Status of the Smileyhash project after relaunch

After I deleted Smileyhash I had no hobby project to show I felt. I only had some demo work not working and not available online. Therefore it was a great feeling to relaunch the AWS backend and I am looking into improving the site with server side rendering and live updates on the front page from time to time.

I see that there is some noise involved in my hashtag, especially someone is using the hashtag #smiley2 repeatedly and this affects the main site and the general smileyface but the average of all smileys is not an interesting measure of anything so it does not really matter.

I want you to know that you can create a panel of searches. Here is an example showing a panel of two searches.

I have been thinking of more use cases for the Twitter API and there are lots of potentials for developing apps with Twitter features.

Internet abuse and trolling

I will not by writing on this theme attempt to take ownership to my statements as these are thoughts I have adopted through my LinkedIn connections. I am not a founder of these thoughts but want to share some thoughts on “trolling” and how this is something very many are subject of conducting in online discussions.

I find that my language contains a lot of my emotions and this is a pattern in my behaviour that has given me a lot of challenges.

A statement I agree on in online discussions: “Do not write anything about a person you could not say to the person in real life”. Being unemployed, a statement on data science and prerequisite knowledge was presented in my LinkedIn feed. A lot of theories were presented as prerequisite knowledge and none of the theories were in my curriculum as information scientist in my degree. Therefore, one could perhaps based on this person’s opinion derive that I am not a data scientist. I am not able to understand low level concepts and I have to accept that meltdown and spectre is too complex for me to fully understand.

I first wrote a comment stating something like “shame on you, if you interviewed me I would want to throw my coffee at you”. I realized, through someone else posting about trolling that I had been a troll in some way, although it depends how you define “trolling” as it is a vague new term. At least I reacted to my language and emotional behaviour and the fact that I was so biased. I redefined my comment in to suggesting that every person he interviews has a different curriculum and I stated that education should be a proof that you are able to learn. I also suggested that instead of labelling this as being a prerequisite that he was more willing to find candidates who had not been presented to these theories, hire them and educate them.

I see many discussions on facebook and very many show traces of my pattern of behaving based on emotions. #metoo have been a great example. I have decided to work on being aware of the pattern of “trolling” online. When I feel like characterising a person as a “pig” or otherwise I try to bear in mind that this is not constructive at all. If you have disagreements, both online and in real life, the discussion is much better if you can be constructive and make a point without poor lingual characteristics. Otherwise, in my opinion, it is best to keep silent.

Ever since Facebook arrived I have been making huge mistakes on usage of social media. I believe most people do or have done in the past or feel the same thin line in the participation of the social media world. There is however no reason prior mistakes should prevent anyone from not improving and that also includes me. I will thrive to improve my language online and become one of those examples I find both in social media and for instance in debates on TV. The ones who really gets their thoughts put up front in a debate are the ones who work on not becoming too emotional in their language and don’t fall into the temptation of verbally attacking the other debaters and really have a well thought out reasoning for their opinion.

Using React for more than an intranet SPA application

Single Page Applications can be written in many ways with many frameworks, I have decided to concentrate on reading about React. In many cases, the standard application where an application is mounted in to a point in an almost empty html document is sufficient. I have previously written about the possibility to include a react app only in a part of a web site.

You should know that the standard SPA React app does not work well online, and server side rendering should be applied if you want to plan a web app based on React that is supposed to work online and get indexed by search engines. What you want is html to be served when the page loads – search engines read this and does not care to wait for JavaScript to populate the site.

Single Page Application written in React are popular in the IT industry and many projects I have seen is about creating an application for use internally in an organisation. It is then fine to use the boilerplate “create-react-app” and just write an API for the app. But if you are creating an online experience today you might want to look into server side rendering.

I have been struggling to find a good architecture but yesterday I found efforts online to server side render using PHP. I have seen efforts on node.js before but let’s face it – most web hotels use PHP and I feel that still using PHP perhaps with a framework is most suitable if you want your code to be reused or sold on a broad scale.

I will look into this more carefully by writing some example code if I have time. It turns out there is a PHPJsV8 extension and there are several ways of rendering React directly with PHP. With the extension installed in React-PHP-V8Js and there is also an effort from the Symfony community that seems not to need the extension called ReactRenderer.

Smileyhash services has been deleted

I have deleted the services for Smileyhash. They were hosted on AWS and I received a bill for some services and was unable to delete these services so I deleted the whole account. I am not sure I will bring it back up again and perhaps I will delete Smileyhash all together.

Using Redux all over is an anti-pattern – why?

I am attending quite a few job interviews these day and we sometimes we discuss React and Redux.

I was presented with the idea of using Redux “all over”. To me that sounds like you have no attributes in your components and connect to redux in every component all over your solution.

This is not the way to go. Creating components that takes attributes is the core to Web Components. It is based on the mindset of all of the web and the work of WHATVG and html standard. It makes your component readable and reusable.

You don’t want to connect to Redux store in all of your components. Connect in the container and propagate to your components using props.

An example I discussed in an interview today was a todolist.

See code below…

EDIT: The pastebin is incomplete and one problem in the code is the iteration sequence – the number in row of todolistitems needs to be propagated in my anti-pattern.

The point is – any kind of component that takes data should receive them as attributes/properties. I was just introduced to the idea of using Redux “everywhere” in an interview and my point is that you do not have to connect every component to redux. This will even make your code slower (perhaps) – you iterate over the array and you do not access the values in the loop.

This is really sigletonitis all over again – as a disease where you over-use a pattern. Just on Redux or whatever datastore you might implement.

Lessons learned from developing and introducing the Smileyhash app

At http://smileyhash.perandersen.no you can see a React Web app I have developed myself. But no one uses it. However, at least, I know I am able to make a web app.

I have things on my Trello board that I will look into, unless I start chasing other ideas and I have stopped doing development as I uploaded it to the host and posted about it on LinkedIn, I posted it on Reddit and I posted it on my facebook profile and no one has made any tweets with the hash tag.

For me it is hard to know if it was the idea and concept that didn’t seem appealing to people (what is the use for the tweeter anyway? They don’t benefit from rating their tweet mood using my hashtag) or if I just have not been doing enough to gain mass interest. It is not something I would try to make viral through spending on ads, as I would not see any income from it. And working more on making it indexable for search engines is something I have on my list, but I do risk that people never tweet using the tag even if it is indexable for search engines. So it is hard not to move focus over at developing other apps and ideas.

If I was to make some kind of app and/or web service successful, I think it would have to be concerning something people actually need. And those ideas are hard to get. At least now I know that I have the ability of following thorugh and I know I am technically able to make a solution based on an idea. This is great news.

Upgrading websites with SPA behaviour without destroying search engine readability and design.

I started doing web frameworks a few years ago and have been experimenting both with Angular and React. What I normally think is that the Javascript application is what I design and nothing more. And normally it is designed as a single page app.

Basically what happends when you create an app in a JavaScript framework is that you let the framework take control over the DOM manipulation but it is known that search engines can’t see the content.

In react there is a way past this that is called isomorphic react and this is a good strategy if you are building a new interactive website today that is kind of unique when it comes to functionality. At least it is an option to using a CMS.

But if you already have a website, and you use a CMS that server side renders the content it can be upgraded making parts of it into React or Angular apps. You can even do this with existing parts of a website.

The interesting thing is in the way a single page app is mounted in to your website.

In a Single Page App you have a static html file that usually only contains a div element with a ID such as “root” or “app” and little other. And this is what google sees. An empty element. Everyting else happends in time after this has been loaded and Google doesn’t follow this. It only sees the empty div.

But the beauty is, as an alternative to isomorphic renderToString in react – the mount div does not have to be empty.

This means that the following approach can be taken, both when creating web sites from scratch instead of running node.js on the server, you can place static content in the div.

I think you will find benefits in isomorphic react and building with this as an architecture for web apps and services that exist online, but when upgrading existing sites, this is beautiful. Take the static content and introduce dynamic behaviour with the existing markup and style as base and mount to the div you would like to make into a dynamic application and perhaps if needed design some small services hosted elsewhere or in the scripting language available on the host of the website.

The web is upgradeable and static websites still are major online. They can be upgraded and this does not have to affect search engine readability. Your website can have the same existing design as before, but be extended into having the functionality it lacks without a big affect to the design that might have been carefully done with a colour theme, fonts, a layout etc.

My point on use of reactDOM.render() in SPA templates and scaffolders:

But the beauty of ReactDOM.render is that it sets innerHTML behind the scenes. It doesn’t add the React components to the div with the id “root”. It swaps the content. Therefore:

In this way you can make use of react in existing websites leaving the static content in the mount node so that Google and other engines can see some text. Great for use on upgrading existing websites.

Examples of what I can provide

Here are some examples on deliveries I can provide for you and your business:

  1. You need a website for your business or a new design that meets today’s standards
  2. You have an existing website but you need extra functionality without breaking the design
  3. You need an app or you need your website to be more accessible on other devices
  4. You are custom to regulations that needs to be implemented such as accessibility (Norway: Universell utforming)
  5. You need an application available to your employees via the intranet or via log in online

Maybe some example functions:

  1. Chat with your customers
  2. Make them able to preorder food or other items for quick pickup
  3. Book an appointment
  4. Integrating a webshop with a cart and payments
  5. Blogging and news in various categories
  6. Contact you in a different way than calling your main number
  7. Social functionality and integration to Facebook or other third party

I can provide a WordPress site and manage it for you or make you able to manage it yourself. Cost will be based on how much tailoring is needed. Contact me to get an offer, I do not charge before we have agreed. Also if you need something tailor made with a different CMS than wordpress I will be able to help. Many new solutions are built using cloud platforms and a newer way of delivering is through something called node.js and no use of WordPress or PHP (the language WordPress i written in).

Discounts for first customers.

Looking for customers with existing websites they want to “spice up” with interactivity

Currently being unemployed I am looking at the possibility of starting my own company rather than being hired as an employee of an existing established company. I have found that many websites online could have more interactivity but they are very nicely designed and plan to address this as a segment.

I have specialised in web development and can provide you, if you have a website, with extra functionality. I can upgrade your existing web design without breaking the fancy visual form and effects that you had delivered from the web designer. And I do so at reasonable prices.

An example would be if you have a restaurant and you have a menu on that website. Why not take orders? Or maybe you just need a contact form? Maybe you are looking into integrating a small web shop into your site.

The way I do this is by using the React framework from the Facebook team. With this I can turn parts or your existing web site in to an interactive application. Also I can use back end server side functionality offered by the host you use today if you are in need of some server side functionality for your upgrade.

Also, I would be interested in having contact with designers who do not necessarily know a lot about how to provide interactivity through web programming both server side and client side. I have no experience in visual design and would love to work with someone who has.

So contact me on LinkedIn if you would like my web programming services and have a customer or you are a customer yourself.