Hand-Coded JavaScript AJAX – The Absolute Basics

Understanding the basic components of an AJAX request / response, and being able to write it all out by hand is an important skill for any JavaScript developer to have. Yeah yeah yeah, you’ve used jQuery.ajax(). But can you write AJAX code by hand, starting with a blank sheet of paper? While some might feel […]

JavaScript Callback Functions – The Absolute Basics

Callbacks are a critical tool for properly handling asynchronous events in JavaScript. Timing is one of the most difficult techniques to master in JavaScript. At first, many look to the setTimeout() method to address the asynchronous nature of JavaScript. But that is most often not the best approach. The concept of a callback function is […]

Less CSS – The Absolute Basics

Less CSS makes organizing, writing and managing your CSS code a breeze. Although the CSS 1 specification was completed in 1996, it was not until 2000 that most major browsers fully implemented it. Ever since, we have all come to know and appreciate cascading style sheets. CSS rocks. But… The kind of logic that even […]

jQuery Plugin Authoring – The Absolute Basics – Part II

Once you have jQuery plugin basics down, it’s time to implement some best practices In the previous post “jQuery Plugin Authoring – The Absolute Basics – Part I”, we to a detailed look at the architecture of a jQuery plugin. Now that you understand the building blocks, let’s discuss a few best practices. These techniques […]

jQuery Plugin Authoring – The Absolute Basics – Part I

You know a little jQuery, you have used a few jQuery plugins, and now you want to write your own jQuery plugin. Don’t worry, it’s no big deal. In fact it’s fun. If you have been putting off authoring your first jQuery plugin, it’s time to wrap a bandana around your head, fire up “The […]

Mustache.js – The Absolute Basics

If you’ve been writing client side code for more than 15 minutes, you have likely had to consume and present JSON data. This is becoming a common scenario for front-end web developers. The problem is that in most cases, you are inserting the return values into the same markup. So this means that you might […]

JavaScript Closures – The Absolute Basics: Getters and Setters

The next step in mastering JavaScript closures is being able to “get” or “set” a private variable. In Part I of this series: JavaScript Closures – The Absolute Basics, I discussed wrapping one function with another, which produces a closure. When that returned function is assigned to a variable, as long as that variable is […]

CSS Absolute Positioning – The Absolute Basics

Absolute positioning is one of the four types of CSS “position” values When an element is given absolute positioning, the following behavior takes place: 1 – The element is positioned in the top-left-most corner of the nearest parent element that has positioning (this is the default), 2 – If no parent elements have positioning, then […]

JavaScript Closures – The Absolute Basics

Demystifying this topic is one of the most important steps towards truly understanding the JavaScript language It is a little difficult to get your head around JavaScript closures without a basic understanding of scope. I will not attempt to tackle that subject in any kind of detail here. But let’s at least consider this thought: JavaScript […]

CSS Fixed Position

With CSS fixed position, the element is completely removed from the document flow, but positioned absolutely in relation to the view-port. You can then use the “top”, “bottom”, “left” and “right” properties to specify the exact location in which you want it. Sometimes you may need to place an element in an exact position. That […]

CSS Relative Position

With CSS relative position, the element still affects the document flow, but it can be offset, or “nudged” around from its original location. The element will appear to have been moved visually, but its effect on the DOM remains the same. Changing the visual location of an HTML element is a common front-end web development […]

Introduction to JavaScript Default Parameters

JavaScript functions can take arguments, but they are optional by nature. Default parameter syntax makes it easy to determine if one or more arguments have been provided and if not, initialize them. While something like Typescript can make it easier to enforce certain practices, use is voluntary. Ultimately, you can’t force a consumer to provide […]

Introduction to Express.js, the Node.js web application framework

Express.js provides the kind of abstraction that lets you stay out of the weeds and focus on your application code. While the low-level nature of Node can be an asset, it can also be somewhat of a curse because when you’re serving static assets, it can be tedious to detect routes and serve the correct […]

How to Create a Node.js Web Server as an Amazon AWS EC2 Linux Instance

Creating an Amazon AWS EC2 Linux instance is easier than you may think. There are few decisions to make and you can accept most default values. Once your instance is launched, it’s easy to SSH in, install Node.js and create your web server. Creating an Amazon AWS EC2 Linux instance can be intimidating. Because AWS […]

How to Show Points on a Mapbox Map With React Native

The key to rendering MapBox markers in your React Native application is implementing the MapboxGL.PointAnnotation component. In the article: “Getting Started with the Mapbox Maps SDK for React Native,” I covered the absolute basics needed to get a MapBox map to render in your React Native application. The level of effort was low, and the […]

Set up a Node / Express Static Web Server in Five Minutes

Setting up Node and Express as a Simple Lightweight Web Server for Your Single Page Application is Very Easy to Do. Sometimes you just need a local web server.  Sure, you could use MAMP, but installing Apache, MySQL and PHP seems like overkill in some cases. I have used MAMP for years and it is terrific. […]

Getting Started with Gulp.js – Creating Multiple Tasks

Learn how to create multiple Gulp.s tasks In the article: “Getting Started with Gulp.js – Introduction,” I discussed the absolute basics needed to set up a Gulp.s task.  In that article’s gulpfile.js, we had only one task named “default”. One of the great features of Gulp, is that it will look for a task named […]

Getting Started with Highcharts Part II: Formatting the Y Axis

Learn how to properly format the “y” axis values of your Highcharts chart. In “Getting Started with Highcharts Part I: Basic Charts,” we covered the absolute basics of how to use the Highcharts jQuery plugin. In that article, we demonstrated that with minimal effort, we can render a professional looking chart in our web page. […]

Getting Started with Highcharts Part I: Basic Charts

Learn how to incorporate data visualization into your web page with just a few links of JavaScript The data visualization trend shows no signs of slowing down, and charting is a key skill in that area. Highcharts is a jQuery plugin that provides a simple interface for creating great looking charts. There is a tremendous […]

Getting started with the filepath Node.js module

When you need to reference and work with the local file system in your Node.js program, the filepath module is quite a handy tool. Even if your Node.js program is a web-server of some sort, working with the local file system is somewhat inevitable. While Node.js does provide low-level file system access (see the Node.js […]