Spoil Your Power Users: Add Command Palettes


Unlike the theater, where the maxim “always leave them wanting more” is a common philosophy, when we create new apps, our goal is to give our users all the features they desire. In fact, nothing makes us happier than when our power users- those users that maximize our app’s potential- find new elements that they have been requesting. It’s time to give them the thing they didn’t even know they wanted: command palettes. 

Professional Grade Mapping Basics for Developers


We interact with consumer grade mapping products on a regular basis, like when we search for directions on our phones, or when we get bored at work and browse Google Earth to see what our houses look like from space. As mere consumers, we have exceptional mapping software at our disposal – but, have you ever wondered what professional mapping products are capable of? 

Elixir LiveView Countdown Clock


Pushing a Boulder Uphill

If you’ve ever worked on a large application, you know that it is easy for it to become very complex very quickly. You’ve likely found yourself building a javascript single-page application in React, Angular, or Vue. Using Webpack to bundle your distribution. Adding  NodeJS to an existing backend infrastructure to expose an easier-to-use GraphQL application programming interface (API). Then, adding pre-rendering to optimize your front-end.

How the Zigbee Specification is Shaping the Internet of Things


Zigbee is an open source spec for Wireless Personal Area Network (WPAN) communication that allows Zigbee-certified products to connect and communicate using the same IoT language. Companies that utilize and support Zigbee are part of the Zigbee Alliance. To date, the Zigbee Alliance contains over 500 companies, all of which work together to create and utilize Zigbee in their product design. Some of the most noticeable companies in the Zigbee Alliance include Comcast, Honeywell, IKEA, Legrand, Samsung SmartThings, and Amazon.

The History of Modern Text Editors


Text editors are computer applications that edit plain text. Text editors are fundamental to our work and developers tend to have very strong opinions about which one is the best.  In this blog post I’ll discuss some of the history of computing with respect to text editors, and the pros and cons of two of the text editors that developers have a love/hate relationship with – eMacs and Vim. 

A Brief Introduction to Drones


Drones have been become one of the hottest tech toys in recent years, but what are these flying machines and what are they capable of?

“Drone” is the common name for an unmanned aerial vehicle, or UAV for short. UAVs are vehicles that do not carry humans inside of them. They can be controlled by either a human or by a computer. UAVs were originally used in the military to carry out tasks that were either too difficult or too dangerous for humans to perform. Some other military applications include drone surveillance and drone attacks.

Introduction to Mobile Cloud Platforms


If you are building a mobile application of any sophistication, you are likely to need some services to support your app. You’ll need a way to distribute your app for testing prior to submitting to the app store(s), as well as analytics, error logging, crash reporting, and possibly user and data management services. Of course, you could write these services yourself and provision servers to host these services, but why do that when you don’t have to?

The Elements of Style


A spate of applications have popped/cropped up in recent years with slogans like “Make Anything Art.”  They purport to transfer the style of one image and render the content of another image in that style.  In the sets of images below, the small inset image is the source of the “style” which is transferred to the larger image.  It’s an impressive trick, although I don’t know that it accurately represents what we mean by ‘style’.

Prototyping with Principle: A Quick Review


Principle Icon

I’ve partnered with my client, Texture, for more than two years, and I am still continually learning in all aspects of design. I’ve been lucky enough to pick up two software programs in the last year; Sketch and Principle. I’d like to give a quick review of Principle and share my pros and cons as a new user