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Integrating Google diff-match-patch with AutoMerge.Text

This post outlines the use of Google’s diff-match-patch library to generate patches that can be translated to operations against an AutoMerge.Text CRDT for situations when deriving the operations directly from user interactions is cumbersome.
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Uploading files to MongoDB GridFS via Apollo powered GraphQL API

GraphQL multi-part request spec outlines a specification for multipart form requests in GraphQL. Jayden Seric, the author of the spec, has also authored two libraries apollo-upload-client and apollo-upload-server which makes it effortless to integrate file uploads in Apollo Server.

GridFS is a simple file system abstraction on top of MongoDB. This facilitates storage of large files (beyond BSON document size limit) in mongo database.

This post outlines the minimal integration required to save the files uploaded through the GraphQL API to GridFS.

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Exposing slots in layout containers through shared refs in React

React refs are generally considered an anti-pattern as their usage typically encourages patterns which go against declarative compositon and top down flow of data.

This post explores a somewhat uncommon use case where refs can be used to expose layout slots in parent components to nested components.

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ReasonML vs TypeScript – First impressions

This post summarizes preliminary observations while comparing ReasonML and TypeScript during selection of a reasonably (pun-intended) type safe language for frontend development. The observations here are somewhat biased in favor of experienced javascript developers and focusses primarily on frontend development workflow and does not take into account the (primary) native backend of Reason.

While this post primarily compares Reason and TypeScript, much of what is outlined about TypeScript equally applies to flow as well.

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Typescript and validations at runtime boundaries

Typescript team has explicitly stated that they don’t intend to extend typescript’s static type checking to the runtime.

Typescript Design Goals lists the following in the section on Non-goals:

Add or rely on run-time type information in programs, or emit different code based on the results of the type system. Instead, encourage programming patterns that do not require run-time metadata.

While on one hand this design goal is advantageous in that the output generated by typescript is very close to what hand written javascript would have looked like. And the runtime cost of typescript remains close to zero, therefore adoption of typescript does not alter performance characteristics of an application.

However, this also implies that for cases when static typing cannot help us we need to separately write validators using a validation library (eg. Joi) which has to be kept in sync with the typescript types.

This post outlines an approach to eliminate this redundancy using the io-ts library by Giulio Canti. This approach has also been adopted by some other libraries like MobX State Tree and Runtypes.

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A Vagrant+Docker based workflow for clojure web development

This post outlines a container based development workflow using Vagrant and Docker.

Many common docker tutorials (eg. the official node tutorial) suggest a workflow where projects source is copied onto the image, which is then built and run through docker. This approach is not really practical for clojure development as normal clojure programming leans heavily on rapid prototyping and REPL driven development.

The setup below utilizes Vagrant and docker volumes to setup a development environment which ensures reproducibility and container isolation while retaining the short feedback cycle which clojure developers take pride in.

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Redux-loop: A better solution for managing asynchronous operations in redux

The lack of support for asynchronous operations in redux core has spawned a whole ecosystems for managing side-effects [1] in Redux.

This post argues that the redux-loop library (1.5 k ★ as of this writing) is a much better solution for this job than other more popular alternatives like redux-sagas (11.8 k ★) and redux-thunk (7.8 k ★).

As has always been prevalent in frontend ecosystem, popularity  does not necessarily translate to better suitability.

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