News, reviews and tutorials from the web development industry. PHP, JS, Ruby, Node.js, Python, and more.

1
We're back, and with a new look

You may have noticed we have been a little quiet lately.  Well, we're back, and this week marks the release of our new look.  We'll be sending out updates more often, and you can read about other ways of keeping up to date on our blog.



2
The Laravel Ecosystem

Laravel is one of the most forked projects on Github, and the most popular PHP framework.  But it's more than just a framework, there are now a number of different sister projects to Laravel that aid in the development and maintenance of web applications of all sizes.

PHP isn't what it used to be and despite its quirks is a great language.  Even if you're a big fan of Rails or Django, I'd encourage you to take a look at this post which covers a number of the services available in the Laravel Ecosystem.



3
Using Node to build a command-line interface

This article goes through how to build your own CLI for an application.  Think along the lines of Angular's 'ng' command, or gulp, or even cordova.

The article covers building the CLI itself, creating help pages for the command(s), and how to handle user input.  You may find this useful for building out your own tools.



4
An introduction to Webpack

Webpack is a command-line tool used to manage your asset pipeline.  Think of it as a new competitor to gulp or grunt.  It will compile and minify your assets, copy your fonts and static assets to the relevant place, version things nicely and interacts nicely with Browsersync.

But why bother, I can do that already?

The article goes into a lot more detail than I will here, but with Webpack being new, it's avoided many of the shortcomings of the competitors.  It's quick too, really quick.



5
Chris Coyier's favourite CodePens (Part 2)

Chris Coyier should know CodePen better than anyone, as he co-founded it.  This article goes through some of his favourite CodePens that he has seen.

The article is from 2015, but some of the creations are brilliant.  My favourite is the self-aware CodePen that writes itself, from Jake Albaugh.



6
Placemat - Pretty placeholders

I'm a fan of placehold.it for quickly throwing placeholder images where I need them to be, but even I have to admit that they're pretty boring.  I can spice them up a little with some colour or text overlays, but they're still solid blocks of colour and often not representative of a real-world example.

In comes Placemat.  Happy, friendly placeholders.



7
Responsive image generator

Generating responsive images isn't as easy as you might think and there is nearly always a compromise, whether that's at the expense of mobile device bandwidth (loading images too large), reducing the size of an image, or reducing the number of images entirely.

Responsive image generator is a tool that takes your image and uses Cloudinary to work out the focal point of the image, and then crops the image for every major breakpoint.  It works really well, and you can test it on their demo.  Cloudinary have done an article on it too.



8
Phoenix Framework

Phoenix is a framework written in Elixir for the Erlang VM.  It is designed to be fast but simple to build with, and as such is perfect for building out APIs with.

Having said that Phoenix is a solid framework for building anything and has a full templating engine for building out UIs.



9
mo js - Animation for the web

mo js is a JavaScript library for animations, focussing around small and subtle animations that can put the extra polish on an already beautiful app or website.

Their example CodePen is a good illustration of mo's capabilities, although it looks much better insitue on their website.



10
Terminal Training - 10% Off

Lastly, we have an offer.  Remy Sharp has created a series of videos on using Terminal efficiently.  If you don't know your way round the terminal then learning a few of these tricks will make you a lot more efficient.

The videos aren't free, but they are worth it.  You can get an additional 10% off by using the discount code 'webdevweekly'.

I don't benefit from the sale of these videos in any way, so this isn't a sponsored post, just something I think people might benefit from.


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