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.
Looks like the Glyphr team set out to lower the barrier to get in to font design.
Professional font design programs are very complex, and quite expensive. Glyphr is accessible, streamlined, and made for font design hobbyists… and it’s free!
At first glance, it appears that they’re off to a great start. Check out the sandbox if you want to play around with it.
If you have need for a mobile-friendly, responsive, and lightweight jQuery date & time input picker, look no further than pickadate.js. Amsul pinged us to say that he just released version 3.4 of his popular library and is quite proud to say that pickadate.js is now ARIA-enabled. He states:
This is an update I would highly recommend everyone to get because of how crucial accessibility is.
If you’re already using pickadate.js, this is a great time to upgrade. If not, give it a look!
tldr is an npm module that provides simplified “show me the common usages” man pages. Here’s what
tldr tar looks like:
The current list of supported commands is short, but growing. Pull requests welcome!
The README to Jorge Manrubia’s Forceps library asks:
Have you ever needed to copy a given user from a production database into your local box in order to debug some obscure bug?
One hundred times: YES!
If you believe that constantly improving your rc files (dotfiles) is Serious Business™, you gotta check out Thoughtbot’s latest open source project: rcm, an rc file manager
In his introductory blog post, Mike Burns describes rcm as:
a unification of the existing shell scripts, make targets, rake tasks, GNU Bash constructions, and Python hacks that people copy and paste into their dotfiles repo, with a classical unix flair
Rudy Jahchan has joined two of the nerdiest things in the world — TRON and Vim — to produce something truly wonderful: vimtronner
Be the last player alive by either controlling your bike safely around obstacles or enter INSERT mode to build your own walls for your opponents to crash into. Just remember, you can’t do both at the same time!
So much win.
CSS preprocessors have been around for awhile, but Andrey Sitnik’s Autoprefixer takes the opposite approach: it parses your CSS after you write it and adds any necessary vendor prefixes using data from Can I Use.
As the browser landscape changes, your outputted CSS changes to fit. Without you having to do a thing. Andrey says:
The best tool is a tool you can’t see and one that does the work for you
I have to agree with him on that.
What good is a browser that doesn’t have
<form>s? A lot of good if you want to build HTML5 games for iOS that are App Store compatible and quite performant.
SpinKit from GitHub’s Tobias Ahlin uses CSS animations to create smooth and easily customizable animations, but look out if you need to support older browsers:
The goal is not to offer a solution that works in every browser—if you’re supporting browsers that haven’t implemented the CSS
animation property (e.g. IE9 and below), you’ll want to detect support for the
animation property, and implement a fallback
The demo features 8 different styles for you to pick from. #6 is pretty rad if you can find a good use case for it. Check ‘em out!
While I was at the first annual ng-conf last week (excellent conf, btw), Brian Ford of the Angular team gave a great talk about a new library he released called Zone.js.
I’ve been wanting to team Go, AngularJS, and PostgreSQL to write a web app for a while now, so I’m quite excited by Robert Yakota’s Yeoman generator for AngularJS, Go, and Martini.
With this Yeoman generator in hand, it’s never been easier to get started using these tools together. Somebody please write an app with this stack and let us know how it goes. I have a feeling you’ll enjoy it.
Neat idea from Dan Mayer at Living Social: Coverband is a rack middleware which helps measure production code coverage.
Why would production code coverage data be useful? Because you can use it to find (and then purge) latent code paths in your app. How’d it go at Living Social? Dan says:
After running in production for 30 minutes, we were able very easily delete 2000 LOC after looking through the data. We expect to be able to clean up much more after it has collected more data.
Read more about Coverband on the Living Social Tech Blog.
Que is the new kid on Ruby’s job-backgrounding block.
It takes advantage of PostgreSQL’s advisory locks to provide concurrency, efficiency, and safety. Chris Hanks – Que’s author – in an email to us, says:
…in a benchmark on EC2′s biggest compute-optimized instance it’s capable of queuing and dequeuing almost 10,000 jobs per second, while DelayedJob and QueueClassic max out at around 500
Between that and its built-in support for transactions (for ActiveRecord and Sequel), Que looks pretty tantalizing to this long-time Resque user (and admitted Postgres fanboy).
Built on D3.js and TopoJSON, Planetary.js lets you build interactive globes for the web. Creating basic globes is easy and the sky is the limit on what kind of globes you can make with this lib. Check out this awesome demo showing earthquake magnitudes in 2013.
Spacegray is a set of UI themes for Sublime Text 2/3 from Gadzhi Kharkharov. The set includes dark (default), light, and “eighties” color schemes. Here’s a preview of the dark scheme:
The README has more.
Bigfoot is a nifty jQuery plugin that:
automatically detects the footnote link and content, turns the link into an easy-to-click button, and puts up a popover when the reader clicks on the footnote button
I installed Bigfoot on my blog and it Just Worked, which puts it in my Pantheon of awesome jQuery plugins. See it in action here and be sure to check out the sweet demo where you can try different styles.
Koa is a web framework for Node.js from the same team that gave us Express. It aims to be:
a smaller, more expressive, and more robust foundation for web applications and APIs.
Koa’s pedigree and focus on composable middleware make it very interesting and definitely worth a watch.
Dat is an interesting new project from Max Ogden:
dat is an open source tool that enables the sharing of large datasets, allowing for a decentralized collaboration flow similar to what git offers for source code.
It’s still early days for dat, but its goal is one worth supporting.
Thibaut Courouble’s DevDocs aggregates many web-related API docs in to a fast, organized, and searchable interface. It supports all your favorite web languages/frameworks, has fuzzy search, keyboard shortcuts, and can even be installed as a Chrome web app.
Go ahead. Take it for a test drive.
Want to use Shopify’s Dashing framework from inside your Rails app? Pierre-Louis Gottfrois has you covered with his dashing-rails Rails Engine. Action shot!
Dashing is a framework from Shopify for building gorgeous dashboards that can be displayed on large TVs throughout your office.
It ships with pre-made widgets, is completely customizable, and can be deployed to Heroku in a breeze. See Dashing in action here and here.
direnv is a rad looking shell extension that does some of the job of rvm, rbenv, or virtualenv in a language agnostic way.
Instead of putting all of your environment setup in your
~/.profile, direnv lets you use directory-specific
.envrc files. Recently rewritten in Go, direnv works with bash, zsh, and fish shells. Check it out.
pgtune is an awesome little Python script that you can run on your postgresql.conf to quickly optimize your config for optimal performance.
As with any performance tuning: YMMV. You should still tweak things manually after running pgtune, but this looks great for picking off low hanging performance fruit!
A lot of focus lately has been put on improving Rails’ speed in dev mode. John Leighton’s Spring gem is a result of some of that focus. It preloads your Rails application and keeps it running in the background so you don’t need to boot it every time you run a test, rake task, or migration.
As of this commit Spring will be installed by default on newly generated Rails 4.1 apps.
Monocle is yet another link and news aggregation site with a tech focus. The site’s creator, Alex MacCaw, has just open sourced the code behind it.
This looks like a shining example of a well-factored Sinatra app powered by PostgreSQL. If you’re just learning Ruby or want to learn some new tricks, give it a read.
After a year of development it just hit 1.0 so it definitely looks ready for prime time. Check it out.
Ionic looks like an interesting front-end framework for developing hybrid mobile apps in HTML5. It’s quite opinionated and utilizes AngularJS to position it for “serious app development.”
Ionic is just an alpha release at the moment, but definitely worth an early look.