Simon Willison’s Weblog

167 items tagged “webdevelopment”

What’s the cheapest or free stack solution to deploy and experiment with a realtime application in 2016?

Heroku have a good free tier, and comprehensive support for deploying both Python and Node.js. If you are mainly interested in realtime I would suggest starting out with Node.js on Heroku. Depending on the complexity of your project you might even be able to use raw Node.js without adding something like Express.

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Why is snapEDA.com slow? Is it because it uses Django?

No, it’s not slow because it uses Django.

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Are traditional web frameworks and languages like RubyOnRail, Spring Boot and PHP dying now when new fast reactive pure JavaScript frameworks and services like Meteor, Node, Angular 2.0 and Firebase are breaking ground?

No.

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How does one decide which Javascript framework (e.g. Node, Backbone, Angular) to use on any given project?

If you are just learning JavaScript, I suggest trying to work without any frameworks or libraries at all. Starting with something like Angular will make it much harder for you to learn the core language and browser APIs.

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Should I use Django forms or pure HTML in order to do not establish borders for the growth of my app?

Use Django forms. Django scales horizontally on the front-end, so if your site needs to handle large amounts of traffic you just need to run multiple front-end servers—your form handling code will scale up just fine.

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What is the best way one can expand his or her professional network?

Go to events—local meetups, conferences, tradeshows... there’s no better way of expanding your professional network than to attend events and build in-person relationships with people.

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What are the best free tutorials on HTML5?

Dive Into HTML5 and HTML5 Rocks are both outstanding.

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In simple terms, what is node.js?

It’s server-side programming, like PHP. The language you write the server-side code in is JavaScript (specifically the JavaScript version supported by Google’s V8 JavaScript engine, which was originally written for the Chrome web browser).

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Why did Twitter move away from being a single-page application?

Twitter is still a single page application, it’s just built properly now (one result of which is that you can’t easily tell).

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Are Django versions released too often?

The Django release process is well documented (see Django’s release process) and has been specifically designed to address the concerns of developers who don’t want to have to spend too much time keeping up to date with the latest version.

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As a non-technical single founder for a web startup, is it better to hire a design firm to build the prototype, or find a technical co-founder?

Find a co-founder. The problem with using an outside agency to build your initial prototype is that you won’t really start learning about your product until after you have launched it. You need to have the talent available in-house to then make changes and improvements based on the feedback you get from real users.

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Is there a substantial difference between using a Mac or a Windows machine for web development (particularly RoR)?

No matter if you are on Mac or Windows you should be using a Linux virtual machine for development, ideally running the same operating system as you deployment environment (I like Ubuntu for this). Vagrant is a popular tool for managing this kind of setup.

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Is greater comfort with Windows a good enough reason to switch from PHP to ASP.NET?

Learning Linux really isn’t that hard, and it will dramatically increase your potential horizons as a programmer. Install Ubuntu on a virtual machine on your laptop and start running through some tutorials.

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What is the ways to view the examples without download the example files in github?

If you can view the file on raw.github.com you can drop the first dot to view it on rawgithub.com—a free proxy service.

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I’ve been working alone for about a year, how do I get out of this feeling of loneliness because no one is around me?

This is why co-working spaces exist. I don’t know which country you are based in but here in the UK most cities and many larger towns now have at least one tech-focused co-working space where you can rent a desk on a month-to-month basis and have a work environment outside your home with other freelancers with whom you can socialize.

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How log in my e-mail and send sms via php?

If you want to send SMS via PHP I suggest taking a look at www.twilio.com—they are pretty inexpensive and ridiculously easy to get started with.

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What’s involved in making a site like JibJab go from conception to reality?

I’m afraid you don’t get to create a hit website just by having an idea: You have to have the skills and focus to actually make it happen.

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Why doesn’t Google use their resources to improve coding languages?

Google invest vast resources in to language improvements, and have been doing so for over a decade now. Just off the top of my head...

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What would be a good web application framework to use for running a small online retail business?

I’d look at hosted SaaS solutions rather than running your own. I haven’t tried it myself but I’ve heard excellent things about www.shopify.com

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PostgreSQL: How can I store images in a database? What existing products makes it easy for a user to upload photos into a general database?

As a general rule, it’s a bad idea to store images in a database. This is due to the large amount of space they take up, which can affect database read performance and will greatly increases the size of your backups, making them both take longer and cost more to store.

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What are some ways that brought your proficiency of CSS to another level?

An exercise I found useful when I first learned CSS was to implement CSS versions of the designs of popular sites. This was back when most sites still used tables for layout.

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Why can’t I do style=“padding: 20px” and a border in the same div?

You can’t have two style attributes on the same element—but you can have two styles rules inside the same attribute. Try this instead:

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What are tips for keeping website up on Black Friday? (due to large number of hits)

Serve as much of your site as possible using Varnish, and/or consider a dynamic content CDN such as www.fastly.com

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What’s best the site to visit to START building a website?

There are two ways to approach this: you can try and learn HTML yourself, or you can use tools that will help you build websites quickly without needing to code.

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Wrapping block elements in anchor tags? I know this wasn’t valid markup in HTML4 but has this changed or is the only option through JS?

This is a new thing in HTML5: “Block-level” links in HTML5

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My contract with web developer says a) she will create a unique description for each page, AND b) that she is not responsible for writing or inputting any content. Now she wants me to compose the page descriptions, citing (b). What do you think? Edit...

You should write the copy. Copy is important—you don’t want it to be written by someone who believes it isn’t even their responsibility, and will hence probably do a poor job of it.

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What is the Hacker News technology stack?

It’s written in Arc, a Lisp variant created by Paul Graham. I believe it uses the file system for storage rather than a dedicated database.

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What design techniques does Apple use in the introduction page of iPad Air?

Apple used the same technique on their Apple—Mac Pro page. I first saw this trick used on the BeerCamp at SXSW 2011 page.

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What kind of website can be run on AWS for 10, 100, 1 thousand, 10 thousand, 100 thousand, 1 million dollars per month?

“But is there a simple way to say that for 10$ per month you can run website on AWS, that has X unique users and Y data transfer...”

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Would you test your web app against simulated infrastructure failure?

I think this is a pretty interesting idea—simulating these kind of conditions isn’t easy so I imagine many teams don’t bother. If it was good (really easy to get started with, great control and reporting tools, maybe helped set up the actual tests to replay) and I trusted the service I would definitely consider paying for it.

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