So you've come to a point where you want to build nice CLIs. There's a few different options for building CLI's. My two favorites are oclif and commander.js. I tend toward leaning to commander, unless I know I'm building a super big app. However, I've really enjoyed building smaller CLIs with commander recently.
Speeding up CraftCMS on Heroku
So, I previously blogged about how we hosted CraftCMS on Heroku. When we built the marketing site for Quala the twig templates were built for maximum authoring flexibility at the cost of some TTFB problems. We knew this going into the project. In an ideal world we would use GatsbyJS to build the frontend, but we very limited in time. When we went live, we saw a dramatic improvement to First Contentful paint, but a huge decrease to Time To First Byte, averaging at 1.3 seconds.
Building a remote cache server for Turborepo
Turborepo is a tool that came across my virtual desk recently. Monorepo develoment has been around for a long time. This is a strategy where all of your code remains in one repository regardless of services. A lot of people use monorepo's even for microservices. The huge upside is to keep everything in one place, which allows for development efficiency, such as grepping an entire codebase for specific keywords. A quick example would be a top level directory which has child directories that each contain an npm package, unlike publishing these packages, you access them locally as though they were published.
Accessibility Driven Development
I've been working at CarGurus.com for the last 2 years or so. One of the biggest journeys we've been undertaking is to take accessibility far more seriously. However with an engineering team way into the triple digits it gets harder and harder to scale accessibility knowledge.
5 web perf tips for 2019
As more and more of the world is getting online, a larger part of the internet community is using the internet on lower powered devices. Making websites fast is becoming paramount. Here are 5 tips to improving you web page's performance
Must have vscode plugins for front-end devs
I've had a lot of people ask me about my choice of editors, and plugins. A while back I switched to vscode for all my programming work, for both front and back end. In the past I've blogged about the best plugins for visual studio as a backend dev, but I thought I'd give you a more front-end angle
Rebuilding this blog for performance
So many people know me as a very performance focused engineer, and as someone that cares about perf I've always been a bit embarrassed about this blog. In actual fact this blog as it sits now is fast by most people's standards. I got a new job in July, and well I work with an absolute mad lad that is making me feel pretty embarrassed with his 900ms page load times. So I've decided to build my own blog engine, and compete against him.
Measuring, Visualizing and Debugging your React Redux Reselect performance bottlenecks
Working with docker on windows 7, 8
So its no secret I'm a docker fan. In-fact, I've been a fan of docker since the early betas. I work in an office, with a high amount of people running some form of windows, and I hear this quote quite a lot.
Docker for windows only supports windows 10, you can't use docker on windows 7, 8, etc.
Taking time away
In case you haven't notice, this blog has not gotten updates much this summer. Some people have even noticed the overall lack of activity on my GitHub. Emails have gone, several weeks unanswered.
Visual Studio 2017, best extensions on launch
When Visual studio 2015 launched, I wrote a blog post titled Resharper without Resharper. This was clearly aimed at giving people the ability in 2015 to divorce themselves from the very expensive product. In writing the post however, I didn't realize people would just want a low down on cool vs2015 extensions.
Making alexa skills in .net
Ok so I've been in the alexa skills market recently, and obviously amazon wants you to use AWS Lambda for your skills. If you are like me, you have a ton of stuff in azure app service (the PaaS of azure). Azure app service supports nodejs, java, python, and of course .net. The two sdk's amazon ships (node, java) do not tie in with a web stack, and are obviously thought of as being used with Lambda.
Exploring the dotnet cli
Now that dotnet core tools have been released I thought it would be good to look into the dotnet cli. This is a new command line interface to build, manage, compile and run
dotnet core based applications
VS 2017, and dotnet core tools. Today will be a historic day
Today marks the release of Visual Studio 2017, and with it the final release of the tools for dotnet core. This means as of today you can build, test, and deploy an application completely supported by microsoft. Not just the runtimes, but the tooling as well. The CLI for dotnet core has been finalized, and its awesome. The csproj system has been revitalized. New csproj's can be created, and are fully compatible with the old. Visual studio 2017 has finally released. This is probably the greatest version of visual studio ever created. Finally VS has gone from a slow, archaic editor, to a fast moving IDE. An IDE with a DevOps-First Cloud-First mentality. An IDE ready to tackle today's modern challenges.
Parsing cli arguments in dotnet core Console App
tl;dr view this gist
So its 2016, and we are still making console apps/cli's. In fact I would say there has been a surge in popularity of these types of tools. I think we have come to the realization that buttons on forms are not automatable, and that the command line doesn't have to be scary.
I recently started writing an app in dotnet core, which is the new runtime for dotnet. In the past I have often used command line parser, but as of this writing it does not support core.
I was really lost trying to find an arguments parsing library when I realized the dotnet cli was open sourced.
After much struggle, failing to bingle. I started ripping through the Entity Framework, and dotnet cli's code hoping to find a gem. Thats when I stumbled across a diamond. You see many dotnet projects use Microsft.Extension.CommandLineUtils to do cli parsing.
Dockerize that old webforms app
So now that Windows server 2016 is generally avalible for the first time ever windows users can now use containers. Ok, so what exactly are containers? Well more or less they are virtual operating systems that share the same kernel as the host OS. In regular VM's the hardware is shared between machines, but containers go a step further and share the kernel of the OS. Why does this matter? Well because you are sharing an existing kernel that is already running, your startup times are instantanious. To put this in perspective, this is virtualization at the OS level.
On Linux, containers have been a thing for a long time. This technology is called LXC. Docker itself is a layer ontop of various container platforms embedded in operating systems.
Use dotnet rc2 with appveyor
dotnet CLI is currently in RC2, and while the train is fast approaching RTM, most tools are still catching up. dotnet seems to have a documented cli based install for every platform except the good ol windows. That being said getting a windows based install/build is possible.
The wix toolset tl;dr
So recently I have had the (some would say unfortuate) time learning wix. Specifically I am trying to better understand windows installers, mostly to install webapps into IIS with MSI's. This is mostly due to the unfortunate situation where I constantly do work for windows things. I would recommend reading the docs on the wixtoolset website, but if you are still having a trouble understanding how the tools come together, you can read this.
Windows Installer Xml toolset or Wix for short, has been around since the early 2000's. The toolset is one of the great mechanisms to create MSI's. A while back I blogged about how to use them to install ssl certs in IIS. Until recently when I fit the tools together in my head, I couldn't figure out how they work. So here is the tl;dr
Why I moved from Ghost to Hexo
Blogging right? I can't believe I somehow stuck with it all this time. Even when I took a long break I still kinda blogged. I got started after being ~~convinced~~ inspired by a coworkers passion to start blogging. To say the least he, and I have very similar tastes, and he turned me on to ghost, and the ghostium theme. After a year and a half of Ghost blogging I have left Ghost.
How the ASP.NET team made the web framework I have always wanted
Moving from beta 7 to beta 8 in ASP.NET 5 (MVC 6)
So Beta 8 was recently announced, and I thought I'd update DotNetMashups to beta 8.
In case you havn't been paying attention, recently it was announced that helios was no longer a thing. Helios was the loader for ASP.NET 5 in IIS. Instead they are using the http Platform Handler to proxy the connections to kestrel.
So I thought that this was going to be a difficult update. I loaded the announcements repo in my browser and got to work. You can view the Pull request here.
Fixing: Could not load file or assembly 'Microsoft.Dnx.Host.Clr'
So I recently ran into this error where the latest bits could not load Microsoft.Dnx.Host.Clr here is what I did to fix it.
Razor Websites, lightweight C# web coding
I was exploring around github, and I stumbled upon an interesting project called Miniblog which was a lightweight blog engine written in c#. The thing that immediately stood out to me was the lack of a
As I dug around the code I realized this was not a Web App, which most of us were familiar with, but a websites project. I then suddenly realized that the whole thing only used razor!
I am a huge fan of Nancyfx because its much more lightweight than the MVC framework created at Microsoft. To say the least I am a massive fan of small tools, and micro frameworks. So when I realized this whole thing was powered by razor only I was immediately impressed.
I decided to dig around on the internet to see if anyone else was talking about this. I found out quickly that it has been possible for some time, but I didn't find many references about it.
The one thing that bummed me out about the Miniblog example was that it was not a web app. You can use nuget packages will websites, but you cannot make references to other projects in the solution. This was a problem for me, and unlike websites, web app's are precompiled which reduces application startup time.
Saying goodbye to my VPS (..and my opinions of cloud providers)
I have used Linode for quite a long time now. My blog was hosted on linode, as was my StarBound server. My linode was the CentOS Pet I always wanted. Full of manual Fail2Ban configs, I make sure I fed my VPS every day. I even used cowsay to give me a cool message from my pet every login.
The major reason I moved my things away from Linode, was not the devops story itself. I could have stuck with linode, and used chef or something to manage my former friend. I decided to host everything in Azure Web apps. Now before I give you my long ramblings why I like azure; I must tell you. I put everything in azure, because my MSDN gave me free credits. There was no huge scientific analysis behind this. The simple fact that I got free money in Azure was the only reason why I started using it.
VS 2015, Getting Resharper Experience Without Resharper
click here for vs2017
Resharper has long dominated the c# landscape as the tool of tools. Roslyn shipping with VS 2015, the quick actions light bulb, and the community analyzers, all combine to produce a resharper-like experience.
Why I love bitbucket, and why I (almost) never use it.
Github has become the defacto online source hosting provider. More projects than ever before use github, and it has become a predominate force in the open source community. I use github quite a bit, and I love it.
Must Have Tool: NDepend
Code quality tooling has become a bigger, and bigger industry. Tools like Resharper, and stylecop have been telling us how bad us human beings are at developing code.
The one problem I have always had with these tools is they dont go above and beyond to help you understand your code at a higher level.
Watching the Watchers: Monitorama PDX 2014 Day Two
Day 2 was full of math based paranoia, math, and puppet(s)....
Watching the Watchers: Monitorama PDX 2014 Day One
I am here in lovely Portland Oregon attending Monitorama. Monitorama is a 3 day open source monitoring convention.
Monitorama had catered food, and drink. The food was plentiful and delicious, and the drinks were amazing.
There were 10 talks, I have made a quick summarization below. I don't have time to write in detail about each one, but I am sure you will get the gist from the basic summary.
ChromeOS: Gateway to portable productivity
Up until the last few years the only devices on the market were all full operating system work horses. However the majority of us would easily sacrifice functionality for portability. This statement has been backed up by the increase of market demand for tablets and ultrabooks over the years.
Installing NodeBB on CentOS 6.5
NodeBB is forum software written on Node.js
The official installation instructions are on github, but the documentation is for Ubuntu.
To install on CentOS follow these instructions.
Xamarin For Android The Conclusion: (Part 4 of 4)
- Part One
- Part Two
- Part Three
- Part Four
Well verdict is in boys, and girls. Personally, I thought the platform needs to mature more. For those people who can pay for the business edition ($1000 USD/developer), and really prefer c#; then go for it. For most of us that can either do c# or Java; you may want to stick with Java.
C# vs. Java for Android
Essentially Xamarin is a competing product with using Java. I felt that the hefty price tag, and the lack of free support means the ROI for Xamarin will be low.
If Xamarin provided more in the way of automation tools, and documentation; it would be the clear winner
The fact is going straight to Java for most people is probably a must. Even if you are more comfortable with c#, finding help on the internet is much easier. As the platform matures, and more features are added hopefully things will change.
License cost deterrent
One of my biggest gripes with Xamarin is the very inflexible license schemes. You can get by with the $300 indie edition, but it is pretty clear they want people to go the $1000 business edition route.
The biggest deterrent to the Xamarin platform is the high cost of licensing.
With no sliding scale prices based on organization size, or project scope Xamarin is a tough sell (especially for open source projects).
Xamarin, does provide a student discount. They give 90% off for enterprise edition, and for those of you whom go to school this is almost a must buy. You could probably make it back with this simple formula.
Flappy bird-like animal + Mario pipes + admob = $$$
Personally I like Xamarin platform. The ability to re-use code for multiple mobile platforms can be helpful. For most of us tinkerers out there Android Studio is probably enough. For serious businesses, with a major focus on c#; Xamarin is probably the prefered method of development.
Room for improvement
Before I can fully back Xamarin I'd like to see better componants that provide more mobile platform abstraction, increased automation tools (visual studio macros could help here), and better documentation. From the activity of there web pages, I suspect all of these things are coming.
...A blog about technology, how original(not)!
Introduction (who am I?)
Hello, Tommy here. I work at vistaprint. I spend most of my time monitoring a website, writing internal tools, and doing things some would consider "Devops".
I'm not very qualified as a blogger, quite frankly my English skills are terrible.
My perspective is not very unique at this point. The industry is full of developer/sysadmin employees, and devops has become an industry movement. This movement has created in my opinion a 'trendy effect' to what some would consider little more than a buzz word.