Five Chrome DevTools Tips for Troubleshooting Web Apps

I recently needed to find and fix a bug in a web app I’ve been working on. The bug had something to do with code that was updating the dimensions of a third-party generated UI component whenever the window was resized. While troubleshooting the issue, I repeatedly used a handful of the tools provided by Chrome DevTools. Some of these I’ve used many times in the past, but a couple of them were new to me, so I thought I’d discuss them here. Read more on Five Chrome DevTools Tips for Troubleshooting Web Apps…

Importing with Absolute Paths using webpack in JavaScript/TypeScript

Using relative paths in your import statements is great for “Hello World” examples and blog posts. But when used in large projects with hundreds of files and deep hierarchical directory structures, relative paths become a nightmare (see Rob Ashton’s post Stop using relative paths in your JavaScripts for some of the reasons why this is so). Read more on Importing with Absolute Paths using webpack in JavaScript/TypeScript…

Running the Current Test File in VS Code

For the last few months, I’ve been using Visual Studio Code on a Node.js project. It’s a pretty great editor, and its support for TypeScript is fantastic. As part of my normal workflow, I try to follow TDD practices as much as possible. For efficiency’s sake, I like to execute the tests in the test file I’m currently editing, right from the editor (I’ve written about setting up Vim to run the current test file in an external terminal in the past). Read more on Running the Current Test File in VS Code…

DateStr – A Strongly-Typed Date String for TypeScript

Nearly every project I have ever worked on has had to deal with dates in one way or another. For example, there might be a need to generate a report for a specific date range. This would require a user to select a start and end date, which would be sent over the network to an API. The API would use those dates in an SQL query to retrieve the correct results. Read more on DateStr – A Strongly-Typed Date String for TypeScript…

Running Tests from MacVim in iTerm2 Version 3

Way back in 2011, I wrote a blog post showing how to Run Tests from MacVim via Terminal.app or iTerm.app. I’ve been using that setup for years without a problem, but when iTerm2 Version 3 was released, it stopped working. I’ve updated the AppleScript and am posting it here for anyone who wants to run tests in iTerm2 (Version 3) while writing code in Vim.

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Code Generation for Rails Utility Scripts

It seems that on every Rails project I work on, I end up writing utility scripts that make changes to the production data in some way or another. Perhaps it’s pre-loading hundreds of user accounts for a customer that wants to provide a spreadsheet of users, or populating an account with fake data that can be used for a demo, or manually fixing a data integration issue with an external system. Often, this requires parsing and processing a source file (like a CSV file). Read more on Code Generation for Rails Utility Scripts…

Run a Local Rails Script on Heroku

Heroku provides a convenient command line interface for executing snippets of Ruby code remotely. One-liners can easily be piped into the heroku run console command. But what about much longer scripts that you write locally and want to execute in a remote Heroku environment? In this post, I’ll show you how to execute a long Ruby/Rails script in a remote Heroku environment.

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Monitoring Stdout with a Timeout

Recently, I had to deal with a command line process that was occasionally hanging during my project’s continuous integration test suite. I decided to write a wrapper script that would watch the output of the wrapped process. If it didn’t see a particular bit of output after some period of time, it would kill the process and try again. To limit the dependencies needed in the CI environment, I decided to write this wrapper script in Bash.

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Capability Feature Flags for Backward Compatibility

Earlier this year, Ryan Abel wrote about Managing Multiple Releases in a Production Application. One of the strategies he discussed was using “feature flags” to manage when sets of features are released in production. I’ve found that feature flags work well when there’s a need to maintain backward compatibility with multiple versions of an external integration. In my case, it’s with a Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) device, but the same would hold true for a remote web service API, etc.

Read more on Capability Feature Flags for Backward Compatibility…