You just built an API, and want to make sure everyone can use it. Building libraries in every language isn’t only going to be hard, its going to take a lot of time. Time you don’t have. This is where Alpaca can help.
You define your API according to the format, alpaca builds the API libraries along with their documentation. All you have to do is publishing them to their respective package managers.
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.
We’re moving our contact form to a hybrid setup.
In an effort to make our conversations more collaborative and open with those that get in touch to share projects, news, or tips — you can now ask us anything on GitHub. We created an open repository, aptly named Ping, to serve as our open contact form. Being open like this will also allow you to comment on older issues too, even if you didn’t create them. We want everyone to be able to get in on the conversation.
If you need to get in touch privately, you can still use our contact form.
I can’t tell you how many times I’ve kicked off a long running process only to kill it and add in a progress indicator. I probably should have come up with something standard awhile ago, but now I don’t have to. tqdm has created one kind of solution.
Instantly make your loops show a progress meter – just wrap any iterator with
tqdm(iterator), and you’re done!
Can’t say much more about it, but if you have had this problem in the past you might want to check out tqdm.
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!
Dynosaur is letting us skip that whole rigmarole of wake-up-at-6am-because-we-were-featured-in-the-NYT-and-traffic-is-through-the-roof. More sleep equals happy developers, and this new API from Google is proving very useful to us from an operations perspective.
Seems to be a first (and only) plugin to use the Google Analytics Live API (currently in private beta) and a configurable ‘users per dyno’ value to estimate the required number of dynos.
Check out Dynosaur on GitHub.
You’re an experienced engineer looking for freelance and remote contract opportunities, but you’re completely fed up with oDesk, Rent A Coder, Elance, or that long list of “job sites” you browse “looking” for new and exciting work. I know how you feel — that’s exactly why we’ve partnered with Toptal.
Over the weekend App.net announced a new service called Backer.
Here’s the good news for open source software makers wanting to poll their community and raise funds for a new project or feature. App.net has commited to not charge any fees on funds raised by credit card or bitcoin. Credit card processing costs still apply.
There’s an application process:
Projects will be vetted to ensure your Backer project runs alongside other high-quality, legitimate projects.
We think this could be a pretty cool way to fund open source projects. Not only can you put money into the hands of open source developers, but they will also know they’re working on something that people want.
Submit your application — applications for the first round of projects are open now.
Amazon S3 works pretty well, is cheap, and is not too slow. It is employed as a blob store by so many companies that it’s practically the de facto solution. So, if you could speed up S3 I am sure it would have a pretty big impact. That is exactly what MimicDB is trying to do.
By maintaining a transactional record of every API call to S3, MimicDB provides a local, isometric key-value store of data on S3. MimicDB stores everything except the contents of objects locally. Tasks like listing, searching and calculating storage usage on massive amounts of data are now fast and free.
The readme says that on average tasks like those are 2000x faster using MimicDB. It also reduced the number of API calls to S3 thus reducing the price. If you use S3 heavily, MimicDB looks like it could be an interesting addition to your stack.
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.
Thumbor is pretty impressive. Not only does it take something like thumbnailing, which is always painful, and makes it easy. It has cool image operation out of the box.
It also features a VERY smart detection of important points in the image for better cropping and resizing, using state-of-the-art face and feature detection algorithms
It even sports an east to use API with urls like:
If you’re like me and think thumbnailing is a pain, checkout Thumbor.
tl;dr Our members can learn the UNIX Command Line on OS X for $19!
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In this master-slave, master-master, multi-master world there needs to be a way to figure out who is running the show. Raft is a protocol for doing that. The Secret Lives of Data have put together an interactive guide to explain it all: Understandable Distributed Consensus
If you like their guide to raft they are asking that you open issues for what you want explained next.
In Episode #90 we talked with Avdi about pair programming, distributed teams, workflows, and of course, Ruby! Needless to say, we’re big fans of Avdi and his work — and we’re happy to have him sponsor the RSS feed this week.
Don’t just take our word — Avdi has shared an exclusive, Changelog-only, freebie of episode #72 for you to check out (the video above). The episode is called “Random Access” and it kicked off a short mini-series for Avdi where he takes his subscribers on a journey to reimplement a small subset of the UNIX “tail” command in Ruby.
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.
As we move into this world of loosely connected VMs, containers, and servers we need a layer that tells everything where everything else is. Serf is Hashicorp’s solution for this problem.
Serf is a decentralized solution for service discovery and orchestration that is lightweight, highly available, and fault tolerant.
Are you wondering why you might need this? Let’s say you have an app that requires Redis. You could put Redis inside your container, but then every app server you push would have its own copy of Redis. Instead you might want to have a Redis container and an app container.
Of course, when you only have two containers it wouldn’t be hard to hand manage the connection. When you increase the number of elements in the system the complexity increases as well. This is where service orchestration come in. It helps handle the complexity. Serf is one solution to this problem.
Newspaper lets anyone do article extraction like Instapaper and Pocket.
Newspaper is a Python 2 library for extracting & curating articles from the web.
It wants to change the way people handle article extraction with a new, more precise layer of abstraction.
Besides “read later” services, there’s a growing number of APIs that provide article extraction as a service like diffbot and embed.ly. Those services are great, but it’s nice that newspaper is open source and hackable.
For instance, when I first checked out newspaper it only had plain text article extraction. Sometimes, though, I want the original markup of the article with some sanitization. It helps to have the paragraphs, links, and headers accurately represent the article. So, I forked the project, made some changes, and the maintainer codelucas was reactive and worked with me to get my changes merged in.
If you want a place to start working on article extraction Newspaper looks like a good bet.
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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).
I’m excited about our future. In the past few weeks we’ve seen our membership base grow quite a bit and lots of people are enjoying this weekly email. I’m pretty happy about that. If you’re a subscriber and you’ve been enjoying the email, make sure you tell your developer friends so they can subscribe too. Don’t keep us a secret! :)
Weekly – Issue #20 — Facebook chooses Mercurial, Unix Shell’s if, Sweet.js, Gittip Button, Calendar.vim, 15 Docker tips, Better Vim, and Travis CI is now a partner!
Become a member today for $20 instead of $40 with the promo code
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Colors is a simple idea, but a well executed one. It’s self described as:
Better colors for the web.
It provides humane defaults for the colors used by your browser. This would be a great addition to any CSS stack.
Quietnet is cool in an I-built-a-radio-out-of-parts-from-Radio-Shack kind of way.
Simple chat program using near ultrasonic frequencies. Works without Wifi or Bluetooth and won’t show up in a pcap.
Andrew and Adam talk with Eran Hammer about Node.js and Black Friday at Walmart.
We are pleased to announce our latest partner, Travis CI!
Travis CI loves The Changelog and they want to give our members 20% off of any plan for an entire year!