Mar 31

2016 Esri DevSummit Recap

By on March 31, 2016 12:12 pm

Esri Dev Summit
Esri, the creators of great mapping technology, hosts their DevSummit every March in Palm Springs, CA. Esri creates their popular ArcGIS for JavaScript API by leveraging the Dojo Toolkit.

Esri trends

esrilogoEach year Esri announces a number of new features and technologies at the DevSummit, and this year was no exception. They have really improved the visualizations and effects possible with their JavaScript API recently, delivering very impressive 3-D maps leveraging WebGL, as well as now supporting vector-based tiles for mapping data, and a strong emphasis on user interface components for adding analytics on top of Esri-based mapping applications.

Jan 13

Simplified Dijit Functional Testing

By on January 13, 2016 10:03 am


One of the nice features of testing with Intern and Leadfoot is the ease of authoring functional tests to mimic end-user behavior. The API for retrieving relevant DOM nodes is relatively straightforward, usually with a single line of code needed to get a reference to the relevant node.

When we started writing tests for Dijit, we realized that it was often a fair amount of boilerplate to get references to specific widget instances, attach points within those widgets, and property values of widgets. One of the advantages of Intern is you can integrate this boilerplate into a helper. So, we set out to create a simple Intern helper utility to make these operations as efficient to author as normal functional tests.

Nov 16

Exploring dgrid with dgrid Laboratory

By on November 16, 2015 11:37 am

For the dgrid 0.4 release we added a new demo and helper utility, the dgrid Laboratory. This is more than just a demo, as it allows you to quickly explore and build different dgrid configurations, returning boilerplate code for efficiently including dgrid within your application. Although not every possible configuration is supported with this tool (sub-rows, column sets, and compound columns), it is very useful for visually generating complex base configurations for use in your applications. The dgrid Laboratory itself was built using dgrid as well!

dgrid Laboratory

Using the dgrid Laboratory

The left panel of the dgrid Laboratory allows you to select and modify the grid’s configuration. The right panel provides a preview of the grid as well as generated code. These right panel tabs are updated in real time as you make modifications to the dgrid options in the left panel.

Nov 6

Death of Object.observe()

By on November 6, 2015 9:47 am


Adam Klien, software engineer at Google, announced on ESDiscuss that they were withdrawing the proposal to implement Object.observe and plan to remove it from V8 by the end of the year.

While I was never sold on the approach of this API, I assumed long ago it was the API that would be used for data binding to plain old JavaScript objects. I am also surprised because I was discussing the state of Web Components with a member of TC39 just a few weeks ago. While I listed all the parts of Web Components that are in V8/Blink but not elsewhere, including Object.observe, they assured me the other browsers would eventually implement the rest of Web Components. I also missed that Polymer 1.0 abandoned Object.observe.

Oct 27

October jQuery Foundation board meeting

By on October 27, 2015 7:56 am

In mid-October, I attended my first jQuery Foundation boarding meeting. In case you missed the news, we announced in early September that the Dojo Foundation and jQuery Foundation are merging. The primary goal of this open source foundation union is to encourage greater collaboration between open source web projects, and also provide a home for other open source JavaScript and web projects. Our board of eleven members got together in New York City and met for about eight hours to cover a number of topics. It was great to meet a number of people from the board in person for the first time. It was also great to reaffirm how much we have in common, and to learn more about how we can help!

Sep 30

SitePen JavaScript Support in Action

By on September 30, 2015 1:20 pm

SitePen’s team of JavaScript experts provide high quality development and production support to a wide range of companies, from the Fortune 500 to small startups.

Recently, we had the opportunity to assist BuyWinR, a company based in Brisbane, Australia. In this case, we went from initial inquiry to solution in less than 48 hours. To provide insight into how a typical support issue might be solved, the founder of BuyWinR has allowed us to share this story.

Sep 8

Recent TypeScript talks

By on September 8, 2015 11:04 am


SitePen is a huge supporter of TypeScript. It allows our developers to write using modern standards support for ES6 and some ES7 features while still targeting ES5 browsers. It also includes a type system that adds to our code’s integrity and makes it easier to write good software.

As noted in the Dojo 2 vision, we have chosen TypeScript as our approach to building tools we rely on for a next-generation JavaScript and TypeScript stack. With the emergence of ES6 (a.k.a. ES2015), as developers we’re currently in a state where the language and environments (browsers, servers, desktop apps, mobile apps, IoT devices, etc.) are greatly improved, but in a backwards-incompatible manner. In the short term, this means that to leverage new features of the platform, we need a tool to transpile to things that work in browsers today.

Jul 28

Simple Model-View synchronization with dstore and Dijit

By on July 28, 2015 7:14 am


Nearly every sufficiently large web application looks for a mechanism to efficiently synchronize or bind data between the Model and the View. There are many large scale application frameworks and approaches focused on this, whether the binding is one-directional like React, or follows other approaches such as those seen with AmpersandJS, Angular, Aurelia, Backbone, Ember, Knockout, Mayhem, or many others listed on ToDoMVC.

Simple Model-View synchronization

Many of our customers use Dojo and Dijit, because it’s a comprehensive toolkit for building web applications that work today, and while it does not intend to be an MV* framework, it already includes a lightweight approach to getters and setters.

Jun 19

Dojo + Koa

By on June 19, 2015 7:03 am

Dojo and its AMD loader provide outstanding tools for structuring a Web application on the client-side. However, the notion of “writing a JavaScript application” has widened in definition over the past few years with the increased popularity of Node.js. Though Dojo can be used in a Node.js environment with the AMD module pattern, other key frameworks have gained prominence in the server-side JavaScript space, including Express, Flatiron, Sails.js and the Dojo Foundation’s very own Persevere. These frameworks give structure and handle common tasks such as routing, template rendering, and content negotiation. Still, since most operations on a Node.js server are asynchronous, server-side JavaScript can be a complex, treacherous mess of callbacks. Enter Koa, a Node.js framework that attempts to save us from this callback hell by using ECMAScript 2015 Generators. Using Dojo on the client-side and Koa on the server-side makes for a robust, clean, and expressive application. In this post, we’ll explain what generators are and how to use Koa with Dojo for ultimate code cleanliness.