When developing a form to setup the user’s password it’s always a big spend of effort worrying about how I should warn the user about the weakness points of it’s password.
So I made a research and among many password strength sites I have found the passwordmeter.com which have a great set of items checked on the algoritm. Unfortunately the website does not provide a tool to add it in our web projects, so I decided to to make a script based on it.
The finished script provides more than 15 verification items on password safety and can be fount at my github account free of charge.
There comes a time in the life of a developer where he/she is forced to deal with an API, be a desktop or a web developer, in some time it will be necessary.
Also, maybe, the developer will need to create it’s own API and then is where the things get a little bit difficult. There is a lot of concerns, discussions and suggestions around API standards but none of them are still the definitive right way to build an API, so as always each developer builds the code as it wants.
For me, everytime that I need to deal with a webservice, I study a lot, check the new standards look at the client needs and make the best effort to make the most light and precise services that the client wants. But thats the hard way, the easy way should be, to unpack a generic API code adjust some settings and start to delivery services… Should be like this.
There are some nice tutorials and tools on internet about building an API, like with laravel and with apigility, but almost all have some framework dependencies and then I though in something more simple, just with the basic stuff, why not?
Considering all that, and on all the effort spend on every new webservice, I decided to make a very simple API pack with the basics to make a webservice to work, so here is what I tried to covered:
Auto detect XML-RPC or REST request;
Standard formated XML or JSON automatically (depending of the request);
Automatic deal with errors and/or warnings (saving in a log);
Start point to build my own custom webservice methods;
It’s not easy to cover all the resources of an API and still keep the code simple and dependencies free but I tried. In the end the result was very good but still have some work to do.
The code is avalibale on my github account and it’s free to use and to contribute. Note that this is not the “state of art” and any kind of contribution will be welcome.
The very simple API pack worked just fine and can be used on every new project with just a few lines of set up on an specific settings file. Also, the use is very simple:
Extend the main class AbstractService: class MyServiceName extends \classes\AbstractService
Initialize the service with the needed settings:
public function execute()
$this->initialize(['allowedMethods'=>[AMT_GET, AMT_POST, AMT_OPTIONS],
Add the code on the respective method and call the answer method:
public function onPost()
//... your code here
'message' => 'Here are the fields that the API received',
'fields' => $this->getFields()
When I started to use the PhoneGap service to build mobile apps I had some dificulties on about where to begin or what should I use to get a very good looking app, even a simple “hello world” app was a bit difficult to do, so, here I will present a pack that I did with the basic stuff to start building a mobile app on PhoneGap.
The PhoneGap Starter Kit, as I like to call, is a pack with the very basic stuff to start a simple app throuh PhoneGap. This pack includes:
Basic standard folder structure
Index file ready to start
includes correct declaration of headers, script files, style files, meta tags
File configuration to compile the app
icons, title, description, author
Sample declaration of a plugin
needed to access native device resources (battery plugin in this case)
Third party pop-up lib, bootbox
with bootbox is possible to add theme to the pop-ups instead of only using the native OS pop-up
Switch button style (to be more like device native)
Brings ease to start enviroment
Accept many JS plugins
Samples checkbox and selectbox modifications to looks like native device
Provided by Bootswatch just to show how to setup the theme
With this very basic kit is possible to compile a simple app on PhoneGap and start it nativelly on and Android, iOS or Windows Phone device.
Also, bellow are some additional links that can help on development:
Bootsnip: Many sample codes (forms, layouts, components)
Actually is hard to think in any new service without creating a mobile app, be a sales store, a social resource, any delivery service or even a game, all want to be present on mobiles.
Until some years ago, the ability to make a mobile app was just limited to those who knows C, C#, Java or yet other proprietary language, but than, comes the Adobe PhoneGap tools who give to all web developers the chance to build a native app using web coding knowledge.
The PhoneGap Service is free for building open-source apps through the github account, or in case of private projects the price depends of the plan. On free account the user can have at least one private project.
Basically, to get started, the developer just need to make or have an Adobe Id and subscribe to the PhoneGap Enviroment. After that the developer can download the desktop tools to build, compile and test the developed apps. Also, instead of download any software, it’s possible to code a native web app and upload a zip file to the PhoneGap Enviroment just to compile.
The online PhoneGap Compiler is fast, accepts to compile with your developer key and also gives a QRCode to download teh compiled app to test.
The PhoneGap compiler actually can build apps for Android, iOS and Windows Phone, which is very handy.
On the past month I was working in a project, that seemed to be easy on the beginning, to create a kind of service that should be the core to delivery coordinates and weather information of trucks, airplanes and ships from an specific company, and, the project has extended a little (as always), because the client also wanted to add some extra resources like user control, sell credits to use the service among other details. In fact, it wasn’t so easy as I expected but in the end, we did it.
Our team made some research before develop anything and concluded that an API should be the right service to complete this project.
An API is not just a JSON or XML content, it’s more than that, it can have many aspects and involve different types of access, depending of the needs, the most common types are the RESTFul service which is more like an architecture over HTTP using different methods to make the operations and the RPC (Remote Procedure Call) service which is usually done via POST method sending payload information to define the operations. It was important to us to know exactly what are the client needs and what we should start to use.
Knowing about these and some other dificulties of building a web service API, we did what any sane developer would do… search on internet for some basic and simple API to build over it our own solution. Well, we didn’t find something easy and simple, but we have found the Zend apigility which is a fantastic API-based architecture and is based on Zend Framework, so we just gave a chance for it.
The apigility tool offered a great tutorial, many sample codes and can be setup almost by the admin enviroment, also, a complete set of answer types, allowed methods, filters, validations and is also documentation ready, it’s really amazing.
But, “with great power comes great responsibilities”. The apigility is based on Zend framework, so it’s implicit necessary to have a good knowledge on the framework to make a good job, also, we don’t felt like this is the right solution for this project, it was more like “A cannon to hunt a little bird”, and more crucial, the Zend framework would push us to do extra documentation and can be a possible problem in future updates, for the client, as we don’t have too much professionals available with this knowledge. So, we give up of apigility for now.
After some long discussions, following the team instincts, feelings, making some sketches, we kept the idea of making by ourselfs a PHP web service API, which should exactly fit our needs without lack or overage of resources.
There is a lot of discussions around the API standards and if it should be adopted or not, among them are the swagger specification and the Open API Initiative which are supported by many stakeholders like Google, Microsoft, IBM, Paypal and other giants.
We didn’t followed all the standard specifications that we found, but we focused in almost all of them to finish our API.
Was it worth? Well, we were a team of 3 person, we planned, documented, developed, tested and done the service in about 5 days and the client is happy and the project is working, so, the team and the client thinks it was worth it, that’s what matters. 🙂
I like to code… Every time that I have some some free time in front of the computer or reading about some new language or device, comes that feeling “what nice thing I can code using this?”.
So, this time I picked my Pebble Smartwatch as a playground and decided to make something new and exciting, ansmartwatch app.
The Pebble Smartwatch was on of the pioneers on IoT and still is ahead of many devices of it’s category by providing the best recharge battery cycle, e-paper color display and common resources for everyday needs. Despite it’s discontinuity, after been bouth by Fitbit, the Pebble still is a very useful device with many interesting resources.
As the Pebble OS is not open source and can be disabled anytime by the Fitbit company, there is a very cool project called Rebble that is trying to reconstruct a similar OS for the Pebble device, based on FreeRTOS that is the same Pebble OS Base.
Well, continuing to my new and exciting thing, it’s not really easy to do something new these days, there is almost an app for everything that you can think, so I decided to make something that will be useful for me: a currency app that keeps me updated with the currencies that I want (with a nice skin). Not that there isn’t an app for that, but I didn’t like any of those, I like to have a more “cute” app with some flag icons and nice options.
I also have to use the YQL Plataform (Yahoo Query Language) to get the information about the currencies. Fortunatelly the YQL is free, have a good documentation and also many good sample codes.
The Currency Exchange App code can be found at my github account and can be downloaded to start a new project on CloudPebble.
There is no doubt that developers/coders are one of the most requested professionals in the market these days. According to a research made by the Michael Page Recruitment Services, software engineers and developers are the most requested professionals on 82% of the countries that the research covered (Brazil, USA, Japan, UK, France, Chile, Mexico, Canada, Australia, Germany, Netherlands, Spain, Portugal, Italy, Sweden, Denmark, Switzerland, Ireland).
You may be thinthing “Yes, I’m in!”, but wait, you must be updated with the new technologies to be a part of this research.
So, I listed here some of these must have topics that I found (Not in order of importance):
HTML5 + CSS3
Python, Ruby, Java, PHP (Some are already requesting the PHP 7)
These are not the only requests that I’ve been seen, but, almost of them was present in the jobs propositions. Anyway, this list shows that the professional of technology, specially the developers, are quickcly discarded if is not up to date with these new trends.
We must keep an eye on everyday news and never think that we already know everything. Opportunity calls people that are ready.