Category Archives: Experiments

Gulp – fail run-sequence with a correct exit code

gulp-2x

You may use the run-sequence module in your gulp tasks to make sure a task is finished before launching some others (example: make sure the build folder is cleaned up before launching the build related tasks).

The problem with run-sequence is that you always get a 0 exit code, no matter the task succeeded or failed. So you can’t rely on that in Continuous Integration tools (such as Travis CI).

I bumped into that problem on one of my projects, here’s how I solved it:

var runSequence = require('run-sequence');

gulp.task('build', function (cb) {
  runSequence(
    ['clean'],
    ['compile', 'extras', 'images'],
    // this callback is executed at the end, if any of the previous tasks errored, 
    // the first param contains the error
    function (err) {
      //if any error happened in the previous tasks, exit with a code > 0
      if (err) {
        var exitCode = 2;
        console.log('[ERROR] gulp build task failed', err);
        console.log('[FAIL] gulp build task failed - exiting with code ' + exitCode);
        return process.exit(exitCode);
      }
      else {
        return cb();
      }
    }
  );
});

This bug happens with gulp@3.9.0, in the next major version (v4.0.0), there will be a built-in gulp.series API that should fix this kind of problem.

Feedbacks on my Isomorphic app using React and ES6

logo-reactjs

UPDATE: This project has been upgraded to React v0.14read the blog post about the upgrade.

This post is about a three steps project I initiated a few weeks ago. I completed the previous step about two weeks ago, so feel free to read my blog post about the front-end part : “Playing with ES6 (and React)”.

Before going further, a quote from stackoverflow (this is the most concise I found) :

Isomorphic web sites can be run on both the server and in the browser. They grant code reuse, seo, and page load speed boosts while still having an interface written in JS. node.js is most often used for the server javascript-engine.

Initial Goal

My challenge was to make an isomorphic app, using React and ES6 :

  • ES6 : I’ve been hearing about it for a while on meetups, articles I read, videos I watched – just like I knew it already – had to throw some real lines of codes 😉
  • React : Same as above (moreover, I’ve been doing a lot of Angular the past two years and hearing more and more about React lately, so I had to try it for real)
  • Isomorphic app : If I were about to use React in a project, it seems to be the perfect opportunity to try to implement it

Project Steps

I split the project into three parts :

  • topheman-apis-proxy : The backend part (and a project on its own as well, since it’s extensible and configurable)
  • topheman/react-es6 : The frontend part where I developed the app in ES6, using React, with the last step in mind – I only used isomorphic libraries
  • topheman/react-es6-isomorphic : The expressJS server in the middle, that handles server-side rendering. I retrieved the frontend part from the previous step. At this point, any missing feature in the client was first developed on the frontend project repo then merged back to this one, to make sure that each project stays focused on its scope (one on frontend, the other on server-side rendering).

Try the app (there is an about page that will help you understand the difference between the two projects). If you’re into React and server-side rendering, take a look at my feedbacks

Give it a try ! Continue reading

Playing with ES6 (and React)

logo-reactjs

UPDATES:

For the last two years, I’ve heard a lot about ES6 : on blog posts, videos, attending at meetups … It was like I knew it already but never really used it … I felt that it was time to get my hands dirty and get on board with this new version of JavaScript – which will be the one we’ll be using in the next years – as some of you will point out : “are already using …”.

As I also wanted to try React (same : heard a lot about it just as if I knew it, but never really wrote any line of code with it). My POC’s endgoal is to do an isomorphic app (server-side rendering, same code running on client and server), for the moment, I finished the client-side part.

Checkout the demo

Using Webpack

Webpack takes your modules (and all their dependencies) then creates a bundle out of them. Since you can run multiple transformers, it will be able to handle ES6 modules, jsx, sass/scssMore infos on Webpack.

Setting up .js and .jsx transpiling (turning ES6 to ES5) using Babel was the easy part. But I also wanted sass stylesheets, with sourceMaps support and not having to require them via js (but in a regular link tag). This part of the Webpack documentation lacks informations (I don’t even know if I did it right, though, it works – as well in dev as in build prod …).

Coding in ES6

At first, it feels like you’re coding in a whole new language (at least, not in JavaScript) 😉 . Using import, export, class, extends … But after all, this is only syntactic sugar, which you would have added by yourself with your own tools or a third party library. Now it’s built-in (this may let JavaScript more accessible to Java/C like devs 😉 ).

Using React

I’ve been using Angular for a long time now. We all know its drawbacks … Some devs are even switching to React for its performances. This is why I was interested in the library (that and the server-side rendering part).

One of the good things in React is it forces you to think “Component” (not the first library to do that – a lot of them are converging towards this concept). You need to know where you’ll keep your state, which part of your app will be mutable, which one will be immutable.

Conclusion

I achieved my goal as I finished this part of my project : coding a POC in ES6, using React. You can see more of the steps on the github repository of topheman/react-es6. The next step will be to use this project to make some server-side rendering (since I used npm packages available for front and back such as superagent, I should be able to take the project “as is”).

You should try ES6, it’s fun to code with and we are seeing it more and more in libraries source code – why not in yours ?

Tophe

PS : The backend of topheman/react-es6 is based on topheman-apis-proxy, a project I made to handle my public APIs. Check it out on github if you’re interested in. I hosted it on heroku, so the VM takes about 3s to warm up when it’s asleep …

topheman-apis-proxy – access your public APIs on the same server

As a frontend developer, when I want to try a new framework, I want to do something a little more elaborate than the todo-list that everybody has already done hundreds of times … What’s missing about that is data.

This is what topheman-apis-proxy is about : it gives you access to public APIs to get data to feed on and not have to bother about the server-side, focus on the client-side – install once, configure your credentials and you’re good to go.

You can currently access to the public APIs of Twitter and Github. I’ll add more and you’re welcome to get involved. You can configure things like CORS, access by token …

It is based on expressJS, I already use it for one of my projects.

TLDR;

If you’re a developer I assume you’ll jump right to the readme on github 😉

Tophe

topheman-apis-proxy

twitter-stream-channels

twitter-stream-channels

With the Twitter Stream API, you can only open one stream at a time, so if you want to track different kinds of keywords (aka channels), all the tweets in result will be mixed up and you’ll need to do some post-processing to identify which tweet belongs to which channels.

I needed that kind of feature for my next project, so I decided to make a module out of it. Feel free to use it. Some infos you might be interested in :

  • The API documentation (generated from source code with yuidoc)
  • The github repo (with the README)
  • twitter-stream-channels on npmnpm install twitter-stream-channels
  • The module has a complete built-in mock version accessible via .getMockedClass() that will let you use it without connecting to Twitter (usefull because of their connexion limit)
  • It also is unit-tested, if you want to contribute (first time I made unit-tests on node with mocked data dispatched by events – by the way, I improved test’s speed using process.nextTick instead of setTimeout in mocked mode).

I’m currently working on a project based on twitter-stream-channels that I wil release in a few weeks.

Tophe

edit : I just released the project I was talking about. More about it on this post.