Using Packages in OpenWhisk

As I continue my exploration of serverless with OpenWhisk, today I’m going to look at the packages feature. While not terribly complex, I thought writing up my take on it and sharing some screen shots might help folks better understand the basics. As you play with OpenWhisk, you may be wondering where exactly your actions “live”. Obviously the whole point of serverless is to not worry about - you know - the server - but there is a directory of sort for your actions.

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Some Guidance for Blogging

Earlier this week a reader sent in a great set of questions (I’ve edited his text a bit for clarity): Could you write a post or point me to a good post if you have ever come across which details the following that would be a great help to me. Ethics for writing a blog How to credit others or if you link someone else’s content on your blog what should be the ideal process to ask for permission and why is it necessary?

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Further Down the Windows Train...

About three months ago I wrote up my “finalish” thoughts on the Surface Book (which, as a reminder, Microsoft provided) and Windows. As was obvious by the title, I had planned to come back later and talk more about how the ‘transition’ is going, how the SB is holding up, and more. By my calendar it is officially “Later” so here’s an update. Surface Book The Surface Book has 100% replaced my MacBook as my primary laptop.

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Talking to your Bot on OpenWhisk

As I continue my look into serverless with OpenWhisk, today I thought I’d build a quick demo around an incredibly cool bot service I discovered a while ago called Pandorabots. I first played with their service last summer, and I thought it was cool as hell, but I never got around to actually writing up my experience with it. My original exploration of it was via ColdFusion, but I thought this would be a great example of something I could build even easier (and a heck of a lot quicker) in OpenWhisk.

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Building a Form Handler Service in OpenWhisk

As a fan of static site generators, I’ve played with, and built, my own form processing services to work with my static sites. My current favorite is FormSpree - it’s the one I use on this blog. I even built my own version of it in Node (“Building a Simple Form Handler Service in Node”) back in October last year. I thought it would be kind of cool to look into building a similar type service with OpenWhisk.

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New Camera Hotness from Chrome

First off - I apologize for the somewhat lame title. It occurred to me today that it’s been a while since I played with new and upcoming web standards, and as I recently discovered Chrome was introducing some really cool stuff around camera support, I thought it would be fun to explore a bit. Specifically I’m talking about the “Image Capture” API. This API provides access to the camera and supports taking pictures (of course) as well as returning information about the camera hardware itself.

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LoopBack now has a CLI!

The title pretty much says it all. For some time now, you used slc to work with LoopBack apps. slc came from StrongLoop and did quite a few other things on top of working with LoopBack apps, but now that we recommend folks make use of LoopBack and API Connect, having a CLI focused on just LoopBack is a big plus. To install, simply run: npm install -g loopback-cli This will give you the lb command, which is ONE CHARACTER LESS THAN SLC!

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Working with IonicDB

Today marks the launch of a new Ionic service, IonicDB. For those who fondly remember Parse (thanks again, Facebook), this will come as welcome news. IonicDB is a simple data storage system. It lets you store data in the cloud for your mobile apps and skip building a server just to handle simple data CRUD. It also ties nicely with the Ionic Auth system and has the ability to listen to changes to your data in real time.

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All My Friends Are Superheroes

A few weeks back I created an incredibly practical and not silly at all application that went through your device’s contact list and “fixed” those contacts that didn’t have a proper picture. The “fix” was to simply give them a random cat picture. That seems totally sensible, right? I was thinking about this during the weekend and it occured to me that there is an even cooler way we could fix our friends - by turning them all into superheros with the Marvel API.

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