Recent & Worthwhile in Web Development

PHP

  • Remember Me – Safely Secure Long Term Authentication Strategies
    A detailed explanation on how to implement the Sign in ‘Remember Me’ functionality securely in PHP (the concepts are the same for every language). I must admit I never considered timing attacks for the authentication token until I read this.
  • Laravel 5.0 was released
    The 5th installment of one of the most popular PHP MVC and all-around frameworks was released. Wrote a summary of the changes in another post.
  • HHVM 3.5.0 Released
    The Facebook supported alternative PHP VM has a new version.
  • Cockpit
    A plug-n-play CMS for PHP sites. Targeted to developers, who built web apps and don’t want to re-invent the wheel every time for the content parts of their app. Uses SQLlite or MongoDB as data store.
  • Return Types Declarations approved for PHP7
    In PHP7 we’ll be able to declare the return type for functions and will be enforced causing a fatal error if a different type is returned.  Here’s an example of how it will look taken straight from the RFC:
    function foo(): array {
      return [];
    }

JS /HTML / CSS

  • ReactJS for Stupid People
    A good introduction on what Facebook’s ReactJS is about and why you should use it.
  • Animated Bezier Curves
    Demonstration of how parametric Bezier curves are constructed. Uses D3, and the code is straight forward, just View Source.
  • Konva JS
    Object-oriented 2D HTML5 Canvas Framework. Event driven, layer support, drag and drop, shape nesting, animation and all the usual bells and whistles.
  • mProgress.js
    Material Design style animated progress bar. Uses CSS3, has no other library dependencies and has beyond the ordinary features such as indeterminate progress (7.7kb minified JS).
  • RubaXa Sortable
    Minimal & customizable Sortable with touch support and no dependencies.
  • fieldVal
    Programmatic Javascript Field Validation library (runs both on browser and server). Includes an optional UI library for presenting validation errors in forms.
  • TauCharts
    Javascript charting library which aims to be flexible rather than offering pre-packaged chart setups.

Recent Good CSS / Javascript Videos (July 2014)

More JSConf 2014 US edition were posted online a few hours ago. I didn’t have the time to watch them all yet but I’ll keep this post updated as I watch them.

 

Mark DiMarco: User Interface Algorithms

 

A very good talk about two algorithms and how they can be used in Web UI (he also makes some pretty funny Game of Thrones jokes). The talk focuses on two cases, one is how to increase the hit-state of elements on the page using Voronoi (quite complicated algorithm, but thankfully its already implemented in Javascript in D3, find out about it here). The other case is about menus with sub-menus, explains how to solve the problem we all faced in the past, having to move the mouse precisely horizontally on the popup sub-menu in order for the sub-menu to remain open. The solution is not that complicated and according to the video is used by Amazon’s mega menu. You can find a good explanation by Ben Kamens here.

Angelina Fabbro: CSS In Your Pocket – Mobile CSS Tips From The Trenches

 

Skip the first 4-5 (mostly introductory) minutes to get to the juicy stuff. Some good points about mobile web performance and compatibility are raised but the most interesting parts are about the cutting edge updates in Firefox DevTools including the CSS Coverage Report (which works for multiple pages showing you what entries in your stylesheets are unused). There is more information about it on https://developer.mozilla.org/en-US/docs/Tools/CSS_Coverage”>MDN here. Currently only works on Nightly builds of Firefox but hopefully will make it to Aurora soon (the channel I use).

 

G C Marty: Play DVDs in JavaScript for the sake of interoperability

 

G C Marty explains his quest to play his huge collection of DVDs on his mobile phone directly in the browser. His aim was to replicate the full DVD experience including menus, chapters, multiple angles, audio tracks and subtitles. He tried several methods, including using a proxy server to decode the video in real time and send it to the mobile browser via WebRTC which failed with sync issues and high hardware requirements and pre-converting DVDs into WebM using a Raspberry Pi running nginx to do the streaming. He released his project in open source on github.