In my former professional life, I used to do a lot of .Net development, mostly ASP.Net development focussed on whatever alternative to WebForms was available at that time – e.g. ASP.Net MVP (remember that?), ASP.Net MVC, ASP.Net Web Pages.

These days, however, I’m primarily a JavaScript developer and it’s been years since I’ve written any .Net code. At Esri I get to focus on front-end web development, and if I’m developing on the server it’s in Node.js. To quote David Spriggs as he was musing about Node and GitHub, “we’re lucky to be alive at this point in history.”

So, I’ve finally decided to shut down my windows hosting account. Continue reading “Bye-bye”

Using Bootstrap Map? You Might Not Need jQuery…

I’ve been working with Allan Laframboise to add examples of how to use Esri’s popular Bootstrap Map framework without a dependency on jQuery. The Dojo-Bootstrap library, a Dojo port of the Twitter Bootstrap JavaScript modules, finally has a release candidate that is compatible with Bootstrap 3.x. This enabled us to replace the references to the Bootstrap JavaScript with references to the Dojo-Bootstrap modules and completely remove the reference to jQuery.

Bootstrap Map: Now with Dojo-Bootstrap
Now you can choose whether you’d like to get started using Bootstrap with jQuery or Dojo.

You can try out the new Dojo examples live at:

Continue reading “Using Bootstrap Map? You Might Not Need jQuery…”

Removing Unused Dependencies with grunt-amdcheck

I’ve recently been playing with the grunt-amdcheck plugin to remove unused dependencies from AMD modules. It’s common for define statements in an AMD project to accumulate unused dependencies over time as developers refactor, and it’s a good idea to clean those up from time to time as unused dependencies can:

  • Make it harder to maintain your code
  • Cause the browser to make unnecessary asynchronous requests at run time
  • Increase file size and download times

I worked with Mehdi Shojaei, the plugin’s author, on a couple of pull requests to make the plugin work better for my workflow. Namely I suggested that the plugin try to preserve the whitespace between arguments in define paths and module lists, and that it include an option to not overwrite files and that did not have unused dependencies.

Continue reading “Removing Unused Dependencies with grunt-amdcheck”

Resources from our Esri DevSummit Presentation on JavaScript Testing

At the recent 2014 Esri Developers Summit in Palm Springs, Dave Bouwman, David Spriggs, and I presented on Testing Tools & Patterns for JavaScript Mapping Apps.

The video, slides (PDF), and links to related resources from that talk are all now available at the GitHub repository we created for the talk.

Personally, I think Dave Bouwman’s introductory section on the how and why of JavaScript unit testing is as good as any presentation or book (mapping or no) that I’ve seen or read on the subject and is definitely worth a watch.

Beyond that, if you’re interested in the mechanics of testing mapping apps with any of the frameworks we cover (the Intern, Jasmine, Karma, etc) there are plenty of resources to get you going.

My GitHub 30 Day Challenge

Last month I challenged myself to try make at least one contribution a day to GitHub for 30 days straight, and as a result I’ve been able to make long overdue updates to all of my existing repositories as well as make meaningful contributions to other peoples’ open source projects. Some of the things I accomplished during the challenge:

The challenge also helped me up my Git Fu a bit, since (sadly) most of my work projects are not managed in Git. If you’re like me, most of your GitHub activity takes place outside of your normal work hours, and this kind of challenge can really help you get to things that have been on the back burner for too long.

My 2013 GitHub contribution calendar
31 days so far… The gaping holes in the above calendar could be labeled “TFS/SVN Time.”

I’d definitely recommend others try a similar challenge. Here are my (self evident) tips for successfully completing your challenge:

Continue reading “My GitHub 30 Day Challenge”

For Human Eyes Only

Useful resources on what should be in your robots.txt file.

Here are some useful resources on what should be in your robots.txt file – which is one of those things I can never seem to find the time for…