-- As programmers we rarely have a luxury to write a project from scratch. Usually we have to retrofit existing projects with all cool things we need. If a new component, or a library we want to use introduces new concepts that bleed outside its boundary, we have a “culture clash”, when old code is unaware about new concepts have to work with it anyhow. Sometimes the clash is so bad that we have to give up on using shiny new things, or have to significantly rework their code, which requires time and efforts we cannot afford.
-- Unification is a very interesting programming tool. Originated from logical programming (its the foundation of Prolog) and used in functional programming (e.g., Haskell) it helps to compare objects for equality, identify known patterns, and reassemble results differently. Wikipedia gives a somewhat complex definition of unification, but many people see it as an extended equivalence comparison, a pattern matching tool, and some even find parallels with XPath queries, CSS, and even jQuery, all operating on regular objects.
-- Time and again working on big web applications we customize files based on user’s platform, and their preferences. We can send different files to legacy browsers, different CSS and JS to mobile browsers depending on their form factor, different images to accomodate bandwidth requirements, and so on. This post was prompted by my desire to serve sprites produced by grunt-tight-sprite as WebP images to WebP-capable browsers falling back to “classic” image formats for the rest using nginx.
ClubAjax invited me to speak about technologies behind Heya, specifically about code generative solutions behind heya-pipe. Pipes are built on a firm foundation of functional programming (FP), and it allows us to use a wide range of technologies to optimize their performance including generating code on the fly (code generation AKA CG). As soon as we are talking about CG, the first question to ask is: “How to debug such code?
After 8 years I decided to switch to Octopress. Being a server-less framework, it allows my web site to scale better, and, the most important thing for me, reduces expences on administring an active server (less active components to update). An additional bonus is that it reduces requirements for a web site host, which allows me to be more flexible when selecting a hosting company. All old links are supposed to work as they used to be redirecting to new URLs.
I spoke at ClubAjax about optimization of modern web applications. Usually I speak about theoretical matters, but this time I decided to go practical. This is a huge topic and it was blogged/debated/presented to death, including my Improving performance…. Yet I decided to add to it after realizing that many things have changed in last years, including how we build web applications. I concentrated on technical aspects completely bypassing all other areas (e.