our posts tagged “javascript”

automated browser testing: bridging the gap between dev and qa
Eric Wagoner
september 2nd, 2020

Picture of a robot typing on some sort of virtual computer

We recently were a part of a project with what was, in many ways, a typical successful startup. The company makes hardware for a niche market, powered by their own firmware and driven by a suite of web applications running both on a server and locally as Electron apps. They make a great product that is disrupting the space and they’re growing rapidly, both in company size and number of users.

What started as a small integrated team has spun up to several groups overseeing various aspects of the product and as that happened the developers became somewhat siloed from the QA folks. Each group had its own process for keeping the quality high in the face of rapid growth, namely thorough unit tests on the development side and a series of step-by-step documents used by a number of testers to manually go through every page and every button of the web applications. Releases were coming quickly and the testers were spending hours upon hours methodically testing only to have to start all over again when another release came out of development. They were overworked and almost overwhelmed, and called Infinity for help.

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Reduce and Conquer
Yanick Champoux (@yenzie)
may 24th, 2018

In an ecosystem riddled with large, portentous frameworks, Redux is a refreshingly ascetic little store management system. Driven more by its functional programming-inspired tenets than supporting code, it offers — and needs — only a few helper functions to manage its stores.

Minimalism is good. It's also a good idea to abstract oft-used patterns into more expressive forms. Ideally, code should be crafted such that its intent comes out on first read, while making deeper digs possible when required.

Happily enough, the judicious use of delightfully succinct higher-order functions is often all that's required to tailor-suit some ergonomics into the manipulation of middleware and reducers. This blog entry will showcase some of those helper functions that work for me.

This article assumes you're already familiar with Redux. If this isn't the case, you might want to check out first one of my previous articles, which provides a gentler, if a tad unconventional, introduction to the framework.

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JSON Schema, shortly
Yanick Champoux (@yenzie)
february 19th, 2018

JSON Schema is a neat way to describe or prescribe structural expectations of JSON documents (or, indeed, any data structure, let it be a JavaScript plain object or the equivalent in another language). But JSON schemas are themselves JSON documents and, while machines love a good ol’ JSON format, let’s face it: for us humans it’s a lengthy, picky, and mildly onerous format to write and read.

Fortunately, there are many ways to craft JSON schemas while circumventing most of its JSON-born tediousness. Let me show you a few of them.

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Stitching up a better monster
Yanick Champoux (@yenzie)
june 9th, 2017

The nice thing with knowing a technology well, is that you can create a lot of nifty things. The nicer thing with knowing a healthy smattering of technologies, is that with the right amount of cunning and slyness you can gather things here and there and build something that is niftier than the sum of its parts.

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Actioner (Another Engine)
Yanick Champoux (@yenzie)
october 21st, 2016

I'm still playing around with Redux and, as usual, I'm always on the lookout for ways to optimize my laziness.

One thing that I found irks me just a little bit are the Redux actions. They are nothing but raw Javascript objects, meaning they are very easy to set up and manipulate. But since anything goes, they are also very easy to subtly get wrong. For example, I'm working on a spaceship game and I have an action called MOVE_SHIP. But what arguments was I using for that? Was it this:

{ type: 'MOVE_SHIP', ship: 'enkidu' }

or rather, that:

{ type: 'MOVE_SHIP', ship_id: 'enkidu' }

Sometimes, I remember to double check myself, but other times, I'll use the wrong property and set myself up for a long, protracted, somewhat less-than-joyful debugging session.

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Redux redux (via Pollux)
Yanick Champoux (@yenzie)
september 9th, 2016

Redux is a small JavaScript library that is quite popular at the moment. Liberally inspired by functional programming principles, it offers a state container that is accessed and modified via message passing.

Thanks to this message passing, and a strong emphasis on immutability and pure functions, it minimizes surprises and maximizes sanity. One of its beautiful promises, for example, is that since the state is only modified via messages (or actions) and pure functions, one can consistently replay the actions of an application and end up in exactly the same final state.

As I was reading and playing with Redux, I began to wonder... This is a blissfully small library. How easy would it be to port it to Perl? In the name of science, I had to try.

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Leap Motion
Jay Hannah (@deafferret)
march 21st, 2014

Leap Motion is a slick little infrared sensor unit you can buy for $80 online, or at your local Best Buy. A quick install later and you can now wave your hands in space above the unit and interact with your computer in three dimensions.

Leap Motion

I had the pleasure of working with Leap for a partner proof of concept and thought I'd give you some of my early thoughts and observations.

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