npm Blog (Archive)

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Updates from the npm team are now published on the GitHub Blog and the GitHub Changelog.

npm weekly #32: multiplatform development, Hoodie, nodebots, wombat GIFs

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OSS development: not just for Macs

a pun about Mavis teaching typing

We ❤️ hipster hackers (and we’re typing this on a MacBook Pro while drinking cold-brew &c.), but stats don’t lie, and a large percentage of developers are still avid Windows users. After our own Ben Coe broke Atom on Windows with one of the open-source projects he contributes to, he got motivated to test all of his libraries on Windows.

Good news: there are some awesome tools available that can help:

Jeff adds:

IE’s VMs have saved my ass more times than I can count.

package.json scripts: not just for JavaScript

hoodie-css/ at feature/build-automation · hoodiehq/hoodie-css
Hoodie has a pretty swell mission:

making the lives of frontend developers easier by abstracting away the backend and keeping you from worrying about backends

Write frontend code, hook it up to Hoodie’s API, and you’re off to the races.

Hoodie itself is built based on Node, so setting up the dev environment makes use of scripts defined in its package.json. Hoodie’s docs helpfully spell out what each script does, explain why the environment is set up as it is, and help you consider using npm as a build tool.

We especially like their reminder that the “scripts” in a package.json don’t have to be JavaScript. Defining a command as a script tells npm to run the command whenever you use the script’s name as an argument to npm run — and it can be anything that’s executable from the console. It’s possible (and really useful) to hugely automate your builds without resorting to baroque tools.

Give Hoodie’s writeup a read and give scripts a whirl.

robotics: not just for PhDs

Robots are crazy cool, but historically, the field of robotics has had some crazy high barriers to entry, not least of which are years of education and scads of funding. Nodebots represent a huge step forward in the accessibility and speed of hacking and robot building by using JavaScript to reduce the complexity of writing the code that operates robotic hardware.

If this sounds, well, crazy, check out Raquel’s Strange Loop talk, No, Really … Robots and JavaScript?!:

Let’s discuss why, of all the languages on the planet, JavaScript is the perfect starting point for a future of robotics. As a roboticist-turned-web-developer, I will provide some deep insights not only into the world of robotics, but also into JavaScript and its server-side cousin, Node.js. We’ll talk about what JavaScript-enabled robots can already do, what they can’t do yet, and what they might be able to do with a bit of elbow grease.


your inbox: not just for things that aren’t wombat GIFs

Wombat emeritus Shivani Negi has a groovy step-by-step tutorial that solves a major problem: namely, that your email inbox doesn’t have enough GIFs of baby wombats. And…

along the way we’ll make use of Giphy, nodemailer, cron, Google’s Developer Console, and Heroku.

It’s another in a continuing series of posts to familiarize newer developers — which, statistically, probably includes you — with the power & ease of using Node & npm to build neat things. Watch this space for more to come, and don’t be shy about letting us know what else you’d like to learn.

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Hired: not just for Node engineers

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