5 ways to build real-time apps with JavaScript

5 ways to build real-time apps with JavaScript

5 ways to build real-time apps with JavaScript

There was a point in time where we didn’t expect too much from web pages. Which reminds me, the Space Jam movie website is still on the internet in its original form. And it uses a frameset. Not iFrames. FRAMES.

Warner Bros has some gently used copies of Dreamweaver MX.

That was 1996. This is 2019. Times have changed and users expect a lot more out of websites. They don’t just expect them to look good, they expect them to be full on apps, and that includes being real-time.

Real-time Applications

Real-time apps are those that react to changes anywhere in a connected application’s system— not just those made by the current user.

The canonical example of real-time is a messaging application. Like when you send a group of friends a text message about getting together for wings on Friday. Then update everyone minute by minute on your progress getting from work to the bar. Thanks, Trevor. Now we’re all trapped in a notification hell that we didn’t sign up for. I JUST WANTED SOME WINGS.

When it comes to the web, there are several different patterns, technologies, libraries and services that you can use to get the real-time functionality that is usually reserved for native applications. I recently sat down with Anthony Chu who gave me 5 ways that you can build real-time apps in JavaScript.

1. Long-Polling

This is when the application requests updates from the server on a schedule. The app is “polling” the server.

This is the net equivalent of kids asking “are we there yet?” every five minutes. Does it look like we’re there yet, kid? Ask me one more time and I swear to you that I will throw this copy of the “The Bee Movie” in a ditch and you can stare out the window at grass like we did when I was a kid.

Long-polling can be implemented manually with any JavaScript HTTP library, such as jQuery or Axios. I have never actually implemented this myself. When doing some research for this article, I discovered that the best way to do this is to use a recursive function with setTimeout. This is because using setInterval does not account for requests that fail or timeout. You could end up with a bunch of ajax calls that are all processed out of order.

Here is an example from the very nice article over on Tech Octave.

(function poll(){
   setTimeout(function(){
      $.ajax({ url: "server", success: function(data){
        //Update your dashboard gauge
        salesGauge.setValue(data.value);

        //Setup the next poll recursively
        poll();
      }, dataType: "json"});
  }, 30000);
})();

There are also libraries like pollymer (not to be confused with Polymer) that are specifically for long-polling. Get it? “poll”ymer? Cause it polls? Is this thing on?

Long-polling is good because it works in every browser; even the super old ones. It’s bad because it’s super inefficient and not exactly “real-time”. It also has some weird edge cases (like request failures) that you have to program around as we’ve already seen with setInterval.

A better alternative to long-polling is Server-Sent Events or SSE.

2. Server-Sent Events

Server-Sent Events (SSE) is similar to long-polling in so much as the client asks the server for information. The big difference is that with SSE, the server just holds the connection open. When an event occurs and there is information to send to the client, the server sends an event to the client.

Back to our “road trip from hell” analogy, this would be like if the kid says “Are we there yet?”, and then waited patiently for your response. Four sublime hours of silence later you arrive at the destination, turn around, and say “yes”. That’s the most unrealistic scenario I have ever come up with in my life.

SSE is part of the browser EventSource API. Note that according to caniuse.com, neither IE 11 nor Edge support SSE. That makes it kind of a tough technology to pick, however interesting it is.

The good news is that pretty much every browser supports Web Sockets.

3. Web Sockets

Web Sockets is a technology that facilitates a true two-way communication channel between a client and a server. Unlike Server-Sent Events, which is only communication from server to a client, Web Sockets can be used to communicate in both directions.

Web Sockets are, uh, kinda verbose. They aren’t really the kind of API’s you wanna build apps with. Kind of like you could make an HTTP request with the XHR object, but OMG NO. I Googled “PHP Web Socket Sample” and found this doozy from the PHP docs. I zoomed all the way out in Chrome and barely got everything in a single screenshot.

And that’s ONLY the server portion. You still gotta wire up the browser.

So….that’s a no for me.

Fortunately, there are plenty of libraries that abstract Web Sockets even further so you don’t have to write any of this. One of those libraries is called “SignalR”.

4. SignalR

SignalR is a library that implements Web Sockets both in JavaScript AND .NET. On the server, you create what is known as a “hub” in SignalR. This hub sends and receives messages from clients.

Clients then connect to the hub (using the SignalR JavaScript library) and respond to events from the hub, or send their own events into the hub.

SignalR also falls back to long-polling whenever Web Sockets is unavailable. Although that’s not super likely unless you’re using IE 9 or lower.

Here is an example of setting up SignalR on the server…

using System;
using System.Web;
using Microsoft.AspNet.SignalR;
namespace SignalRChat
{
    public class ChatHub : Hub
    {
        public void Send(string name, string message)
        {
            // Call the broadcastMessage method to update clients.
            Clients.All.broadcastMessage(name, message);
        }
    }
}

OK, ok. I know this is not an apples to apples comparison with the PHP example from above, but I’m trying to make a point here. Just go with it. Do it for me. I’m having a rough morning.

So SignalR makes it more fun to program Web Sockets, but you know what’s even more fun than programming them? Not programming them.

5. Azure SignalR

Often, when we want to set up real-time applications, building out a Web Socket server isn’t exactly a value-added activity. We do it, but only because we have to to get the real-time. We’d prefer that it “just worked”.

Azure SignalR is exactly that. It is a SignalR Hub that you can consume on demand as a service. That means that you only have to send and respond to events — which is what you’re after in the first place.

You create the SignalR Hub in Azure as an Azure Service, and then you just connect to it from the client and send/receive messages.

And now you know….

Check out the interview below with Anthony. We shot this one in Vegas while we were both at a conference and had a good time with a wig that I bought at Party City. Best 8$ I ever spent.

JavaScript Tutorial: if-else Statement in JavaScript

JavaScript Tutorial: if-else Statement in JavaScript

This JavaScript tutorial is a step by step guide on JavaScript If Else Statements. Learn how to use If Else in javascript and also JavaScript If Else Statements. if-else Statement in JavaScript. JavaScript's conditional statements: if; if-else; nested-if; if-else-if. These statements allow you to control the flow of your program's execution based upon conditions known only during run time.

Decision Making in programming is similar to decision making in real life. In programming also we face some situations where we want a certain block of code to be executed when some condition is fulfilled.
A programming language uses control statements to control the flow of execution of the program based on certain conditions. These are used to cause the flow of execution to advance and branch based on changes to the state of a program.

JavaScript’s conditional statements:

  • if
  • if-else
  • nested-if
  • if-else-if

These statements allow you to control the flow of your program’s execution based upon conditions known only during run time.

  • if: if statement is the most simple decision making statement. It is used to decide whether a certain statement or block of statements will be executed or not i.e if a certain condition is true then a block of statement is executed otherwise not.
    Syntax:
if(condition) 
{
   // Statements to execute if
   // condition is true
}

Here, condition after evaluation will be either true or false. if statement accepts boolean values – if the value is true then it will execute the block of statements under it.
If we do not provide the curly braces ‘{‘ and ‘}’ after if( condition ) then by default if statement will consider the immediate one statement to be inside its block. For example,

if(condition)
   statement1;
   statement2;

// Here if the condition is true, if block 
// will consider only statement1 to be inside 
// its block.

Flow chart:

Example:

<script type = "text/javaScript"> 

// JavaScript program to illustrate If statement 

var i = 10; 

if (i > 15) 
document.write("10 is less than 15"); 

// This statement will be executed 
// as if considers one statement by default 
document.write("I am Not in if"); 

< /script> 

Output:

I am Not in if
  • if-else: The if statement alone tells us that if a condition is true it will execute a block of statements and if the condition is false it won’t. But what if we want to do something else if the condition is false. Here comes the else statement. We can use the else statement with if statement to execute a block of code when the condition is false.
    Syntax:
if (condition)
{
    // Executes this block if
    // condition is true
}
else
{
    // Executes this block if
    // condition is false
}


Example:

<script type = "text/javaScript"> 

// JavaScript program to illustrate If-else statement 

var i = 10; 

if (i < 15) 
document.write("10 is less than 15"); 
else
document.write("I am Not in if"); 

< /script> 

Output:

i is smaller than 15
  • nested-if A nested if is an if statement that is the target of another if or else. Nested if statements means an if statement inside an if statement. Yes, JavaScript allows us to nest if statements within if statements. i.e, we can place an if statement inside another if statement.
    Syntax:
if (condition1) 
{
   // Executes when condition1 is true
   if (condition2) 
   {
      // Executes when condition2 is true
   }
}

Example:

<script type = "text/javaScript"> 

// JavaScript program to illustrate nested-if statement 

var i = 10; 

if (i == 10) { 

// First if statement 
if (i < 15) 
	document.write("i is smaller than 15"); 

// Nested - if statement 
// Will only be executed if statement above 
// it is true 
if (i < 12) 
	document.write("i is smaller than 12 too"); 
else
	document.write("i is greater than 15"); 
} 
< /script> 

Output:

i is smaller than 15
i is smaller than 12 too
  • if-else-if ladder Here, a user can decide among multiple options.The if statements are executed from the top down. As soon as one of the conditions controlling the if is true, the statement associated with that if is executed, and the rest of the ladder is bypassed. If none of the conditions is true, then the final else statement will be executed.
if (condition)
    statement;
else if (condition)
    statement;
.
.
else
    statement;


Example:

<script type = "text/javaScript"> 
// JavaScript program to illustrate nested-if statement 

var i = 20; 

if (i == 10) 
document.wrte("i is 10"); 
else if (i == 15) 
document.wrte("i is 15"); 
else if (i == 20) 
document.wrte("i is 20"); 
else
document.wrte("i is not present"); 
< /script> 

Output:

i is 20

How to Retrieve full Profile of LinkedIn User using Javascript

How to Retrieve full Profile of LinkedIn User using Javascript

I am trying to retrieve the full profile (especially job history and educational qualifications) of a linkedin user via the Javascript (Fetch LinkedIn Data Using JavaScript)

Here we are fetching LinkedIn data like Username, Email and other fields using JavaScript SDK.

Here we have 2 workarounds.

  1. Configuration of linkedIn developer api
  2. Javascript Code to fetch records

Configuration of linkedIn developer api

In order to fetch records, first we need to create developer api in linkedin which will act as token/identity while fetching data from other linkedin accounts.

So to create api, navigate to https://linkedin.com/developer/apps and click on 'Create Application'.

After navigating, fill in details like name, description and other required fields and then submit.

As we submit, it will create Client ID and Client Secret shown below, which we will be using in our code while communicating to fetch records from other LinkedIn account.

Note: We need to provide localhost Url here under Oauth 2.0. I am using my localhost, but you can probably use other production URLs under Oauth 2.0 where your app is configured. It will make your api  consider the Url as trusted which fetching records.

Javascript Code to fetch records

For getting user details like first name, last name,User image can be written as,

<script type="text/javascript" src="https://platform.linkedin.com/in.js">  
    api_key: XXXXXXX //Client ID  
    onLoad: OnLinkedInFrameworkLoad //Method that will be called on page load  
    authorize: true  
</script>  
<script type="text/javascript">  
    function OnLinkedInFrameworkLoad() {  
        IN.Event.on(IN, "auth", OnLinkedInAuth);  
    }  
  
    function OnLinkedInAuth() {  
        IN.API.Profile("me").result(ShowProfileData);  
    }  
  
    function ShowProfileData(profiles) {  
        var member = profiles.values[0];  
        var id = member.id;  
        var firstName = member.firstName;  
        var lastName = member.lastName;  
        var photo = member.pictureUrl;  
        var headline = member.headline;  
        //use information captured above  
        var stringToBind = "<p>First Name: " + firstName + " <p/><p> Last Name: " + lastName + "<p/><p>User ID: " + id + " and Head Line Provided: " + headline + "<p/>"  
        document.getElementById('profiles').innerHTML = stringToBind;  
    }  
</script>    

Kindly note we need to include 'https://platform.linkedin.com/in.js' as src under script type as it will act on this Javascript SDK provided by Linkedin.

In the same way we can also fetch records of any organization with the companyid as keyword.

<head>  
    <script type="text/javascript" src="https://platform.linkedin.com/in.js">  
        api_key: XXXXXXX ////Client ID  
        onLoad: onLinkedInLoad  
        authorize: true  
    </script>  
</head>  
  
<body>  
    <div id="displayUpdates"></div>  
    <script type="text/javascript">  
        function onLinkedInLoad() {  
            IN.Event.on(IN, "auth", onLinkedInAuth);  
            console.log("On auth");  
        }  
  
        function onLinkedInAuth() {  
            var cpnyID = XXXXX; //the Company ID for which we want updates  
            IN.API.Raw("/companies/" + cpnyID + "/updates?event-type=status-update&start=0&count=10&format=json").result(displayCompanyUpdates);  
            console.log("After auth");  
        }  
  
        function displayCompanyUpdates(result) {  
            var div = document.getElementById("displayUpdates");  
            var el = "<ul>";  
            var resValues = result.values;  
            for (var i in resValues) {  
                var share = resValues[i].updateContent.companyStatusUpdate.share;  
                var isContent = share.content;  
                var isTitled = isContent,  
                    isLinked = isContent,  
                    isDescription = isContent,  
                    isThumbnail = isContent,  
                    isComment = isContent;  
                if (isTitled) {  
                    var title = isContent.title;  
                } else {  
                    var title = "News headline";  
                }  
                var comment = share.comment;  
                if (isLinked) {  
                    var link = isContent.shortenedUrl;  
                } else {  
                    var link = "#";  
                }  
                if (isDescription) {  
                    var description = isContent.description;  
                } else {  
                    var description = "No description";  
                }  
                /* 
                if (isThumbnailz) { 
                var thumbnailUrl = isContent.thumbnailUrl; 
                } else { 
                var thumbnailUrl = "http://placehold.it/60x60"; 
                } 
                */  
                if (share) {  
                    var content = "<a target='_blank' href=" + link + ">" + comment + "</a><br>";  
                    //el += "<li><img src='" + thumbnailUrl + "' alt=''>" + content + "</li>";  
                    el += "<li><div>" + content + "</div></li>";  
                }  
                console.log(share);  
            }  
            el += "</ul>";  
            document.getElementById("displayUpdates").innerHTML = el;  
        }  
    </script>  
</body>  

We can get multiple metadata while fetching records for any any organization. We can get company updates as shown below.

Conclusion

We can also fetch any company specific data like company job updates/post, total likes, comments, and number of views along with a lot of metadata we can fetch which I have shown below.

Thank you for reading !

7 Best Javascript Iframe Libraries

7 Best Javascript Iframe Libraries

Iframes let you build user experiences into embeddable ‘cross-domain components’, which let users interact with other sites without being redirected. I have compiled 7 best Javascript iframe libraries.

Iframes let you build user experiences into embeddable ‘cross-domain components’, which let users interact with other sites without being redirected. I have compiled 7 best Javascript iframe libraries.

1. Zoid

A cross-domain component toolkit, supporting:

  • Render an iframe or popup on a different domain, and pass down props, including objects and functions
  • Call callbacks natively from the child window without worrying about post-messaging or cross-domain restrictions
  • Create and expose components to share functionality from your site to others!
  • Render your component directly as a React, Vue or Angular component!
    It's 'data-down, actions up' style components, but 100% cross-domain using iframes and popups!

Download


2. Postmate

Postmate is a promise-based API built on postMessage. It allows a parent page to speak with a child iFrame across origins with minimal effort.

Download


3. Iframe Resizer

Keep same and cross domain iFrames sized to their content with support for window/content resizing, in page links, nesting and multiple iFrames

Demo

Download


4. Iframely

Embed proxy. Supports over 1800 domains via custom parsers, oEmbed, Twitter Cards and Open Graph

Demo

Download


5. React Frame component

This component allows you to encapsulate your entire React application or per component in an iFrame.

Demo

Download


6. Seamless.js

A seamless iframe makes it so that visitors are unable to distinguish between content within the iframe and content beside the iframe. Seamless.js is a JavaScript library (with no dependencies) that makes working with iframes easy by doing all the seamless stuff for you automatically.

Demo

Download


7. Porthole

A proxy to safely communicate to cross-domain iframes in javascript

Demo

Download


Thank for read!