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Gatsby is a free and open source framework based on React that helps developers build blazing fast websites and apps.

What they have to say

  • Go Beyond Static Websites. Get all the benefits of static websites with none of the limitations. Gatsby sites are fully functional React apps so you can create high-quality, dynamic web apps, from blogs to e-commerce sites to user dashboards.
  • Use a Modern Stack for Every Site. No matter where the data comes from, Gatsby sites are built using React and GraphQL. Build a uniform workflow for you and your team, regardless of whether the data is coming from the same backend.
  • Load Data From Anywhere. Gatsby pulls in data from any data source, whether it’s Markdown files, a headless CMS like Contentful or WordPress, or a REST or GraphQL API. Use source plugins to load your data, then develop using Gatsby’s uniform GraphQL interface.
  • Performance Is Baked In. Ace your performance audits by default. Gatsby automates code splitting, image optimization, inlining critical styles, lazy-loading, and prefetching resources, and more to ensure your site is fast — no manual tuning required.
  • Host at Scale for Pennies. Gatsby sites don’t require servers so you can host your entire site on a CDN for a fraction of the cost of a server-rendered site. Many Gatsby sites can be hosted entirely free on services like GitHub Pages and Netlify.

What I have to say …

While researching some popular static site generation tools, GatsbyJS comes up often. I have played with NuxtJS and Hugo in the past, but what I REALLY like about GatsbyJS is the plugin / modular system. You can build your website with plain-old React and CSS styles, but make your development more efficient by adding node_modules.

Also being able to import any data source with ease, using GraphQL, is amazing. And when it comes to content management, you can easily hook a headless WordPress or Drupal setup into the mix and consume their REST APIs :)

I am not switching my own website to GatsbyJS anytime soon, but its another tool in my toolbox for future project consideration !

There are many tutorials on Youtube about getting started, maybe something to consider for the next freetime testdrive ;) Enjoy …

GatsbyJS @ Github

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Manet is a REST API server which allows capturing screenshots of websites using various parameters.

The Node.js server can use SlimerJS or PhantomJS as headless browser engines.

I have build similar with CasperJS, but this is far better for those that want a simple straight solution.

@GitHub

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A nice set of CSS3 Animations that can be easily used to spice up your design.

The animations can be triggered through Javascript, jQuery and the timings can be tweaked through pure CSS. The package also provides gulp, so that you can tweak every aspect easily.

Demo
Github

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  1. SPRITEOWL is a Photoshop extension that takes over the boring part of working with sprite images and CSS.
    Retrieves x, y, width and height info of all sprite elements
    Exports retina ready PNG files and required media queries of your Photoshop sprite file
    Supports preprocessors LESS, SASS/SCSS & Stylus
    Spriteowl
  2. CSSOWL is a mixin library that works with Spriteowl.
    LESS, SASS/SCSS & Stylus support
    Open source
    Cssowl

Two tools that can enhance your workflow immensely. Enjoy!

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Since I started in 2002, all iterations of portalZINE have been pure english content websites. You can read about the why on my services page.

I had potential customers in Germany complain about that a lot over the past few years. But your own website often suffers, while your customers get all the attention. That is how it is and how it should be!

Creating Multi – Language websites has been part of my services & portfolio for years, with an extreme application setup handling 13 languages in 2014 for the soccer world cup.

Multi-Language setups have come a long way and it was time to showcase that on my own setup as well. Not only to calm those potential customers, but to testdrive new functionality and possibilities on my own setup. portalZINE has always been my testlab for stability and new feature sets.

Most of my static pages are available in English and German now, the blog itself will remain pure English.

Need help setting up a multi language website, get in touch!

Cheers
Alex

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Visbug is an amazing new browser extension that allows you to do a visual inspection of your website in development.

What they have to say about their tool and capabilities

  • Point, click & tinker
  • Edit or style any page, in any state, like it’s an artboard
  • Hover inspect styles, accessibility and alignment
  • Nitpick layouts & content, in the real end environment, at any device size
  • Leverage adobe/sketch skills
  • Edit any text, replace any image (hi there copywriters, ux writers, pms)
  • Design within the chaos: use production or prototypes and the odd states they produce, as artboards and design opportunities
  • Design while simulating latency, i18n, media queries, platform constraints, CPUs, screensize, etc
  • Make more decisions on the front end of your site/app (a11y, responsive, edge cases, etc)
  • No waiting for developers to expose their legos, just go direct and edit the end state (regardless of framework) and execute/test an idea

For Designers & Content Creators

A really nice tool for designers & content creators, helping them to optimize the look and feel of a website.

The extension is currently available for Chrome, but a Firefox Addon is in development.

Github
Chrome Extension

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svgcleaner has been around for some time and is constantly being optimized! It helps you clean up your SVG files, keeping them free from unnecessary data.

  • Temporary data used by the vector editing application
  • Non-optimal SVG structure representation
  • Unused and invisible graphical elements

Github project.

The GUI application adds batch file processing, decompression & compression and parallel cleaning jobs, GUI application.

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Easily add beautiful checkboxes and radio buttons in pure CSS. Highly customizable via SCSS.


  •  Basic
    • Shapes – SquareCurveRound
    • Variants – DefaultFillThick
    • Colors – PrimarySuccessInfoWarningDanger
    • Color types – SolidOutline
    • Animations – SmoothTadaJellyPulseRotate
  • Switch – iOS style – OutlineFillSlim
  • Responsive
  • No JavaScript
  • Custom Font Icons
  • SVG Icons
  • Image support
  • Toggle between icons / SVG’s / images
  • Lock
  • State – FocusHoverIndeterminate
  • Supports frameworks – BootstrapFoundationSematic UIBulma, …
  • SCSS customization
  • Supports all modern browsers, including mobile devices
  • Print friendly

GitHub

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An icon font to use with the Google Maps API and Google Places API, using SVG markers and icon labels.

Map Icons makes Google Maps Markers dynamic with control over shape, color, size, and icon easily changed using options in the marker object as well as simple SVG Notation and CSS.

GitHub / Preview

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CodeCombat is a multiplayer programming game for learning how to code. The ultimate goal of CodeCombat is to bring more users into the field of computer programming by making the logic and syntax more accessible and enjoyable to learn. The end game is to educate a whole new generation of computer programmers that started their journey by slaying ogres and defending their castles from oncoming enemy hordes.

CodeCombat teaches Python, JavaScript, and other languages directly in the browser.

CodeCombat itself can be found on GitHub under the free MIT license. All the art assets (sprites, backgrounds, sound effects, etc.) can also be found on GitHub and are published under a Creative Commons CC BY 4.0 license. This allows easy use of the game artwork for projects of students.

You can subscribe online or setup a dev environment on Windows, Mac or Linux yourself.   You need to be able to follow instructions and have some basic technical knowledge.

While the setup on the Mac and Linux are straight forward, Windows is the hardest to get working! (CodeCombat Wiki)

I have setup a local dev environment on my Mac for my daughter, as she does not play regularly but loves to tinker with it from time to time … learning Javascript!

Used some AppleScript  magic and Automator to ease the startup of the setup when needed. The setup might vary on your end, as I am using iTerm2 as a Terminal replacement.

CodeCombat is a really fun way to get into programming and keep your kids motivated.

CodeCombat Website / GitHub

 


 

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