Monthly Archives: April 2013

Google Now Hits iOS: “Android Users Have Had this for HOW long ?!?”

Wow. It’s beautiful, has a creative UI, is crazy-fast, and is frighteningly intuitive about the information I might want. And the voice-recognition does indeed rock. I think I’m just going to leave it open on an iPad next to me all day, and let it handle all my utility searches for me…

That said, I’ve just reminded myself that I can get similar-ish voice input functionality from Mountain Lion by just double-tapping the `Fn` key when I’m in Chrome’s omnibox. But there’s a noticeable activation delay, you have to tap the button again to finish, then enter to search, and… well, Now is just much more fun…

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First (?!) Real Angular.js Book Hitting the Streets Tomorrow

I’d heard rumors of such things, but while looking at some other technical books tonight, noticed that O’Reilly is imminently publishing “AngularJS”, by Brad Green & Shyam Seshadri. Congrats, guys! And congrats, Angular team. Angular has always been a great product, but getting books out about it is a big deal. Devs will follow.

According to Amazon, the paperback isn’t “published” until tomorrow, but the Kindle edition has been out for weeks! Where was I???

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How to Cross-Post to Google+ From Your WordPress Blog… sorta’

It’s surprising that Google *still* won’t make it easier for people to integrate Plus into the broader social ecosystem. That’s OK. You can work around this.

I’ve been looking for a good personal use-case for IFTTT since it launched, and thought I had one. Follow these instructions, and IFTTT will take any new posts from your WordPress blog and cross-post them to Google+, using some tomfoolery related to SMS and Google Voice. Only problem is… it doesn’t really work.

I mean, sure: if you want something on your G+ stream that  looks and feels like an SMS, with only a text version of your link, but no photo or capsule-text, it works great. In a  very 1999 kind of way. If you want it to resemble something that you posted in-person… you’ll want to do it manually. On the bright side, there’s no absolute need to cut-and-paste your whole post: just inserting the link will do a very nice job of picking up the basics.

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Must-Use Features & Hotkeys for Sublime Text; Sweet Video Tutorial

I’m a bit ashamed. I started using Sublime Text more than a year ago, but never got around to learning many of its best features. This is my penance.

First, let’s be clear (and opinionated): if you develop for UI, you probably ought to be using Sublime. Sure, there are the folks who insist that terminal-based modal editors keep them closer to Jesus, or might allow them to someday squash bugs on the production server with their phone, from the top of Mt. Hood, in a blizzard, while making sweet love to an angel. But for more… uhhh… practical… folks, Sublime is the way to go. In particular, UI devs spend so much time working in desktop applications as the point of interaction with designers, product owners, clients, etc. that I don’t think it makes sense to “break your hands” with vim/emacs shortcuts when you can keep yourself comfortable with the Mac OS hotkey paradigm. (YMMV.) Continue reading

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Vega: the Answer To My DataViz Prayers?

The hot new thing in my office today is Vega, a library and “visualization grammar” for making D3 more declarative and potentially easier to use. What rocks my world about it is the ability to render to either SVG or Canvas. You can see that in action on the Vega Live Editor. Canvas is going to be much more efficient for complex visualizations, provided you don’t mind that browser-zoom won’t be all vector-iffic.

I had largely been sticking with HighCharts for standard visualization types that don’t require fancy time-series animation or major style hacking. This may finally move me to D3 full-time, at least once we have a richer library of default configuration objects for those kinds of charts.

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The Reports of WebSQL’s Death Have Been Greatly Exaggerated

Every time I poke around the interwebs looking for docs on various forms of offline storage, I find folks saying that WebSQL is ‘dead’, or more often: ‘deprecated’. Not so. It’s just that every browser that implemented WebSQL used SQLite, so work on a formal standard stopped:

The specification reached an impasse: all interested implementors have used the same SQL backend (Sqlite), but we need multiple independent implementations to proceed along a standardisation path.

Continue reading

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Angular vs. Ember: Does (Code) Beauty Matter?

I never think about beauty. I think only how to solve the problem. But when I have finished, if the solution is not beautiful, I know it is wrong. 

-Richard Buckminster Fuller

For some reason, this quote immediately made me think of Angular vs. Ember, and the debate about inline templates. Have a look at the template (let alone the HTML output) of an Ember application, and then at the same for an Angular application. One of them is elegant, declarative and efficient; the other… not. Does that make the ugly one ‘wrong’? It sure seems strongly suggestive. 🙂

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