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2. February 2016

LMS meets SaaS

As I said before, Learning Management is really taking off and I get many client requests to do some kind of  integration or custom solution for them.

In one of my latest articles I started listing solutions for WordPress, WordPress and the LMS universe.

But those solutions might not always be the best fit for your project. Many of them actually try too hard to be everything. The amount of cross linked functionality is getting insane and increases the point of failure.

In some cases a trimmed down solid solution might be the better way to go. SaaS (Software as a Service), part of the cloud trend, is providing more and more options, this includes the LMS arena. Stop worrying about the software and concentrate on your content again. The SaaS provider takes care of functionality, support, updates and delivery. This is nothing new, solutions like TalentLMS or Litmos LMS offer this for some time now.

Modern SaaS solutions provide Public APIs, that allow you to seamlessly integrate them with your current solution. So in case of a LMS, that part of your project could be handled by the SaaS provider, while e-commerce, social and other content areas remain under your full control.

One solution I am currently looking at is Intuo, which is a fresh startup out of Gent / Belgium. They provide a solid set of features and a clean API to handle single signons and content access. That would allow a seamless integration into WordPress for example :)

We are looking at a very crowded LMS market, but always nice to have options :)

Enjoy coding …

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1. February 2016

Parse Alternatives

Now that Parse is phasing out (01/2017), people are looking for alternatives that offer:

  • Data Storage
  • Push Notifications
  • Usage Analytics
  • Dashboard
  • Social Integration
  • User Administration
  • Cloud Code Integration
  • Multiple Mobile Platform SDKs
  • Background Jobs
  • Crash Report

Collaborative list of Parse alternative backend service providers @ GitHub

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Nice set of Google Analytics helper plugins.

Riveted is measuring the amount of time users are actively engaged (e.g., clicking, scrolling, using the keyboard) and then reporting the data to Google Analytics in frequent intervals. GitHub

Scroll Depth is a small Google Analytics plugin that lets you measure how far users are scrolling. GitHub

Screentime is a small tool that helps you start thinking of your website traffic in terms of time instead of hits (pageviews, visits, etc). You can define areas of the page, called Fields, and then Screentime will keep track of how much time each Field is on screen for. GitHub

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PNotify is a JavaScript notification plugin, developed by SciActive. PNotify can also provide desktop notifications based on the Web Notifications spec. If desktop notifications are not available or not allowed, PNotify will fall back to displaying the notice as a regular, in-browser notice.”

PNotify @ GitHub

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  • All PayPal IPN data is saved and available in your WordPress admin panel.
  • Developer hooks are provided for triggering events based on the transaction type or payment status of the IPN.
  • Extend the plugin with your own plugins or theme functions

Author: Andrew Angell

BitBucket Repo

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IoT is the current buzz word and I will be doing some more tinkering with current solutions this year. I have done projects with ArduinoRaspberry Pi and looking into relayr / Wunderbar right now.

relayr provides a tech stack with Wunderbar, that easily connects included sensors with the cloud. They provide a wide range of API endpoints to collect data and even integrate hardware solutions like Arduino orRaspberry Pi.

“The WunderBar is built for software developers. It is a powerful rapid prototyping and product development tool that enables developers to immediately start creating products and solutions that utilise the Internet of Things, without any prior hardware knowledge. No soldering or electronic engineering experience is needed. Just choose what sensors you need for your project and start coding.”

relayrWunderbar

Starterkit should arrive next week …

Enjoy coding …

 

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16. December 2015

Angular 2.0 Beta goes live

Angular reaches BETA status. Time to start playing with it … Perfect for the holidays :)

With NativeScript und React Native you will be able to build native Android- und iOS-Apps as well.

Tutorial / GitHub

Enjoy coding …

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20. November 2015

My Javascript Stack

Some time ago I said: “My perfect framework, is a set of solid singular solutions that have proven themselves over the years. Working solo or together in harmony”.

Here is a list of some of my core components, that I use in combination or standalone.

CORE

LAYOUT

TEMPLATING

OBSERVABLES

ROUTER

STORAGE

DEPENDENCY MANAGER

  • RequireJS  – requirejs.org

    jQuery Tweak: If you have already loaded jQuery before RequireJS, you can not use define([“jquery”], …) in your module defines. Add this to your main RequireJS config before doing anything else …

    NOW you can live happily ever after :)

  • OR
  • Loadrunner – github.com/danwrong/loadrunner

This is basically the core stack that I use to build out ideas :) While Angular is always an option, the above satisfies most of all needs and is often far slimmer. The rest depends on how you organize your code yourself, but at least you are not forced into fixed structures ;)

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Hybridauth enables developers to easily build social applications and tools to engage websites visitors and customers on a social level by implementing social sign-in, social sharing, users profiles, friends list, activities stream, status updates and more.

The main goal of Hybridauth is to act as an abstract API between your application and various social apis and identities providers such as Facebook, Twitter and Google.”

Hybridauth 2.x was the best option for nicely aggregated social logins so far, but some of the social “Providers” are outdated or no longer working. Version 3.0 is still in development, but providing a complete rewrite.

Hybridauth 3.0 Remake @ Github

For Facebook , Twitter and Google+ I still use my own little wrappers, but if you want more this is the way to go in the future :)

Enjoy coding …

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18. November 2015

PHP & API Documentation

Currently refreshing my list of options to document projects and APIs.

I will use this page to keep a list of possible tools & solutions.

PHP DOCUMENTATION

  1. PHPDocumentor
  2. phpDox – The PHP Documentation Generator
  3. Sami: an API documentation generator
  4. apigen (PHP 5.4+)
  5. Doxygen
  6. Dexy

API DOCUMENTATION

  1. JSDoc
  2. API Blueprint
  3. Swagger.io
  4. apiary – API Design Stack
  5. APIDOC – RESTful web APIs
  6. ESDoc – JavaScript(ES6)
  7. doxx – Generic, template based, HTML output for Dox documentation generator
  8. documentation.js – raw documentation as JSON, beautiful, customizable HTML, or Markdown that fits perfectly into an API.md or README.md

Enjoy coding …

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