Dan Newcome, blog

I'm bringing cyber back

Archive for November 2015

React reactions

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One of my past articles commenting on the future of Web development has gotten consistent traffic in the years since I wrote it, and now I feel the need to follow it up because I think I was way off about a few things.

Just to be clear up front, Reactjs is eating the Web when it comes to front-end development. I’m aware that Angular and Emberjs hold sway in many shops, but I think that the virtual DOM model that react is based on will eventually become a standard way of dealing with front-end Web development.

Most frameworks and methodologies in the past have centered around data binding or observers of some sort to implement some variant of the MVC stack. React really just implements views. The difference is that the views are much simpler than the average MVC view (in which case the view really has some complicated state-management code along with it that makes it more like a view+viewmodel to handle updates to its state).

React views still have state, but the view is re-rendered fully every time the state changes, rather than having some kind of JS functions for things like adding/removing items from a list. This fact makes the nuts and bolts of keeping a dynamic view up to date trivial. No sequence of add/remove/updates need to be tracked in order to manipulate the DOM into the state needed to accurately reflect the current application state.

This isn’t without its problems though, since many things in the DOM don’t like to be manhandled (iframes). Also, React basically has full control of your DOM. If you don’t want React to mess with something on the page, you are out of luck unless you want to put it outside of the React render tree.

Apart from views, the Reactjs model is a little more ambiguous. Facebook prescribes the Flux architecture, which essentially leaves everything up to you other than the enforcement of single-direction data flow.

I’m going to save Flux for another article, but just to give you a teaser I think that functional programming is finally winning. Neckbeard nerds have been blabbing about functional forever now (I love me some Clojure) but I think that when the tide turns (as it has) away from Ruby-style mixins to higher-order components we are going to see things really starting to shift.

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Written by newcome

November 6, 2015 at 1:46 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

Quantified blogging

with 2 comments

I’m starting to look through my blog stats after a while of not paying much attention to them. I posted the first post in over a year recently and it has only garnered two views. This basically tells me that nearly 100% of the traffic here is residual via search and maybe old Hacker News link juice.

The funny thing is that even after not posting for a while, I’m still getting traffic. It probably takes quite a while for traffic to fully taper off, if ever. As long as Google has some of these articles indexed, I think there will probably be traffic indefinitely.

Anyway, there seemed to be a lot of pressure in the past to hit my high water marks, but now I guess the best thing to do is just get a cadence back and see where things go. Just as a parting note, here is what WordPress is telling me about my best traffic day ever. I think it’s worth posting since this is what an artificial bump gets you, and it’s 100% unrealistic to live up to something like this without Hacker News or maybe Reddit.

Screen Shot 2015-11-06 at 1.16.26 PM

Written by newcome

November 6, 2015 at 1:23 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

Hello again

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I realized some time back that it has been a really long time since I wrote any blog posts. I’m trying to rectify this, but I’m not sure where to even start. I’ve been working for a large Silicon Valley tech company now for the last two years, so I’ve accumulated a lot of new knowledge working at scales that I only read about previously.

However, a funny thing started happening. I’m surrounded by people that are way smarter than me and know way more than I do. So it’s a bit of a task to figure out what is interesting knowledge that I can and should share. I’m working primarily on a Web framework based on Node and Reactjs so look out for some new articles hopefully soon.

As for .NET topics, it is unlikely that I’ll be writing much about this since I no longer use it in my daily work. I check in from time to time out of interest but I’m far from what’s currently happening in that world.

Written by newcome

November 3, 2015 at 1:36 pm

Posted in Uncategorized