Adobe loses its (web) edge…

Well, consider me not surprised: Update about Edge Tools and Services. If you have no idea what this is about, then I’m not surprised. A few years ago, Adobe released an incredible set of web tools called the Edge suite. This included a responsive design tool (Edge Reflow), a web animation tool (Edge Animate), a mobile testing tool (Edge Inspect), and an editor (Edge Code), a ‘branded’ version of Brackets. Brackets was already on life support* (Update from the Adobe Brackets Team) so it isn’t too surprising to see the rest of the web related stuff get killed off as a well.

Again – not surprising – but certainly disappointing. The Edge tools were incredibly cool. Small, light-weight, useful to both developers and designers alike, and a big change from what Adobe normally did. I loved talking about them to audiences and it was a great initiative, especially along with the rest of the stuff Adobe was doing regarding to web. I can remember attending conferences and hearing folks in the web community praise Adobe – typically with a bit of surprise – for what they were doing to help people working on the web.

A lot of good will was earned – rightly so – and it has simply been thrown away. Truly disappointing. I’m sure there were valid business reasons for this – developers especially are pretty cheap – but I think there is value in good will that can be (almost) as good as profit.

* To be fair, Brackets isn’t on life-support, just a temporary hiatus. But development has slowed down quite a bit. Personally, performance for me has been really bad (but it may just be the extensions I use as I don’t see others having the issues I do) to the point where I switched to Atom, and then Visual Studio Code, and I’ve had much better luck since then. Every time a new version comes out I check it out, but I pretty much only use Brackets now when I need to fix a reported bug with one of my extensions.

How to tell if a Cordova application is running in the simulator

Just a quick note here but the most recent plugins release included a cool little update to the Device plugin. If you’ve never used it before, the plugin provides basic information about the app’s current working environment, including operating system and device model. In the most recent version, a new property was added: isVirtual.

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Where I want to go with Node next…

This post probably isn’t terribly useful to anyone else but me, but I wanted to write this down to help direct me and keep me on target. I’ve been spending a lot of time with StrongLoop lately and while I feel like I’ve covered the “API stuff” pretty well, I want to turn my attention to performance stuff – both in StrongLoop of course and generically across the Node.js ecosystem. Let me give some context.

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Happy Thanksgiving!

I’m spending my day with my family and am incredibly thankful for them. I wanted to quickly thank everyone who reads this blog, comments, and helps make me a better developer. Thank you to the Apache Cordova team, the Ionic folks, and everyone else who helps make the tools that let me get stuff done.

The photo above is by Stephen Hayford and is part of an incredibly cool collection of Star Wars miniature art.

Important update for Apache Cordova and Android

Those of us who work with Apache Cordova are well aware of the issues surrounding the Android simulator. Calling it “slow” does not properly describe the painful experience of actually trying to use it. In fact, every now and then when I accidentally launch it via the Cordova CLI, I say something out loud that I don’t usually include in my blog posts. (Hint – it rhymes with duck.) How bad is it? I’ve actually recommended folks go out and buy cheap Android devices instead of using the simulator. Of course, you should always test on real devices. My point is, I’d suggest using a real device instead of the simulator since it was actually slower than going to the real device. Of course, even when I have a real device, half of my USB cables don’t properly let adb connect to it. Apparently I’m using the “wrong” USB cables. This is why I use iOS about 99% of the time for my Cordova work. I also recommend Genymotion – a free/commercial Android simulator.
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HarpJS GUI in Beta

So this is interesting. Harp is my “go to” static site generator when presenting on the topic and building new static sites. (I also really dig Jekyll and I go back and forth between which I like best.) The Harp team is now testing a new desktop application called Harp GUI. You can find the GitHub repo here: Right now there’s only builds for Linux but you can generate builds for OSX and Windows. What does it do exactly?

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Using the Meetup API in Client-Side Applications

This isn’t new, but was something I discovered a few weeks ago and I’m finally making the time to blog about it. I’ve used the Meetup API in the past with ColdFusion and for the most part, it just works, but like many APIs today it requires authenticated calls to get data. Unfortunately, even a simple search against public data also required an authenticated call. This means using the API in a purely client-side application won’t be secure because your code will contain your secret keys.

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Using Authorization Tokens for IBM Watson services

This is a handy little trick I discovered last week. It is definitely documented (Using tokens with Watson services), but I had not run into the feature until I was investigating a Watson service. Way back in February I wrote up a blog post that discussed how to use the Visual Recognition service with a Cordova application: Using the new Bluemix Visual Recognition service in Cordova. While this worked fine, it had a big problem.

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