This extended category features articles on client-side and server-side programming languages, tools, frameworks and libraries, as well as back-end issues. Experts and professionals reveal their coding tips, tricks and ideas. Curated by Dudley Storey. .
Using templates in the browser is becoming more and more widespread. Moving application logic from the server to the client, and the increasing usage of MVC-like patterns (model–view–controller) inspired templates to embrace the browser.
This used to be a server-side only affair, but templates are actually very powerful and expressive in client-side development as well. In general, leveraging templates is a great way to separate markup and logic in views, and to maximize code reusability and maintainability. With a syntax close to the desired output (i.e. HTML), you have a clear and fast way to get things done.
In this tutorial, we introduce the Magento layout by creating a simple module that will add some custom HTML content to the bottom of every customer-facing page, in a non-intrusive manner. In other words, we will do so without actually modifying any Magento templates or core files.
Editor's note: This is an introductory article about a book idea to be published by Smashing Magazine with Chris Heilmann. Check out what we propose as an idea — explaining a way to reconsider how we build websites to ensure they are leaner and more future-proof. At the end of the article, we'd ask you to fill out a quick survey to show your interest.
The Web as it is now is suffering from an obesity problem. If you surf the Web on a flaky mobile connection or some hotel wireless, you'll find yourself a lot of times staring at a page or app that doesn't do anything and doesn't tell you what is going on either. The spinner in the tab or the URL bar seems to be the thing that gets the most mileage in browsers.
Whether it’s V8, SpiderMonkey (Firefox), Carakan (Opera), Chakra (IE) or something else, doing so can help you better optimize your applications. That's not to say one should optimize for a single browser or engine. Never do that. There are many common pitfalls when it comes to writing memory-efficient and fast code, and in this article we’re going to explore some test-proven approaches for writing code that performs better.
Life as a Web developer can be hard when things start going wrong. The problem could be in any number of places. Is there a problem with the request you're sending, is the problem with the response, is there a problem with a request in a third party library you're using, is an external API failing?
Good tools are invaluable in figuring out where problems lie, and can also help to prevent problems from occurring in the first place, or just help you to be more efficient in general. Command line tools are particularly useful because they lend themselves well to automation and scripting, where they can be combined and reused in all sorts of different ways. Here we cover six particularly powerful and versatile tools which can help make your life a little bit easier.
When I was studying computer science in college, I had one extremely tough professor. His name was Dr. Maxey and he taught the more complicated courses like data structures and computer architecture. He was a wonderful teacher with a talent for articulating difficult concepts, but also an extremely tough grader. Not only would he look over your code to make sure that it worked, he would take off points for stylistic issues.
If you were missing appropriate comments, or even if you misspelled a word or two in your comments, he would deduct points. If your code was “messy” (by his standards), he would deduct points. The message was clear: the quality of your code is not just in its execution but also in its appearance. That was my first experience with coding style.
A few weeks ago, I dug up an old article that I wrote for Smashing Magazine, “When One Word Is More Meaningful Than a Thousand.” While I stand firmly behind all of the HTML development principles I listed back then, the article lacked one important thing: hands-on examples.
Sure enough, the theory behind component-based HTML is interesting in its own right, but without a few illustrative examples, it’s all very dry and abstract. Not that HTML enthusiasts should shy away from that (on the contrary, I would say), but there’s nothing like a good example to clear up some of the finer points of a concept.