For my last project I had to build a web application to administrate a MongoDB database. Due to using Meteor quite a lot I heard about Graphql and the Apollostack. Graphql, which is a specification done by Facebook engineers, promises to be the better REST API (which I hope it is). I became curious and decided the build the server API with Apollo. First I tried to evade using the Meteor as build system as I don’t want to get too accustomed to this full-stack ecosystem. However, building a live-reload server and client build system in ES6 with Node.js, Babel and Webpack was simply too much work compared to building this simple web app. So in result this was my stack:
Continue reading “Graphql with Apollo, Meteor and React”
While working on a new chatbot I had to come up with good examples to start and led a conversation with the chatbot. For this I analyzed other bots, tracked the steps it takes to achieve a specific goal and kept notes on repeating patterns. In result me and my team came up with a few basic principles to design dialogs in conversational bots.
Continue reading “Chatbot dialog design – a best practice proposal”
Mind melting music to make you feel stimulated. You are the tamagotchi.
As I’m relatively new to Node I had to wrap my head around a very basic thing. Getting external variables into my app. Loading settings for different environments from config files and via environment variables (for heroku deployment) should supposedly be an easy challenge. However, none of the solutions I’ve found were well enough for my scenario:
- Store config in json file.
- Have different configuration files (development, production, …).
- Load configs from environment variables.
- Fallback from environment to config file.
- App lives in one folder.
Continue reading “Node.js dynamic settings”
Yesterday late afternoon I had the great idea to update my AWS EC2 instance to Ubuntu 16.04 LTS. This website and two other sites are hosted on this machine. A Piwik installation and a mail forwarder as well. So it’s not that much, but still very essential to me. The upgrade didn’t go well, the system literally broke.
Continue reading “Hello Google Cloud Platform and good bye AWS”
Together we’ve built an app to create and share events with friends. It was an awesome experience. Yesterday we launched a private version on heroku. For us this was a great accomplishment. I learned a lot from this project and thought about sharing it with world.
Some technical features and challenges we solved:
- Access control for methods, publications and routing.
- Mobile first ui with material design.
- Fulltext search everywhere.
- File upload to Dropbox with Meteor-Files.
- Images with different thumbnails.
- Keyboard navigation in single views.
- Ready for deployment to heroku.
Thanks to the makers of Meteor, React, Mantra and Mantra-CLI.
hey there, I’ve spent as usual a lot of time with React, Mantra and Meteor. While building a simple app I checked out the new Meteor standard for file handling Meteor-Files. It works great, I really recommend this awesome package. But that’s not what I want to show you. The app I’m working on loads pictures form the dropbox api. Downloading the pictures always takes a while. To make sure the user doesn’t get impatient the app is now displaying a spinner when the image is loading. I would to like to show you how I’ve built this image loader and spinner component.
Continue reading “React image loader with a spinner”
Powerful tracks mixed by the machine.
For Meteor there are not many options left when choosing a user account package. The built-in option is the only use- and successful solution so far. The package is well documented and works like a charm. However, whenever I set up the account system in Meteor I am confronted with these two scenarios:
- How can I extend the user profile object with data from a registration form? (A user should be able to edit the profile data himself later on.)
- And how can I add other attributes to the user collection object? (A user should not be able to change a custom attribute himself later on.)
These are two fundamental obstacles almost every developer faces when setting up the account system. There are a lot of solutions out there on how to do this in Meteor properly, but a lot of them are poorly described and make it difficult the get the right idea of how the account system works. It got even more difficult due to API changes and Meteor itself that changed a lot over years. Now I would like to give a good example for this two questions.
Continue reading “Meteor create user with a profile and custom attributes”
I questioned this as well. Why shouldn’t a state or union such as the EU copy successful models. Till Rahn wrote an essay about this topic, which is right now more relevant than ever. With GB leaving the EU there are a lot of unanswered questions. I really enjoyed reading his essay. In order to preserve it I made a copy:
Continue reading “Can the European Union Learn from Switzerland? – An Essay by Till Rahn”