A Hapi Ninja for Node.js #

Earlier this year we had Eran Hammer on the podcast to talk about the success of Node.js at Walmart for the infamous influx of traffic that Black Friday brings them. At the core of their success lies Hapi, the rich framework for building web applications and services with Node from Walmart Labs.

Hapi is a lot like Sinatra for Ruby in the fact that you start with a single server file and expand as needed from there to create a file and directory structure to organize and support your application code.

While hacking on Hapi recently, I found Hapi Ninja. If you’re just getting started like me, Hapi Ninja can serve as a boilerplate to learn from with Hapi, or even as the starting point for your Node web service.

It was also a pleasant surprise to see Saul Maddox was a native Houston Texan like myself. Sadly we’ve never met.

Regular Expressions without Fear

Have you been avoiding regular expressions because you think they’re too confusing? Are you copying and pasting snippets from Stack Overflow into your code but you’re not really sure what they mean? In this post I’m going share several resources that will have you writing regular expressions without fear in no time.

The New York Times opens up the code and data that generates their Senate forecasts #

The New York Times is taking a crack at forecasting the results of the upcoming Senate races. They’re currently predicting a tossup, but we don’t have to just take their word for it. The code and data that runs the election-forecasting model is open to the public!

The model is built with R, a programming language for statistical computing. I’d love for somebody with some R knowledge to write an article that walks through the codebase explaining how it all fits together. Ping us if you’re up to the challenge…

Gogs is a self-hosted Git service written in Go #

Gogs looks like a nice, new (still in Alpha) option if you want to self-host some Git repositories with a web interface similar to GitHub’s.


It’s written purely in Go, so installation should be dead simple. From the README:

Gogs only needs one binary to setup your own project hosting on the fly!

Worth a look.

minicron: a system to manage and monitor cron jobs #

minicron is a web interface to manage and monitor scheduled tasks across a series of servers. It’s still in early development, but the tool sets out to solve a pain that anybody with more than a few servers has probably felt. I know I have.

minicron is pre-semantic-1.0 and has a roadmap in the readme. Looks like a great time to get involved.

Build beautiful programming books with Git and Markdown #

There’s a lot of innovation (and iteration) going on in the online publishing space. GitBook continues that trend by offering a command line tool built specifically for creating programming book and exercises.

You write your book in Markdown and from that GitBook can generate a static website, PDF, eBook, and even JSON. Here’s what the results look like:

GitBook Preview

A tool to check your site for The Heartbleed Bug #

A very nasty OpenSSL bug called Heartbleed was made public yesterday. Millions of websites around the world are leaking private information despite using SSL/TLS.

Is your site vulnerable? Find out with Filippo Valsorda’s Heartbleed Test.

Here’s a link to our test for thechangelog.com. We run on Ubuntu so we followed these update instructions and in 3 minutes we were fixed.

Remediation steps differ depending on operating system, but with Heartbleed Test we can all make sure we’ve patched up properly. Thanks Filippo!

UPDATE: Filippo provides a web-based tool to check your site, but we suggest downloading the source and running the tool from your own trusted host. Here’s a How To if you need help! (Thanks to AndrĂ© Wendt for the suggestion and Jan Lenhardt for the gist)

SVG Loading Indicators! #

Useful and stylish SVG-based loading indicators that are as easy to use as:

<img src="loading-balls.svg" alt="Loading icon" />

Oh, and make sure you spot the Cylon

Clean your HTML with Bleach #

When developing for the web a time will come when you’ll need to sanitize HTML. If you need to do this in Python then you should check out Bleach.

Bleach is an HTML sanitizing library that escapes or strips markup and attributes based on a white list. Bleach can also linkify text safely, applying filters that Django’s urlize filter cannot, and optionally setting rel attributes, even on links already in the text.

Even if all you want to do is apply rel='nofollow' to the links in user generated content, Bleach has you covered. So, check it out the next time you need to clean some HTML.

Why Programming For Kids

This is a guest post by Peter Armstrong. Peter is the Co-Founder of Leanpub and the author of 4 books, all of which were published in-progress. One of them was titled Programming for Kids. This post is about why Peter wrote that book.

ngxtop: real-time metrics for nginx server #

ngxtop is shaping up to be one of those tools that I didn’t even know I needed, but now I won’t know how I ever lived without it.

ngxtop parses your nginx access log and outputs useful, top-like, metrics of your nginx server.

Need we say more? Check the readme for some nice examples of what this Python script is capable of.

Easily Build Mac OS X Status Bar Apps With Python #

From time to time, the thought has a occurred to me that it would be cool if I could build simple native apps with Python. So, I was excited when I found rumps.

Ridiculously Uncomplicated Mac os x Python Statusbar apps

You can’t make full blown apps, but if you’ve ever had a status bar app idea you can use rumps to build it.

We Make the Web. Let’s Make It Accessible.

Building an accessible product sounds so obvious, yet it is very often overlooked or perceived as a separate entity of the product. Only after having worked on several accessibility-related projects did version 3.4 of pickadate.js come out with ARIA support. I didn’t implement it sooner due to a lack of time, but also partly due to me expecting it to be a daunting task. This was not the case.

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Metalsmith: a static site generator with lots of potential #

Segment.io’s Metalsmith doesn’t excite me because it’s a static site generator. It excites me because its everything-is-a-plugin philosophy turns it in to a potential swiss army knife for any project that manipulates a directory of files.

It could be a project scaffolder. It could be an e-book generator. It could be a build tool. It could be a documentation tool. It could be something I’ve never even heard of before.

Check out their examples to whet your imagination.