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Programming insights to Storytelling, it's all here.

Ibrahim Diallo

July 2015

Do I have to use external CSS and JS files?

Do I have to use external CSS and JS files?

Every article you read will tell you to use external files for your CSS and JavaScript. Is this rule warranted for? Are there any advantages to it? Is it considered best practice? Yes, yes, yes. There are quite some good reasons to do so, but when we leave the world of web pages and enter applications, the rule is not so strict.

Master your skills

Master your skills

You can't keep up with the new things that technology brings to the table. Everyday, there are new things that come out and despite how much you try to ignore them, the whole world is taking them seriously. When there is a new JavaScript framework that comes out, you ignore it. Rightfully so. But every job post you look at requires a minimum 3 years experience using it.

Windows Phone? Android? or iPhone?

Windows Phone? Android? or iPhone?

The answer to this question has ended friendships, ruined relationships and lives. OK maybe not, but I am certain for the friendship parts. Just like people call themselves PC or Mac, the mobile industry has found a way to segregate us once more. We have the iPhone people, and the Android people. There are no Windows people, sorry. (Just like there are no Linux people)

Slowing down the web cause we can

Slowing down the web cause we can

A couple times a months, I play call of duty online. It is fascinating that when you are really into the game, you forget that the people you are playing with are no where near you. They could be thousands of miles away yet, playing the game feels instantaneous.

CRUD

CRUD

After the hello world application, the logical step for a beginner is to learn to build a CRUD. CRUD stands for Create Read Update and Delete. It refers to an application that can perform each of those tasks the name implies. The term is also often used to say a project is too simple, it's just a CRUD app. Most applications on the web do just that and after so many years of working as a web programmer, I can assure you that it is not so simple.

How to set up a firewall properly on your web server

How to set up a firewall properly on your web server

One of the things that get usually ignored on a server is the firewall. A firewall is a security measure to block all unwanted connections. Unfortunately, the rules are written in gibberish. That's how I felt every time I had set up a new server. I have to search through multiple tutorials to find the right values to add to my settings. This is my attempt to document as much as possible so I can come back here to refresh my mind, and you can help yourself too of course.

Understanding Cascades and Specificity in CSS

Understanding Cascades and Specificity in CSS

When you follow a CSS tutorial, you are presented with the simplest situations possible. When you want to change the color to a paragraph, write some pseudo code including color: red and the color changes to red. This is simple enough. However the moment you start creating styling for a whole website, you realize that things don't work the way you want them too. Sometimes you set a color to white, but it shows black. Other times, no matter how much you try, any of the styles you are applying simply refuse to work.

Improving your workflow

Improving your workflow

Like I said before, when you know how to solve a problem, coding is simply a matter of typing. As developers, it is really tempting to start a project by coding. It's hard to argue this method, because I do have projects that worked just like that and I managed to complete them. However, the better approach is to organize your workflow before getting started.

Multitasking the right way

Multitasking the right way

I'm one of those people who never brag about multitasking. I can't. I see people who do it all the time and I see those who say "actually no one can, there is research that blah blah blah" simply because they can't do it themselves. Despite this I try. When I'm working, there are multiple windows floating, multiple sessions of my IDE, certainly the illusion of the pro multitasker.

When you reach the edge, the trick is to use your experience

When you reach the edge, the trick is to use your experience

PHP is the webs most popular language on the web. Some insist that is it not a programming language at all but a scripting language. It doesn't matter to me as long as I can do the work I want. I learned PHP like everyone else, by reading a tutorial from an author that was just one function ahead of me. It didn't matter that we were all clueless, the important thing is that some people where teaching and others were learning.

Arbitrary Code

Arbitrary Code

In the web development world, the most dangerous security vulnerability is allowing users to run arbitrary code on your server. Failing to protect your server will result in them doing whatever they want. I certainly remember when one of the website I was working on was getting hacked daily. When I finally discovered the vulnerability 3 years later, I realized that in addition to stealing our traffic the culprit used our network of machines as zombies to DDOS and brute-force password on WordPress websites.

Code is not code

Code is not code

Code is something you can see and read but can't understand. The whole point is to hide its real meaning in plain sight. It is coded. Code, that we use in programming is not hidden. You can read it, you can understand it, you can extend it. What we refer to as code is just language.

How files are represented in binary

How files are represented in binary

I previously wrote about how files are represented in your computer and what happened when you delete them. Files are the basis of everything we do on a computer. This article is saved as a 2015.07.14.files.txt file on my computer. The .txt extension lets my computer know that this file is to be read by a text editor. If I wrote this on Microsoft Word the extension would be .docx letting the computer know the right program to read it.

How to sort an array with 3 million objects in JavaScript

How to sort an array with 3 million objects in JavaScript

This certainly is a challenge and there are many ways to approach it. The easiest of them all is to find a computer with as much RAM as possible and the fastest CPU. Throwing money at a problem certainly will help you solve many problems. But not all of us have this luxury.

Big O is for the interview only

Big O is for the interview only

I didn't know what Big O meant. At least not before I had worked many jobs and on many projects as a developer. I remember reading about it in school but I didn't see any use for it in a real world. If you are like me and never encountered it yet worked in the field, we are the lucky ones. It's hard to get passed any interviewer without having to encounter a question about it.

Inspcratination

Inspcratination

We all agree that procrastination is not a good thing. We may have good intentions before we start on a project, but there are little things that just happen, or we make happen that stops us from working. This on its own is a problem, and sometimes you need some motivation to keep going. But an even more subtle problem occurs when you try to find motivation. You want to be inspired before you start working.

JS Tip of the day

Please don't detect the browser

Feature detection is a term everyone in the web development world has heard of. Yet, we still find code that tries to detect which browser the user is running t…

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