A JavaScript-Free Frontend💥💥💥

A JavaScript-Free Frontend💥💥💥

A JavaScript Free Frontend - Slimvoice - A Webapp Without JavaScript is a series where I document how I rebuilt my app, Slimvoice, using as little JavaScript as possible...🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟

A JavaScript Free Frontend - Slimvoice - A Webapp Without JavaScript is a series where I document how I rebuilt my app, Slimvoice, using as little JavaScript as possible..

I've tagged this series with JavaScript to present JavaScript alternatives and encourage those who reach for a SPA for every project to give it a second thought

Prelude

I built the first version of Slimvoice on Angular 1 with a Node.js backend and MongoDB in 2014 (those were all the rage back then). In 2015 I decided to completely revamp the UI and redesigned and rebuilt it in React. In hindsight, all of that was crap. With the new version I wanted to prove that it was possible to deliver an amazing user experience with a great design while drastically reducing the complexity of the code, maximizing reliability, and minimizing the cost to the end user. I've got the frontend to a state that I'm really proud of. Here I'll break down the decisions I made on the frontend and share some JavaScript-free UI tricks I learned along the way.

Single Page Apps

The Website Obesity Problem is not getting any better for the web at large. I'm tired of slow-to-load webapps that are not very reliable. Has anyone tried modifying the description of a card in Asana lately? It's freaking slow! The UI lags for no good reason as you type. First, I live in a rural area with only 2 Mbit/s down Internet connection. With a warm cache it takes 14 seconds for the Asana UI to become usable. Second, you can see below that the app is comprised of over 10MB of uncompressed JavaScript. That is a huge amount of code to execute. How is this acceptable?

With a "progressive web app" of a moderate level of complexity you need a team of people to make it work. You end up with a massive portion of your codebase being just for the frontend. Seriously. Getting things to load in the right order is a difficult problem that we're just throwing even more software at (see Redux and friends). What if you could just do away with all of that? The more code you have, the less agile you are. Code is a liability, not an asset. It's like tar. JavaScript libraries are getting bigger all the time and I don't think that many people are critically evaluating the actual need for them. People frequently measure JavaScript in KB or MB as if it is just a download cost. But it's not. You also have to wait for the CPU to parse/execute it. It all adds up.

Alright. Lean in close. I have discovered a secret that I will share with you about frontend development. Very few people know this, so don't go running your mouth. ***Your frontend can't crash if you don't use JavaScript.***HTML doesn't throw exceptions. Less code is always better.

Shout out to Elm for being pretty dang awesome, however.# Plain Old HTML and CSS

For Slimvoice I wanted to go against the grain of the modern JS hype train and make the app entirely server rendered. You might say "Ah! But Matt! The user must reload every page when using your app, which must be slow!" to which I say phooey. All of my assets are gzipped and cached, which leaves only the HTML to transfer as you interact. I don't have loading spinners. It's faster than many PWAs I use by a long shot. Don't take my word for it, open your dev tools network panel and compare Slimvoice to some popular PWAs. Oh yeah, and I don't have JavaScript exceptions to debug in the console. Either the page showed up on your screen or it didn't.

The Checkbox/Label Trick

Of course, there are some interactions in which reloading the page would be unacceptable. Here's my favorite trick to add interactivity to an otherwise static HTML page. I used this for all dropdowns, modals, and filtering UIs in Slimvoice, all without JavaScript.

  1. Create a <div id="myToggledUI"> containing some UI that you would like to show and hide.
  2. Immediately above that, create an <input type="checkbox" id="myToggle" style="display: none;">. This will make an invisible checkbox in the DOM.
  3. Whatever DOM node you would like to use as the toggle control, wrap it in a <label for="myToggle"></label> tag where the for attribute matches the id of the checkbox.
  4. Use this CSS to hook it all up.
#myToggledUI {
    display: none;
}
#myToggle:checked ~ #myToggledUI {
    display: block;
}

This CSS says that the #myToggledUI element immediately preceded by a checked #myToggle element should be shown, otherwise hidden. The ~operator is pretty cool! Here's a full working example.

Here's a modal built with a <label>, a <div>, and a checkbox. The "Cancel" button is another <label> for the same checkbox, so clicking it closes the modal. There is a gray overlay behind the modal (position: fixed;) that also happens to be a <label> for the same checkbox, so clicking outside of the modal closes it as well. No React components. No click event listeners. Just plain and simple HTML.

I haven't done so here, but you can add any CSS transitions that you like to this technique. No ReactCSSTransitionGroup here.

The <details>/<summary> elements

<a href="https://www.w3schools.com/tags/tag_summary.asp" target="_blank"><details></a> and <a href="https://www.w3schools.com/tags/tag_summary.asp" target="_blank"><summary></a> tags are rarely used but perfectly acceptable for many cases. I used them on the Acknowledgements page to show and hide the licenses for the various pieces of open source software I used in Slimvoice. Quick. Easy. No JavaScript. Works everywhere.

It's a shame that you can't control much of their appearance, but I do not think that making a small disclosure triangle match your brand standards is worthy of forcing a few megabytes of JavaScript on a user.

Forms & Input Validation

Many inputs have validation options built-in. The Mozilla documentation is comprehensive.

  • Don't forget about the required attribute, that prevents a form from submitting until a particular field is filled out.
  • Number inputs have min, max and step.
  • Text inputs can be of type email, or a custom pattern.
  • Text inputs have minlength and maxlength.
  • :valid and :invalid CSS selectors allow for a better UX.

No JavaScript!

Coming Clean

I did actually use some JavaScript on the new Slimvoice, but only when an interaction could not be replicated in any other way. For example, I implemented fuzzy search on the clients list to let you easily filter clients. Take a look at the production code (you might need to copy/paste the URL in a new tab, my server tries to prevent hot-linking). It's not complex.

I deemed it was critical to have invoice line items be drag-and-drop sortable, so I employed Mithril just for the invoice editing UI. It's the one and only JS dependency in the whole project (and only on a single page), and when I have some time in the future I would love to remove it altogether. There's so little JavaScript in the app that it wouldn't even matter if I minified it, so I didn't. Go read my sources.

The Future

Plain HTML inputs covered most of my needs, but I found myself wishing for more innovation in the HTML spec to cover more inputs and remove the need for JavaScript altogether.

  1. Why can't we have a standard search element that filters a list on the client side (similar to how ng-repeat | filter: worked on Angular 1)?
  2. Wouldn't a standard HTML element for drag-and-drop sorting be awesome?
  3. More advanced validation functionality, like comparing equality of two different form fields.
  4. The ability to do the modal/checkbox trick above without it feeling like a hack and writing weird CSS.

Why have the UI options for the HTML spec stagnated and left it up to building custom JavaScript-driven elements? I think having a more robust set of standard UI elements is way more important than WebVR, WebBluetooth, or whatever other insanity they're cooking up these days.

Conclusion

Did it work? Absolutely. A full reload of the biggest page is 230 KB over the Internet. Since I'm caching and gzipping everything, each subsequent pageview is around 6 KB; far smaller than the SPAs I've seen with equivalent functionality. Slimvoice is fast and small but doesn't compromise on UX. Users are loving it so far. See it for yourself at https://slimvoice.co.

Absolutely nothing is complex about my code. I would feel comfortable handing the entire codebase off to someone else without explaining anything. I don't know anyone who can realistically say that about a React/Webpack frontend.

I've been programming for over a decade and been building web apps full-time for six years of that. In those years the benefits of JavaScript and PWAs have proven themselves to not be that great, but their downsides are huge and often ignored. I'm completely done with JavaScript as a primary language for the foreseeable future.

  • You probably don't need a "Progressive Web App." Seriously evaluate if your app needs such complexity. The boss/client may demand a PWA because it's cool and popular and will back it up with a bunch of hand-wavy reasons. Make sure those reasons are legitimate.
  • Stop tracking people. Don't allow other companies to do so on your behalf. You will survive without Google Analytics. You will survive without Intercom. Serve everything from your own domain.
  • Don't be scared. You can build it yourself! You don't need a framework!
  • Don't follow the hype. Make critical decisions about why one approach is better than another, despite what the marketing page says or what everyone else is doing. The people selling the cool new stuff are typically sweeping the downsides under the rug. Everything has a cost.

I'm extremely happy with how this version of Slimvoice turned out, but of course looking for ways to bring the JavaScript usage down to zero. I'd be happy to answer any questions about the design or development experience.

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!