “cake -c filename” to show you the compiling but not telling you the “-c” option which I had look for in the documentation myself.

The template files are included so that’s helpful, but the coding speed in the video is too fast so don’t try to code along.  You will just have to open the corresponding chapter files when changing chapters.  The added benefit is some resources introduced in the video like the website where you can find any javascript library and a javascript library for generating PDF files.

To summarize this would have been an excellent course if it were double in length, walking you through the coding process, but instead it seems like a professor doing a typical lecture and expecting you to figure out the homework on your own. Get the course here!

1 Hour Crash Course in AngularJS

Have you thought about learning AngularJS, but find all the examples just too basic?

I did too!  I spent an entire week (full-time) during my vacation to break open AngularJS and see what’s possible.   What I came up with as a demo is a quiz where you can type in questions and answers, then play the questions one at a time to test yourself.  Here’s the curated content to spend 7 days learning AngularJS.

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Top 5 Sublime Text Shortcuts

Top 5 Shortcuts That Will Boost Your Coding Productivity

Are you new to the sublime text editor?  It’s really more powerful than it looks.   While it’s easy navigation with mouse and keyboard all the powerful tools are quickly accessible with a few shortcuts.  VIM users will likely stick to VIM after the steep learning curve of the abundance of keyboard navigation and non-existent mouse usage.  That’s great for speed and editing in SSH but take a look at the top 5 shortcuts that you can learn in Sublime Text 2.  You will go from novice to intermediate a lot faster in Sublime than VIM.

This top 5 list is coming from a non-VIM user, although I’ve tried VIM and appreciate what it has to offer.  In my brief opinion, VIM is for the hardcore coder while Sublime is for everyone who likes to code.  The following shortcuts are for Mac but you can substitute the CMD key for CTRL on Windows.  Also the ‘=’ sign does not include part of the shortcut.

NUMBER 5

SNIPPETS

This is not a shortcut itself, but allows you to include pre-defined text and function names for different languages.  You will find some pre-installed in Sublime Text 2, but you’ll have to download packages to your specific programming language.  It’s a bit annoying because you’ll need GIT and run terminal but it’s well worth it.

This is an example to do with GIT.  Clone the snippet repo into your User directory under Sublime Text.

~/Library/Application Support/Sublime Text 2/Packages/User/

Such as http://emmet.io/ for HTML and CSS and for https://github.com/kswedberg/jquery-tmbundle/tree/master/Snippets jquery/

NUMBER 4

Cmd + D or Double-click a word = highlight all instances of the word

This is great when you want to add quotes or parentheses around the selected text.  It’s a lot faster than typing quotes then pushing the arrow keys to close the quotes.

NUMBER 3

Cmd + R = Find symbols.

Symbols is defined by Sublime but in reality it means you can directly find functions in scripting languages or style directives in CSS.  The search works in conjunction with the @ symbol if you want to find something in a non-currently opened file.

NUMBER 2

Shift + Cmd + F = Search in all files

This is another great search feature which includes “search & replace” although it works in the current file as well as out of scope and searches all the files and directories in the root folder you have opened in Sublime Text 2.

NUMBER 1

Cmd + P = Find anything mainly files

You have your typical Ctrl+F for finding text, but Cmd+P will allow navigation to another file, package, directory, and menu options of the program itself.

Always remember “fuzzy” searching.

Make a Game with ImpactJS Tutorial

While doing research in game development using HTML5, ImpactJS is a framework that is mentioned as being the best to date for making HTML5 games.  The great thing is that you can port over HTML5 to mobile platforms using AppMobi, PhoneGap, or Ejecta.  You will also learn Node.js and Socket.io in the tutorials.

Here is an extended tutorial for beginners:

The entire playlist http://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLAD5A0C028DA09694

Responsive Web Design with jQuery Review

responsive-deign-jquery-cover

If you’re looking for a plethora of plugins, scripts, shims to add responsiveness this book is for you, but be prepared to figure out the differences yourself.  The book is written more like a reference book with short examples and brief explanation of many jQuery plugins.

I read the title several times after reading the content and can say that it is not the best fit.  My initial thinking led me to believe this would be more about coding with jQuery, however this is not the case.  The book is geared more for web designers that do not code with jQuery.  Most of the examples include jQuery with little explanation so you can get similar information available in the documentation of the individual plugins.  Possibly the worst part is that the author rarely distinguishes pros and cons of individual plugins doing nearly identical tasks.  There’s a lack of diagrams and screenshots so you have to implement the examples to see how they work.  On the other hand the author also lists many tools available via websites for wire-framing, placeholder creation, pixel conversions, and grid systems.

I would recommend this book for web designers that know html, css, jquery syntax and want to make their static designs responsive, elastic, or fluid with high browser compatibility.  Without knowledge of jQuery basics it’s difficult to customize the plugins made for responsive design.  Near the end of the book there is mention of performance and ideally you want the minimum amount of http GETS to load your scripts.  However with all the plugins available your design will easily accumulate 7+ js files.

You won’t become an expert in “responsive design” nor will you know how the plugins really work behind the scenes, but it’s a good place to start.

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How to Get Free Press for your Software

press release

Have you heard of “any press is good press”?
It will make people aware of your product regardless if it’s any good when it times for them to buy.

Build credibility, get exposure, and more traffic to your website.  Forget about generating back links through bots and blog commenting.  It is much more effective doing it the following ways.

One of my first startup projects had its first sale from an article on a different website. How did I know? I had referral clicks recorded in my google analytics.  A press release is an announcement of an event, product, service, or discovery which is issued publicly.  It is important to have something unique or an angle to what you have to offer in a press release.

Here are some different tactics to get you free publicity:

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Scale HTML5 Video to Fit Screen

Fullscreen HTML5 Video

With the recent updates of browsers supporting web more W3C standards, it is easier to embed HTML5 videos than before, although you still have to provide your video in multiple codecs such as webm, ogg, and mp4.
The thing is you still have to use javascript to control the video’s functionality. So here’s the simplest way to make your HTML5 video fit the screen of your browser. For this demo I will be using the popular and free video.js open source player.  There are several ways to do this, but after testing across different browsers I found this way the most efficient. (Demo inside)
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Javascript Fluent Confrence 2013 Review

Javascript Fluent Conference

Overall this video collection of Fluent Conference is a great value with a few useless presentations sprinkled in. The good thing is that you can skip the videos that seem to be useless and this mainly applies to the sessions. If you were to be at the conference, then you would have lost time attending them. Before I mention ones that you should avoid, I will mention the noteworthy presentations. This is mostly the tutorials. It took me a few weeks, but I ended watching all the videos.

Here’s my breakdown by sections:
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jQuery Projects Course

jquery projects cover

I’m glad to announce my jQuery course on Udemy which will teach you all about jQuery. Starting with the basics then getting into advanced techniques. I called it “jQuery Projects” because I think you learn best from experience and making projects, not just slide shows you see in many other courses.

Therefore I promise you will learn 10x more about jquery with making practical web elements.

Why learn jQuery?

  • jQuery is the most popular javascript framework and has been going strong since 2006.
  • jQuery makes javascript cross-browser compatible from the box.
  • jQuery will save you many lines of code
  • No javascript knowledge required
  • Only need to know HTML and CSS

 

jquery projects cover

Present Yourself Book Review

Present Yourself cover

Authors: Kit Seeborg, Andrea Meyer

This is a book mostly about the web service Slide Share, partly about marketing yourself or business, and a bit about making slides. You can summarize it as “make slides to get leads for your business”. The book includes several case-studies but lacks specific metrics. Some sources for proof would be great, although that’s a rarity in non-scientific books.  I can recommend this to marketers and entrepreneurs however you would want to delegate slideshare tasks to a social media evangelist.

The beginning provides a good foundation of presentations and starts about defining visual data. This is key because communication is important to share your idea and mind-mapping is very essential.

The second chapter is entirely how to use Slideshare.net including how to setup your account, customizing your profile, and the features available. It is a manual or guidebook for the Slide Share service at this point. On page 33, the note on figure 2-19 displaying analytics, states it shows “actionable data”, however that is false because it’s not really actionable. You can only view it and not perform any actions with it. References could be made linking other parts of the book to show the benefits of each feature. There’s nothing contrasting why you should upload a YouTube video versus a slideshow.

Chapter 3 is better because it explains public speaking and how to use Slideshare for events. It is a more practical approach describing how to share your presentation online to reach a wider audience integrating it with social media. It also differentiates the type of events and presentations you could make.

Chapter 4 is mainly about marketing by story-telling and research to get the best content. It suggests to curate your content to stand out from the competition which is the same as doing a metasearch and compiling the content you like. Two more tools are mentioned here (Scoop.it and Pintrest) to spread the word about your slideshow.

Reading Chapter 5, on page 92, there is no reference to the provided quote from Inside View so it is difficult to believe that claim. The chapter describes how to add call-to-actions to every slideshow and how to track leads with the PRO account. This is also the chapter the has tips on making more compelling slides.

Chapter 6 on research doesn’t provide enough details to be helpful any differently than a search engine can do. It actually suggests another software tool Zipcast.

The remainder of the book reiterates more of the previous concepts but in a different manner. It focuses more about organizations instead of the individual.

I’ve heard about Slideshare before and uploaded one slideshow months ago expecting to get leads, but it barely got any views so your results may vary.

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