Working with Static Sites - Final Release!

So I’ve blogged about this a few times already, but now the final, really final release of my book on Static Sites is available for purchase. I co-authored this with Brian Rinaldi and I think it is fair to say this is a great introduction to the topic with multiple real world (ish ;) examples.

For folks curious, here is the table of contents: Chapter 1 - Why Static Sites?

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Designing an OpenWhisk Action for Web Action Support

Before I begin - a few words of caution. The feature I’m discussing today is - for the most part - bleeding edge for OpenWhisk. It is really new and most likely will change between now and when it is “formally” part of the platform. Secondly, what I built may not actually be the best idea either. Regular readers know that I’ll often share code that is fun, but not exactly practical, so this isn’t anything new per se, but I want to point out that what I demonstrate here may not be a good idea.

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An Example of a Static Site with a Dynamic Calendar

Forgive the somewhat clunky title - I wanted to share a little demo I built for my presentation this week at DevNexus. The idea behind the demo was whether or not I could create a simple dynamic calendar system with a static web site. My presentation was all about adding dynamic aspects back into a static site, so this fit right in. For the demo, I made use of FullCalendar. FullCalendar is a simple little jQuery plugin that renders a nice full screen (well, “as big as you want it”) calendar.

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Another OpenWhisk Cron Example - the Blog Nag

Last week I blogged about my first experience working with OpenWhisk triggers and rules, specifically the Cron trigger which lets you execute actions according to a schedule. Today I’m sharing another example, which, while not as complex as the 911 scraper, I thought was kind of fun. As a blogger, I try to keep to a certain amount of posts per month. While I a absolutely care more about quality than quantity, I still try to maintain a certain amount of content per month.

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VS Code Extensions: mssql and vscode-database

For today’s review of Visual Studio Code extensions, I looked at two related extensions that provide basic database support. In the past, when I was a heavy ColdFusion user, I was a huge fan of the database support in ColdFusion Builder. Now - CFBuilder was Eclipse-based so it was quite heavy, but I loved it’s database viewer. I don’t have it installed currently, but the basic feature set included being able to view all tables and structure as well as write ad hoq queries against it and see results.

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Building a Form Handler Service in OpenWhisk - Part Two

A few weeks ago I blogged about creating a generic “forms handler” with OpenWhisk. The idea was that you could point any form at the action and it would gather up the form data and email the results. One of the issues with my action was that it only worked via a HTTP call to the end point. That made it fine for a simple Ajax call from JavaScript, but it missed one of the cooler features that most form handling services provide - the ability to redirect to another URL when done.

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Collecting 911 Data with OpenWhisk Cron Triggers

Today I’m sharing probably the most complex thing I’ve built with OpenWhisk. While I’m proud of it, I will remind people I’m still the newbie to this world, so keep that in mind as I explain what I did. Many years ago, like seven (holy crap), I built a ColdFusion demo that parsed local 911 data and persisted it locally to a database: Proof of Concept 911 Viewer. I used a Yahoo Pipe to suck in the HTML data provided by a local police web site and convert into something I could store.

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More Thoughts on Leveling Up

Warning - what follows isn’t code related - it’s a bit mushy. I apologize in advance. Something has been on my mind this morning and I thought I’d share. A little over a year ago, I shared an article on how developers can improve their craft, “Leveling Up Your JavaScript”. For some reason, this article has been picked up by a few outlets on Twitter this week and I’ve seen renewed interest/RTs/etc on the content, so I guess that’s a good thing if people are still finding it useful.

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Serverless and Persistence

Today’s post isn’t going to be anything really deep, more of an “A-ha” moment I had while talking with my coworker Carlos Santana. No, not that a-Ha… More a “adjustment of a misunderstanding” of the serverless platform. One of the things I knew right away about serverless is that my code acted as a single, atomic unit, in an ephemeral form. So yes, a server is still involved with serverless, but it’s created on the fly, used my code, then disappears when my code is done running.

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Using Social Login with Passport and Node

I’ve blogged before about Passport (“Some Quick Tips for Passport”) as well as an example of social login with Passport (“New POC - Daily Reddit”), but I thought it would be nice to share an example focused just on using social login with Passport. As I discovered when I first worked with Passport, it makes things really easy, but it can be incredibly difficult sometimes to find the right part of the docs to figure out particular usage needs.

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