Introducing Graylog Collector – The Comprehensive Log Collection Tool For Graylog | Open Source Log Management with Graylog

Source: Introducing Graylog Collector – The Comprehensive Log Collection Tool For Graylog | Open Source Log Management with Graylog

This makes Greylog a full-featured logging solution and we are now able to remove other logs forwarding software which will save great server resources too!

Announcing Ionic Lab: Mix it up with our new GUI tool | The Official Ionic Blog

Source: Announcing Ionic Lab: Mix it up with our new GUI tool | The Official Ionic Blog

Another great tool from Ionic! This time you have the possibility to design and run your mobile Ionic apps locally using their brand new GUI. Currently it’s for Mac OS only but a Windows version is coming and I hope they will make a Linux version too.

Seven Surprising JavaScript ‘Features’ | blog.scottlogic.com

A look at some of the more unusual parts of JavaScript by examining seven things I’ve learnt recently.

Source: Seven Surprising JavaScript ‘Features’

Interesting usage of JavaScript labels, destructuring, same name variables, class declarations, comments and more. Be sure to read it thoroughly to get the feeling of the inner JS works.

JavaScript: from callback hell through then-hell to generators+promises

Lately I’ve been refactoring and then refactoring and then some one of my JS apps every time I find a better way to handle the asynchronicity of the language. The app is a MEAN stack app but I am working mostly on the back-end built for Node.js with the intention to do the same for the front-end when I am satisfied with the back-end code.

So I started writing a Node.js code using the callbacks everywhere even some of my custom functions(in other apps) were made to receive and call callbacks. I was very happy how the callbacks looked like and I was writing them as the second parameter of the functions without thinking: callAsync(params, function(err, data)) all the way!

However little by little I started to add new and more complicated features and the need to nest multiple callbacks did arise. Add to that the checking for error on every callback first line and the code started to be hard to read.

At some time I discovered Promises. I decided to use the bluebird Promises package. It follows the standard and also provides additional functions that at some time are really needed. I was in love and probably still am with the then-chaining, calling async functions, attaching then() to them, returning a new async call that provides a Promise and checking the result in the next then, adding a catch() function to handle any error in the promises chain and avoiding the need to check for an error in every then(). The code was beautiful again and no pyramid of doom existed anymore.

However Promises and then-chaining created a little overhead where every then() needs a callback function and also this callback doesn’t have access to variables in the previous callback – only the result from the previous promise call. There was a need to declare helper variables in the outer scope: the function where the Promise chain is.

Then I discovered generator functions. Their basic usage doesn’t show that you can use them in place of callbacks or Promises but the fact that yield can receive a Promise makes them very interesting. Of course there is a need of a wrapper function to call the generator’s .next() and check its .done status. I decided to use the co package for that.

After all of this the code I use is similar to this one:

co(function* () {

  let user = yield User.findOneAsync({ _id: 12345678 });
  console.log('user', user);

  let user2 = yield User.findOneAsync({ _id: 112233 });
  console.log('user2', user2);

}).catch(function (err) {
  console.error(err);
});

The code above will execute synchronously. Pretty cool, huh?
User.findOneAsync() returns a Promise. yield-ing a Promise will make this type of configuration to wait for the Promise to be resolved/rejected. The resolved Promise’s value will be assigned to the variable on the left(user/user2).

Now the next thing for me is to use ES7’s async functions. I can run ES6 and ES7 code with transpilers like Babel on the back and front-end.
Async functions’ syntax is similar to the one with the generator above without the need to use a wrapper function. I am thinking to wait a little before using them and keeping the code close to what is available natively in the latest Node.js/io.js which is ES5/ES6 syntax at least until the near future(next year?) when the ES7 will be finalized and ready to be used/implemented in the JS engines.

Optimize Your App’s Growth with Ionic Analytics, Now in Alpha! | The Official Ionic Blog

Source: Optimize Your App’s Growth with Ionic Analytics, Now in Alpha! | The Official Ionic Blog

I am really excited for this feature. And it comes not long after the Ionic Deploy feature which is equally exciting! Go to the page to register for the analytics and to see how to prepare your app for it + check in the docs how to create custom tracking events.

Enable full ES6 support in Node.js – dynamic transpiling with Babel

Finally I’ve decided to go beyond Promises with Node.js and started to look how can I write easily ES6 code today in my apps. I’ve had the option to use io.js which has a good ES6 support by default, starting Node.js with the Harmony flag was also an option. However if I wanted as full as possible ES6 support I had to use Babel. There are 2 options here: static compiling and deploy or dynamic compiling when the application is ran. Babel uses cache so only the changed files are recompiled.

First I had to install babel through npm:

npm install babel --save

It is recommended to install babel globally but I wanted to have it in the local packages for easy CI testing.

Then I added this little piece of code on the top of the main app.js which is the file used when the application is started with `node app.js`:

require("babel/register");

One downside is that the main (app.js) file must contain only ES5 code if the Node.js version you are using is not supporting the new syntax. However you can just create one bootstrap.js that registers babel and includes the app.js which then can contain ES6 code(and vice versa: app.js as the main one including bootstrap.js).

I wanted to have the ES6 support in the tests too and because I use grunt, mocha and istanbul I’ve added this configuration to the Gruntfile.js:

mocha_istanbul: {
    src: 'test/server/',
    options: {
        ...
        mochaOptions: ['--compilers=js:babel/register']
    }
}

That way the tests are running with transpiled files and if I have an ES6 syntax there I am good.

I also had to add/change some configuration in .jshintrc which I use in the tests and in my IDE:

“esnext” : true, //this allows ES6 syntax
“predef”: [“-Promise”] //this allows me to use a Promise lib like bluebird instead the default ES6 implementation

I also changed the JavaScript engine in my IDE (Webstorm) from EcmaScript 5.1 to ES6 to make it happy with the new syntax.

After that I started adding some fat arrow functions and the app/tests are working. It’s interesting how the new features sometimes need more than a basic change. For example the fat arrow functions behave different with this and my code for mongoose static functions that was using return this.somefunc() needed to be changed.

If you use istanbul with the configuration above you may notice that the coverage data shows ES5 code with the source map encoded at the bottom of the pages. There’s an unstable branch on istanbul’s GitHub page about source maps which means that we’ll soon have the coverage in ES6 for free! I’ll also be waiting for the Node.js and io.js to be merged and see what works without transpilers.

Exploring ES6: Upgrade to the next version of JavaScript | exploringjs.com

Source: Exploring ES6: Upgrade to the next version of JavaScript

Today I started reading about ES6 more seriously as the standard is ready and one should start using it. As the author describes we can start changing our ES5 code to ES6 incrementally. Personally I am already using Promises and now it’s time to add something new to my current projects and refactor file by file while learning.

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