__2 “Starting a Basic Loopback API & Continuous Integration”

In this article Keartida is going to dive into setting up a basic Loopback API project and get a build of that project running on a continuous integration service. In this example she’s going to get the project setup with Codeship.

Prerequisites:

  • Be sure, whichever system you are using, to have a C++ compiler installed. For Windows that usually means installing Visual Studio or something, on OS-X install XCode and the Developer Tools. On Ubuntu the GCC compiler and other options exist. For instructions on OS-X and Linux check out installing compiler tools.
  • Ubuntu
  • OS-X
  • For windows, I’d highly suggest setting up a VM of Ubuntu to do any work with Loopback, Node.js, or follow along with this material. It’s possible on Windows, but there are a number of things that are lacking. If you still want to make a go of using Windows, here are some initial setup steps here.

Nice to Haves:

  • git-flow – works on any bash, handles the branching and merging. Very nice scripts to have.
  • bashit – Adding more information to the bash prompt (works on OS-X, not Ubuntu or Windows Bash)

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__1 “Getting Started, Kanban & First Steps for a Sharing App”

This is the first (of course the precursor to this entry was the zero day team introduction article) of an ongoing series I’m going to put together. I’m going to write this series from the context of a team building a product. I’ll have code samples and more as I work along through the material.

The first step included Oi Elffaw having a discussion with the team to setup the first week’s working effort. Oi decided to call it a sprint and the rest of the team decided that was cool too. This was week one after all and there wasn’t going to be much else besides testing, research, and setup that took place.

Prerequisites

Before starting everything I went ahead and created a project repository on github for Oi to use waffle.io with. Waffle.io is an online service that works with github issues to provide a kanban style inferface to the issues. This provides an easier view, especially for leads and management, to get insight into where things are and what’s on the plate for the team for the week. I included the default node.js .gitignore file and an Apache 2.0 license when I created the repository. Github then seeds the project with a .gitignore, README.md and the license files.

After setting up the repository in github I pinged Oi and he set to work after the team’s initial meet to discuss what week one would include. Continue reading

Nordic.js and .NET Fringe

Ok, so many of the conferences out there you’re going to get fed the company line. You’ll probably experience some odd behaviors and people pushing product on you. If you’ve got the same feeling about conferences as me, and you’d like to experience these things at a conference:

  • A diverse audience of many different people from many different places.
  • You’d like to talk to others that are passionate about the future direction of technology and what we can create with that technology!
  • Listen and watch presenters provide insight to technology, ideas, and spaces that I don’t regularly get to hear about or discuss.
  • Meet many new friends, build my cohort of coders, and learn from each other.
  • Have a good time, relaxed, and not under the pressure of being sold things.

…then these conferences are for you. Seriously, I wouldn’t and won’t ever direct anybody to corporate conferences anymore except maybe in super rare occasions. The conferences to attend are the grassroots, community organized conferences like these two! There are too many other truly awesome conferences where the future is being discussed and made RIGHT NOW! There’s a few lined up that I’ll be attending and am currently working with as an organizer. Here’s the top two RIGHT NOW!

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Update 2 – Speaking at Node Summit and Node.js Club SF

I’ll be puddle jumping down to San Francisco on the 9th to teach a workshop at Node Summit titled “Node Continuous Integration to Delivery” and then I’ll swing into the Node.js Club SF to give a short (45 minute) deep dive into who, what, where, when, and why of “Node Continuous Integration and Delivery”.

Here’s a short description of the workshop, “In this workshop I’ll show the steps to get from minimal project, to fully deployed web site with a fully integrated and operative continuous integration and delivery pipeline. I’ll also dive into some basic practices around test or behavior driven development within JavaScript to build a full server to client website and have that website deployed, tested – on both client and server, and deployed auto-magically to a live site. During this workshop I’ll break this out into segments, so that over the course of the workshop there will be time to stop, ask questions, and then move to the next stage of the project.

As I get more specific details about this, I’ll add them to this post. But currently check out Node Summit and Node.js Club SF for more information.

UPDATED January 21, 2015 @ 4:16pm

I’m now listed on the speakers section of the Node Summit Conference Site. The workshop I’ll be providing will be on Monday the 9th, the day before the actual conference from. My workshop will be 3-5pm, in the Fisher East Banquet Room in the event location at:  Mission Bay Conference Center at UCSF, 1675 Owens St, San Francisco, CA 94158

If you’d like to sign up for Node Summit and get 25% off of the registration fee, then follow this link to register for the conference!

JavaScript

Getting in Some Code Stylings, Looking Good for the Code Dance

In every language there are opinions about how to format code. With JavaScript, the community abounds with opinions about how the code should look, how variables are declared, whether there should be semi-colons to end each statement, spaces before or after parenthesis, and more than I care to list in a simply worded paragraph like this. Recently the team at Deconstructed sat down to determine what our ongoing code style format would be and how we can enforce it.

The first thing we did was figure out what we could use for enforcement of the coding style. Milan (@milanloveless) quickly discovered node-jscs per suggestion from Adam Ulvi (@s5fs). He implemented that code as follows.

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JavaScript

Learning “nools” Rules Engine

Recently I sat down to work up a solution around a rules engine. There were a few things I noticed right off.

  1. When there is a request to implement or build a rules engine it is very often (I’m guessing a solid 40-60% of the time) reasoned that there is a need solely based on a lack of understanding around what the problem space is that actually needs a solution. The simple assumption, is 40-60% of the time somebody says “let’s implement a rules engine to solve these unknown problems” really translates to “we really don’t know much about this domain so let’s implement something arbitrary as a stop gap”.
  2. Implementing a business rules engine can quickly become a “support the user” scenario for the developers that implement the rules engine. This is a situation in which the developers actually have to help the people writing the rules to be processed. This is not an ideal situation at all, generally developers supporting users writing rules is a quick way to ensure burn out, misappropriation of skills and turnover.
  3. Many developers will, without hesitation, spout out “are you sure you want to implement a rules engine?” and then follow that up with “let’s discuss your actual problem” with that leading to “are you sure you want to implement a rules engine?”. Other developers upon hearing that one will implement a rules engine immediately respond with, “shit, I’m out.”

At this point I realized I had X, Y and Z reason to use it and would just have to persevere with all of the threats that are inclusive of implementing a rules engine. Sometimes one just has to step into the realm of scary and get it done.

So here’s what I dug up. I’m really not sure about the name of this project, as it appears to be some sort of odd usage, so whatever, but it is indeed called nools (github repo). Nools is a business rules engine based on the Rete Algorithm, something that is helpful to read up on when implementing. The main deployment for nools is to a Node.js server, but I’ve read that it is prospectively deployable in most browsers too.
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Strongloop

Framework: Strongloop’s Loopback

Recently I did a series for New Relic on three frameworks, both for APIs and web apps. I titled it “Evaluating Node.js Frameworks: hapi.js, Restify, and Geddy” and it is available via the New Relic Blog. To check out those frameworks give that blog entry a read, then below I’ve added one more framework to the list, Strongloop’s Loopback.

Strength: Very feature-rich generation of models, data structures and related enterprise-type needs. Solid enterprise-style API framework library.
Weakness: Complexity could be cumbersome unless it is needed. Not an immediate first choice for a startup going after lean and clean.
Great for: Enterprise API Services.

When I dove into StrongLoop, I immediately got the feel that I was using a fairly polished package of software. When installing with ‘sudo npm install -g strongloop’ I could easily see the other packages that are installed. But instead of the normal Node.js display of additional dependencies that are installed, the StrongLoop install displayed a number of additional options with a shiny ASCII logo.
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