LiDAR-Based End-to-End Navigation | ICRA 2021

This video is part of the paper: “Efficient and Robust LiDAR-Based End-to-End Navigation” which is presented at the International Conference on Robotics and Automation (ICRA) 2021.

Efficient and Robust LiDAR-Based End-to-End Navigation
Zhijian Liu^, Alexander Amini^, Sibo Zhu, Sertac Karaman, Song Han, and Daniela L. Rus

Paper Link:

Deep learning has been used to demonstrate end-to-end neural network learning for autonomous vehicle control from raw sensory input. While LiDAR sensors provide reliably accurate information, existing end-to-end driving solutions are mainly based on cameras since processing 3D data requires a large memory footprint and computation cost. On the other hand, increasing the robustness of these systems is also critical; however, even estimating the model’s uncertainty is very challenging due to the cost of sampling-based methods. In this paper, we present an efficient and robust LiDAR-based end-to-end navigation framework. We first introduce Fast-LiDARNet that is based on sparse convolution kernel optimization and hardware-aware model design. We then propose Hybrid Evidential Fusion that directly estimates the uncertainty of the prediction from only a single forward pass and then fuses the control predictions intelligently. We evaluate our system on a full-scale vehicle and demonstrate lane-stable as well as navigation capabilities. In the presence of out-of-distribution events (e.g., sensor failures), our system significantly improves robustness and reduces the number of takeovers in the real world.

#developer #data-science

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LiDAR-Based End-to-End Navigation | ICRA 2021
Hermann  Frami

Hermann Frami


A Simple Wrapper Around Amplify AppSync Simulator

This serverless plugin is a wrapper for amplify-appsync-simulator made for testing AppSync APIs built with serverless-appsync-plugin.


npm install serverless-appsync-simulator
# or
yarn add serverless-appsync-simulator


This plugin relies on your serverless yml file and on the serverless-offline plugin.

  - serverless-dynamodb-local # only if you need dynamodb resolvers and you don't have an external dynamodb
  - serverless-appsync-simulator
  - serverless-offline

Note: Order is important serverless-appsync-simulator must go before serverless-offline

To start the simulator, run the following command:

sls offline start

You should see in the logs something like:

Serverless: AppSync endpoint: http://localhost:20002/graphql
Serverless: GraphiQl: http://localhost:20002


Put options under custom.appsync-simulator in your serverless.yml file

| option | default | description | | ------------------------ | -------------------------- | ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- | --------- | | apiKey | 0123456789 | When using API_KEY as authentication type, the key to authenticate to the endpoint. | | port | 20002 | AppSync operations port; if using multiple APIs, the value of this option will be used as a starting point, and each other API will have a port of lastPort + 10 (e.g. 20002, 20012, 20022, etc.) | | wsPort | 20003 | AppSync subscriptions port; if using multiple APIs, the value of this option will be used as a starting point, and each other API will have a port of lastPort + 10 (e.g. 20003, 20013, 20023, etc.) | | location | . (base directory) | Location of the lambda functions handlers. | | refMap | {} | A mapping of resource resolutions for the Ref function | | getAttMap | {} | A mapping of resource resolutions for the GetAtt function | | importValueMap | {} | A mapping of resource resolutions for the ImportValue function | | functions | {} | A mapping of external functions for providing invoke url for external fucntions | | dynamoDb.endpoint | http://localhost:8000 | Dynamodb endpoint. Specify it if you're not using serverless-dynamodb-local. Otherwise, port is taken from dynamodb-local conf | | dynamoDb.region | localhost | Dynamodb region. Specify it if you're connecting to a remote Dynamodb intance. | | dynamoDb.accessKeyId | DEFAULT_ACCESS_KEY | AWS Access Key ID to access DynamoDB | | dynamoDb.secretAccessKey | DEFAULT_SECRET | AWS Secret Key to access DynamoDB | | dynamoDb.sessionToken | DEFAULT_ACCESS_TOKEEN | AWS Session Token to access DynamoDB, only if you have temporary security credentials configured on AWS | | dynamoDb.* | | You can add every configuration accepted by DynamoDB SDK | | rds.dbName | | Name of the database | | rds.dbHost | | Database host | | rds.dbDialect | | Database dialect. Possible values (mysql | postgres) | | rds.dbUsername | | Database username | | rds.dbPassword | | Database password | | rds.dbPort | | Database port | | watch | - *.graphql
- *.vtl | Array of glob patterns to watch for hot-reloading. |


    location: '.webpack/service' # use webpack build directory
      endpoint: 'http://my-custom-dynamo:8000'


By default, the simulator will hot-relad when changes to *.graphql or *.vtl files are detected. Changes to *.yml files are not supported (yet? - this is a Serverless Framework limitation). You will need to restart the simulator each time you change yml files.

Hot-reloading relies on watchman. Make sure it is installed on your system.

You can change the files being watched with the watch option, which is then passed to watchman as the match expression.


      - ["match", "handlers/**/*.vtl", "wholename"] # => array is interpreted as the literal match expression
      - "*.graphql"                                 # => string like this is equivalent to `["match", "*.graphql"]`

Or you can opt-out by leaving an empty array or set the option to false

Note: Functions should not require hot-reloading, unless you are using a transpiler or a bundler (such as webpack, babel or typescript), un which case you should delegate hot-reloading to that instead.

Resource CloudFormation functions resolution

This plugin supports some resources resolution from the Ref, Fn::GetAtt and Fn::ImportValue functions in your yaml file. It also supports some other Cfn functions such as Fn::Join, Fb::Sub, etc.

Note: Under the hood, this features relies on the cfn-resolver-lib package. For more info on supported cfn functions, refer to the documentation

Basic usage

You can reference resources in your functions' environment variables (that will be accessible from your lambda functions) or datasource definitions. The plugin will automatically resolve them for you.

      Ref: MyBucket # resolves to `my-bucket-name`

      Type: AWS::DynamoDB::Table
        TableName: myTable
      Type: AWS::S3::Bucket
        BucketName: my-bucket-name

# in your appsync config
    name: dynamosource
        Ref: MyDbTable # resolves to `myTable`

Override (or mock) values

Sometimes, some references cannot be resolved, as they come from an Output from Cloudformation; or you might want to use mocked values in your local environment.

In those cases, you can define (or override) those values using the refMap, getAttMap and importValueMap options.

  • refMap takes a mapping of resource name to value pairs
  • getAttMap takes a mapping of resource name to attribute/values pairs
  • importValueMap takes a mapping of import name to values pairs


      # Override `MyDbTable` resolution from the previous example.
      MyDbTable: 'mock-myTable'
      # define ElasticSearchInstance DomainName
        DomainEndpoint: 'localhost:9200'
      other-service-api-url: ''

# in your appsync config
    name: elasticsource
      # endpoint resolves as 'http://localhost:9200'
          - ''
          - - https://
            - Fn::GetAtt:
                - ElasticSearchInstance
                - DomainEndpoint

Key-value mock notation

In some special cases you will need to use key-value mock nottation. Good example can be case when you need to include serverless stage value (${self:provider.stage}) in the import name.

This notation can be used with all mocks - refMap, getAttMap and importValueMap

      Fn::ImportValue: other-service-api-${self:provider.stage}-url

      - key: other-service-api-${self:provider.stage}-url
        value: ''


This plugin only tries to resolve the following parts of the yml tree:

  • provider.environment
  • functions[*].environment
  • custom.appSync

If you have the need of resolving others, feel free to open an issue and explain your use case.

For now, the supported resources to be automatically resovled by Ref: are:

  • DynamoDb tables
  • S3 Buckets

Feel free to open a PR or an issue to extend them as well.

External functions

When a function is not defined withing the current serverless file you can still call it by providing an invoke url which should point to a REST method. Make sure you specify "get" or "post" for the method. Default is "get", but you probably want "post".

        url: http://localhost:3016/2015-03-31/functions/addUser/invocations
        method: post
        method: post

Supported Resolver types

This plugin supports resolvers implemented by amplify-appsync-simulator, as well as custom resolvers.

From Aws Amplify:

  • NONE

Implemented by this plugin

  • HTTP

Relational Database

Sample VTL for a create mutation

#set( $cols = [] )
#set( $vals = [] )
#foreach( $entry in $ctx.args.input.keySet() )
  #set( $regex = "([a-z])([A-Z]+)")
  #set( $replacement = "$1_$2")
  #set( $toSnake = $entry.replaceAll($regex, $replacement).toLowerCase() )
  #set( $discard = $cols.add("$toSnake") )
  #if( $util.isBoolean($ctx.args.input[$entry]) )
      #if( $ctx.args.input[$entry] )
        #set( $discard = $vals.add("1") )
        #set( $discard = $vals.add("0") )
      #set( $discard = $vals.add("'$ctx.args.input[$entry]'") )
#set( $valStr = $vals.toString().replace("[","(").replace("]",")") )
#set( $colStr = $cols.toString().replace("[","(").replace("]",")") )
#if ( $valStr.substring(0, 1) != '(' )
  #set( $valStr = "($valStr)" )
#if ( $colStr.substring(0, 1) != '(' )
  #set( $colStr = "($colStr)" )
  "version": "2018-05-29",
  "statements":   ["INSERT INTO <name-of-table> $colStr VALUES $valStr", "SELECT * FROM    <name-of-table> ORDER BY id DESC LIMIT 1"]

Sample VTL for an update mutation

#set( $update = "" )
#set( $equals = "=" )
#foreach( $entry in $ctx.args.input.keySet() )
  #set( $cur = $ctx.args.input[$entry] )
  #set( $regex = "([a-z])([A-Z]+)")
  #set( $replacement = "$1_$2")
  #set( $toSnake = $entry.replaceAll($regex, $replacement).toLowerCase() )
  #if( $util.isBoolean($cur) )
      #if( $cur )
        #set ( $cur = "1" )
        #set ( $cur = "0" )
  #if ( $util.isNullOrEmpty($update) )
      #set($update = "$toSnake$equals'$cur'" )
      #set($update = "$update,$toSnake$equals'$cur'" )
  "version": "2018-05-29",
  "statements":   ["UPDATE <name-of-table> SET $update WHERE id=$", "SELECT * FROM <name-of-table> WHERE id=$"]

Sample resolver for delete mutation

  "version": "2018-05-29",
  "statements":   ["UPDATE <name-of-table> set deleted_at=NOW() WHERE id=$", "SELECT * FROM <name-of-table> WHERE id=$"]

Sample mutation response VTL with support for handling AWSDateTime

#set ( $index = -1)
#set ( $result = $util.parseJson($ctx.result) )
#set ( $meta = $result.sqlStatementResults[1].columnMetadata)
#foreach ($column in $meta)
    #set ($index = $index + 1)
    #if ( $column["typeName"] == "timestamptz" )
        #set ($time = $result["sqlStatementResults"][1]["records"][0][$index]["stringValue"] )
        #set ( $nowEpochMillis = $util.time.parseFormattedToEpochMilliSeconds("$time.substring(0,19)+0000", "yyyy-MM-dd HH:mm:ssZ") )
        #set ( $isoDateTime = $util.time.epochMilliSecondsToISO8601($nowEpochMillis) )
        $util.qr( $result["sqlStatementResults"][1]["records"][0][$index].put("stringValue", "$isoDateTime") )
#set ( $res = $util.parseJson($util.rds.toJsonString($util.toJson($result)))[1][0] )
#set ( $response = {} )
#foreach($mapKey in $res.keySet())
    #set ( $s = $mapKey.split("_") )
    #set ( $camelCase="" )
    #set ( $isFirst=true )
    #foreach($entry in $s)
        #if ( $isFirst )
          #set ( $first = $entry.substring(0,1) )
          #set ( $first = $entry.substring(0,1).toUpperCase() )
        #set ( $isFirst=false )
        #set ( $stringLength = $entry.length() )
        #set ( $remaining = $entry.substring(1, $stringLength) )
        #set ( $camelCase = "$camelCase$first$remaining" )
    $util.qr( $response.put("$camelCase", $res[$mapKey]) )

Using Variable Map

Variable map support is limited and does not differentiate numbers and strings data types, please inject them directly if needed.

Will be escaped properly: null, true, and false values.

  "version": "2018-05-29",
  "statements":   [
    "UPDATE <name-of-table> set deleted_at=NOW() WHERE id=:ID",
    "SELECT * FROM <name-of-table> WHERE id=:ID and unix_timestamp > $ctx.args.newerThan"
  variableMap: {
    ":ID": $,
##    ":TIMESTAMP": $ctx.args.newerThan -- This will be handled as a string!!!


Author: Serverless-appsync
Source Code: 
License: MIT License

#serverless #sync #graphql 

Generis: Versatile Go Code Generator


Versatile Go code generator.


Generis is a lightweight code preprocessor adding the following features to the Go language :

  • Generics.
  • Free-form macros.
  • Conditional compilation.
  • HTML templating.
  • Allman style conversion.


package main;


import (


#define DebugMode
#as true

// ~~

#define HttpPort
#as 8080

// ~~

#define WriteLine( {{text}} )
#as log.Println( {{text}} )

// ~~

#define local {{variable}} : {{type}};
#as var {{variable}} {{type}};

// ~~

#define DeclareStack( {{type}}, {{name}} )
    // -- TYPES

    type {{name}}Stack struct
        ElementArray []{{type}};

    // -- INQUIRIES

    func ( stack * {{name}}Stack ) IsEmpty(
        ) bool
        return len( stack.ElementArray ) == 0;

    // -- OPERATIONS

    func ( stack * {{name}}Stack ) Push(
        element {{type}}
        stack.ElementArray = append( stack.ElementArray, element );

    // ~~

    func ( stack * {{name}}Stack ) Pop(
        ) {{type}}
            element : {{type}};

        element = stack.ElementArray[ len( stack.ElementArray ) - 1 ];

        stack.ElementArray = stack.ElementArray[ : len( stack.ElementArray ) - 1 ];

        return element;

// ~~

#define DeclareStack( {{type}} )
#as DeclareStack( {{type}}, {{type:PascalCase}} )

// -- TYPES

DeclareStack( string )
DeclareStack( int32 )


func HandleRootPage(
    response_writer http.ResponseWriter,
    request * http.Request
        boolean : bool;
        natural : uint;
        integer : int;
        real : float64;
        text : string;
        integer_stack : Int32Stack;

    boolean = true;
    natural = 10;
    integer = 20;
    real = 30.0;
    text = "text";
    escaped_url_text = "&escaped text?";
    escaped_html_text = "<escaped text/>";

    integer_stack.Push( 10 );
    integer_stack.Push( 20 );
    integer_stack.Push( 30 );

    #write response_writer
        <!DOCTYPE html>
        <html lang="en">
                <meta charset="utf-8">
                <title><%= request.URL.Path %></title>
                <% if ( boolean ) { %>
                    <%= "URL : " + request.URL.Path %>
                    <%@ natural %>
                    <%# integer %>
                    <%& real %>
                    <%~ text %>
                    <%^ escaped_url_text %>
                    <%= escaped_html_text %>
                    <%= "<%% ignored %%>" %>
                    <%% ignored %%>
                <% } %>
                Stack :
                <% for !integer_stack.IsEmpty() { %>
                    <%# integer_stack.Pop() %>
                <% } %>

// ~~

func main()
    http.HandleFunc( "/", HandleRootPage );

    #if DebugMode
        WriteLine( "Listening on http://localhost:HttpPort" );

        http.ListenAndServe( ":HttpPort", nil )


#define directive

Constants and generic code can be defined with the following syntax :

#define old code
#as new code

#define old code

#as new code


#define parameter

The #define directive can contain one or several parameters :

{{variable name}} : hierarchical code (with properly matching brackets and parentheses)
{{variable name#}} : statement code (hierarchical code without semicolon)
{{variable name$}} : plain code
{{variable name:boolean expression}} : conditional hierarchical code
{{variable name#:boolean expression}} : conditional statement code
{{variable name$:boolean expression}} : conditional plain code

They can have a boolean expression to require they match specific conditions :

HasText text
HasPrefix prefix
HasSuffix suffix
HasIdentifier text
expression && expression
expression || expression
( expression )

The #define directive must not start or end with a parameter.

#as parameter

The #as directive can use the value of the #define parameters :

{{variable name}}
{{variable name:filter function}}
{{variable name:filter function:filter function:...}}

Their value can be changed through one or several filter functions :

ReplacePrefix old_prefix new_prefix
ReplaceSuffix old_suffix new_suffix
ReplaceText old_text new_text
ReplaceIdentifier old_identifier new_identifier
AddPrefix prefix
AddSuffix suffix
RemovePrefix prefix
RemoveSuffix suffix
RemoveText text
RemoveIdentifier identifier

#if directive

Conditional code can be defined with the following syntax :

#if boolean expression
    #if boolean expression
    #if boolean expression

The boolean expression can use the following operators :

expression && expression
expression || expression
( expression )

#write directive

Templated HTML code can be sent to a stream writer using the following syntax :

#write writer expression
    <% code %>
    <%@ natural expression %>
    <%# integer expression %>
    <%& real expression %>
    <%~ text expression %>
    <%= escaped text expression %>
    <%! removed content %>
    <%% ignored tags %%>


  • There is no operator precedence in boolean expressions.
  • The --join option requires to end the statements with a semicolon.
  • The #writer directive is only available for the Go language.


Install the DMD 2 compiler (using the MinGW setup option on Windows).

Build the executable with the following command line :

dmd -m64 generis.d

Command line

generis [options]


--prefix # : set the command prefix
--parse INPUT_FOLDER/ : parse the definitions of the Generis files in the input folder
--process INPUT_FOLDER/ OUTPUT_FOLDER/ : reads the Generis files in the input folder and writes the processed files in the output folder
--trim : trim the HTML templates
--join : join the split statements
--create : create the output folders if needed
--watch : watch the Generis files for modifications
--pause 500 : time to wait before checking the Generis files again
--tabulation 4 : set the tabulation space count
--extension .go : generate files with this extension


generis --process GS/ GO/

Reads the Generis files in the GS/ folder and writes Go files in the GO/ folder.

generis --process GS/ GO/ --create

Reads the Generis files in the GS/ folder and writes Go files in the GO/ folder, creating the output folders if needed.

generis --process GS/ GO/ --create --watch

Reads the Generis files in the GS/ folder and writes Go files in the GO/ folder, creating the output folders if needed and watching the Generis files for modifications.

generis --process GS/ GO/ --trim --join --create --watch

Reads the Generis files in the GS/ folder and writes Go files in the GO/ folder, trimming the HTML templates, joining the split statements, creating the output folders if needed and watching the Generis files for modifications.



Author: Senselogic
Source Code: 
License: View license

#go #golang #code 

Corey Brooks

Corey Brooks


Top 9+ Common CSS Mistakes To Avoid

In this tutorial, we'll summarise what the top 9+ CSS mistakes are and how to avoid them.

Top 9+ Common CSS Mistakes To Avoid

It’s easy to get tripped up with CSS. Here are some common CSS mistakes we all make.

1. Not Using a Proper CSS Reset

Web browsers are our fickle friends. Their inconsistencies can make any developer want to tear their hair out. But at the end of the day, they’re what will present your website, so you better do what you have to do to please them.

One of the sillier things browsers do is provide default styling for HTML elements. I suppose you can’t really blame them: what if a “webmaster” chose not to style their page? There has to be a fallback mechanism for people who choose not to use CSS.

In any case, there’s rarely a case of two browsers providing identical default styling, so the only real way to make sure your styles are effective is to use a CSS reset. What a CSS reset entails is resetting (or, rather, setting) all the styles of all the HTML elements to a predictable baseline value. The beauty of this is that once you include a CSS reset effectively, you can style all the elements on your page as if they were all the same to start with.

It’s a blank slate, really. There are many CSS reset codebases on the web that you can incorporate into your work. I personally use a modified version of the popular Eric Meyer reset and Six Revisions uses a modified version of YUI Reset CSS.

You can also build your own reset if you think it would work better. What many of us do is utilizing a simple universal selector margin/padding reset.

* { margin:0; padding:0; } 

Though this works, it’s not a full reset.

You also need to reset, for example, borders, underlines, and colors of elements like list items, links, and tables so that you don’t run into unexpected inconsistencies between web browsers. Learn more about resetting your styles via this guide: Resetting Your Styles with CSS Reset.

2. Over-Qualifying Selectors

Being overly specific when selecting elements to style is not good practice. The following selector is a perfect example of what I’m talking about:

ul#navigation li a { ... } 

Typically the structure of a primary navigation list is a <ul> (usually with an ID like #nav or #navigation) then a few list items (<li>) inside of it, each with its own <a> tag inside it that links to other pages.

This HTML structure is perfectly correct, but the CSS selector is really what I’m worried about. First things first: There’s no reason for the ul before #navigation as an ID is already the most specific selector. Also, you don’t have to put li in the selector syntax because all the a elements inside the navigation are inside list items, so there’s no reason for that bit of specificity.

Thus, you can condense that selector as:

#navigation a { ... } 

This is an overly simplistic example because you might have nested list items that you want to style differently (i.e. #navigation li a is different from #navigation li ul li a); but if you don’t, then there’s no need for the excessive specificity.

I also want to talk about the need for an ID in this situation. Let’s assume for a minute that this navigation list is inside a header div (#header). Let us also assume that you will have no other unordered list in the header besides the navigation list.

If that is the case, we can even remove the ID from the unordered list in our HTML markup, and then we can select it in CSS as such:

#header ul a { ... } 

Here’s what I want you to take away from this example: Always write your CSS selectors with the very minimum level of specificity necessary for it to work. Including all that extra fluff may make it look more safe and precise, but when it comes to CSS selectors, there are only two levels of specificity: specific, and not specific enough.

3. Not Using Shorthand Properties

Take a look at the following property list:

#selector { margin-top: 50px; margin-right: 0; margin-bottom: 50px; margin-left 0; }

What is wrong with this picture? I hope that alarm bells are ringing in your head as you notice how much we’re repeating ourselves. Fortunately, there is a solution, and it’s using CSS shorthand properties.

The following has the same effect as the above style declaration, but we’ve reduced our code by three lines.

#selector { margin: 50px 0; }

Check out this list of properties that deals with font styles:

font-family: Helvetica; font-size: 14px; font-weight: bold; line-height: 1.5;

We can condense all that into one line:

font: bold 14px/1.5 Helvetica; 

We can also do this for background properties. The following:

background-image: url(background.png); background-repeat: repeat-y; background-position: center top;

Can be written in shorthand CSS as such:

background: url(background.png) repeat-y center top; 

4. Using 0px instead of 0

Say you want to add a 20px margin to the bottom of an element. You might use something like this:

#selector { margin: 20px 0px 20px 0px; } 

Don’t. This is excessive.

There’s no need to include the px after 0. While this may seem like I’m nitpicking and that it may not seem like much, when you’re working with a huge file, removing all those superfluous px can reduce the size of your file (which is never a bad thing).

5. Using Color Names Instead of Hexadecimal

Declaring red for color values is the lazy man’s #FF0000. By saying:

color: red;

You’re essentially saying that the browser should display what it thinks red is. If you’ve learned anything from making stuff function correctly in all browsers — and the hours of frustration you’ve accumulated because of a stupid list-bullet misalignment that can only be seen in IE7 — it’s that you should never let the browser decide how to display your web pages.

Instead, you should go to the effort to find the actual hex value for the color you’re trying to use. That way, you can make sure it’s the same color displayed across all browsers. You can use a color cheatsheet that provides a preview and the hex value of a color.

This may seem trivial, but when it comes to CSS, it’s the tiny things that often lead to the big gotchas.

6. Redundant Selectors

My process for writing styles is to start with all the typography, and then work on the structure, and finally on styling all the colors and backgrounds. That’s what works for me. Since I don’t focus on just one element at a time, I commonly find myself accidentally typing out a redundant style declaration.

I always do a final check after I’m done so that I can make sure that I haven’t repeated any selectors; and if I have, I’ll merge them. This sort of mistake is fine to make while you’re developing, but just try to make sure they don’t make it into production.

7. Redundant Properties

Similar to the one above, I often find myself having to apply the same properties to multiple selectors. This could be styling an <h5> in the header to look exactly like the <h6> in the footer, making the <pre>‘s and <blockquote>‘s the same size, or any number of things in between. In the final review of my CSS, I will look to make sure that I haven’t repeated too many properties.

For example, if I see two selectors doing the same thing, such as this:

#selector-1 { font-style: italic; color: #e7e7e7; margin: 5px; padding: 20px } .selector-2 { font-style: italic; color: #e7e7e7; margin: 5px; padding: 20px }

I will combine them, with the selectors separated by a comma (,):

#selector-1, .selector-2 { font-style: italic; color: #e7e7e7; margin: 5px; padding: 20px }

I hope you’re seeing the trend here: Try to be as terse and as efficient as possible. It pays dividends in maintenance time and page-load speed.

8. Not Providing Fallback Fonts

In a perfect world, every computer would always have every font you would ever want to use installed. Unfortunately, we don’t live in a perfect world. @font-face aside, web designers are pretty much limited to the few so called web-safe fonts (e.g.

Arial, Georgia, serif, etc.). There is a plus side, though. You can still use fonts like Helvetica that aren’t necessarily installed on every computer.

The secret lies in font stacks. Font stacks are a way for developers to provide fallback fonts for the browser to display if the user doesn’t have the preferred font installed. For example:

#selector { font-family: Helvetica; }

Can be expanded with fallback fonts as such:

#selector { font-family: Helvetica, Arial, sans-serif; }

Now, if the user doesn’t have Helvetica, they can see your site in Arial, and if that doesn’t work, it’ll just default to any sans-serif font installed.

By defining fallback fonts, you gain more control as to how your web pages are rendered.

9. Unnecessary Whitespace

When it comes to trying to reduce your CSS file sizes for performance, every space counts. When you’re developing, it’s OK to format your code in the way that you’re comfortable with. However, there is absolutely no reason not to take out excess characters (a process known as minification) when you actually push your project onto the web where the size of your files really counts.

Too many developers simply don’t minify their files before launching their websites, and I think that’s a huge mistake. Although it may not feel like it makes much of a difference, when you have huge CSS files

10. Not Organizing Your CSS in a Logical Way

When you’re writing CSS, do yourself a favor and organize your code. Through comments, you can insure that the next time you come to make a change to a file you’ll still be able to navigate it. 

I personally like to organize my styles by how the HTML that I’m styling is structured. This means that I have comments that distinguish the header, body, sidebar, and footer. A common CSS-authoring mistake I see is people just writing up their styles as soon as they think of them.

The next time you try to change something and can’t find the style declaration, you’ll be silently cursing yourself for not organizing your CSS well enough.

11. Using Only One Stylesheet for Everything

This one’s subjective, so bear with me while I give you my perspective. I am of the belief, as are others, that it is better to split stylesheets into a few different ones for big sites for easier maintenance and for better modularity. Maybe I’ll have one for a CSS reset, one for IE-specific fixes, and so on.

By organizing CSS into disparate stylesheets, I’ll know immediately where to find a style I want to change. You can do this by importing all the stylesheets into a stylesheet like so:

@import url("reset.css"); @import url("ie.css"); @import url("typography.css"); @import url("layout.css"); 

Let me stress, however, that this is what works for me and many other developers. You may prefer to squeeze them all in one file, and that’s okay; there’s nothing wrong with that.

But if you’re having a hard time maintaining a single file, try splitting your CSS up.

12. Not Providing a Print Stylesheet

In order to style your site on pages that will be printed, all you have to do is utilize and include a print stylesheet. It’s as easy as:

<link rel="stylesheet" href="print.css" media="print" /> 

Using a stylesheet for print allows you to hide elements you don’t want printed (such as your navigation menu), reset the background color to white, provide alternative typography for paragraphs so that it’s better suited on a piece of paper, and so forth. The important thing is that you think about how your page will look when printed.

Too many people just don’t think about it, so their sites will simply print the same way you see them on the screen.

I Made These 2 BEGINNER CSS Mistakes

No matter how long you've been writing code, it's always a good time to revisit the basics. While working on a project the other day, I made 2 beginner mistakes with the CSS I was writing. I misunderstood both CSS specificity and how transform:scale affects the DOM!

Stack Overflow about transform:scale - 
CSS Specificity - 


Best of Crypto

Best of Crypto


A General Purpose OpenAPI Code Generator for Algorand


This is a general purpose OpenAPI code generator. It is currently used to completely generate the HTTP code in the Java SDK, and generate some of the HTTP code in our Golang SDK.


We currently have two HTTP endpoints. One for algod and one for indexer, so in most cases, this tool would be run once with each OpenAPI spec.

Build as a self-executing jar:

~$ mvn package -DskipTests
~$ java -jar target/generator-*-jar-with-dependencies.jar -h

You'll see that there are a number of subcommands:

  • java - the original Java SDK generator.
  • responses - generate randomized test files for SDK unit tests.
  • template - a generator that uses velocity templates rather than Java code to configure the code generation.

Code layout

The command line interface uses JCommander to define the command line interface. See

The main code involves an OpenAPI parser / event generator and several listeners for the actual generation.

object layout


The template subcommand is using Apache Velocity as the underlying template engine. Things like variables, loops, and statements are all supported. So business logic can technically be implemented in the template if it's actually necessary.

Template files

There are three phases: client, query, and model. Each phase must provide two templates, one for the file generation and one to specify the filename to be used. If all results should go to the same file. For query and model generation the template will be executed once for each query / model. If you want to put everything in one file return the same filename twice in a row and the processing will exit early.

clientclient.vmClient class with functions to call each query.
clientclient_filename.vmFile to write to the client output directory.
queryquery.vmTemplate to use for generating query files.
queryquery_filename.vmFile to write to the query output directory.
modelmodel.vmTemplate to use for generating model files.
modelmodel_filename.vmFile to write to the model output directory.

Output directories

The template command will only run the templates which have an output directory is provided. So if you just want to regenerate models, only use the -m option.

  -c, --clientOutputDir
    Directory to write client file(s).
  -m, --modelsOutputDir
    Directory to write model file(s).
  -q, --queryOutputDir
    Directory to write query file(s).

Property files

The template subcommand accepts a --propertyFiles option. It can be provided multiple times, or as a comma separated list of files. Property files will be processed and bound to a velocity variable available to templates.

template variables

For details on a type you can put it directly into your template. It will be serialized along with its fields for your reference. Here is a high level description of what is available:

allstrStringHelpers.javaSome string utilities are available. See for details. There are simple things like $str.capitalize("someData") -> SomeData, and also some more complex helpers like $str.formatDoc($query.doc, "// ") which will split the document at the word boundary nearest to 80 characters without going over, and add a prefix to each new line.
allorderOrderHelpers.javaSome ordering utilities available. See for details. An example utility function is $order.propertiesWithOrdering($props, $preferred_order), where $props is a list of properties and $preferred_order is a string list to use when ordering the properties list.
allpropFilePropertiesThe contents of all property files are available with this variable. For example if package=com.algorand.v2.algod is in the property file, the template may use ${propFile.package}.
allmodelsHashMap<StructDef, List<TypeDef>>A list of all models.
allqueriesList<QueryDef>A list of all queries.
queryqQueryDefThe current query definition.
modeldefStructDefThe current model definition if multiple files are being generated.
modelpropsList<TypeDef>A list of properties for the current model.

Example usage

In the following example, we are careful to generate the algod code first because the algod models are a strict subset of the indexer models. For that reason, we are able to reuse some overlapping models from indexer in algod.

~$ java -jar generator*jar template
        -s algod.oas2.json
        -t go_templates
        -c algodClient
        -m allModels
        -q algodQueries
~$ java -jar generator*jar template
        -s indexer.oas2.json
        -t go_templates
        -c indexerClient
        -m allModels
        -q indexerQueries

Test Template

There is a test template that gives you some basic usage in the test_templates directory.

You can generate the test code in the output directory with the following commands:

~$ mkdir output
~$ java -jar target/generator-*-jar-with-dependencies.jar \
    template \
    -s /path/to/a/spec/file/indexer.oas2.json \
    -t test_templates/ \
    -m output \
    -q output \
    -c output \
    -p test_templates/

Golang Template

The Golang templates are in the go_templates directory.

The Golang HTTP API is only partially generated. The hand written parts were not totally consistent with the spec and that makes it difficult to regenerate them. Regardless, an attempt has been made. In the templates there are some macros which map "generated" values to the hand written ones. For example the query types have this mapping:

#macro ( queryType )
#if ( ${str.capitalize($} == "SearchForAccounts" )
SearchAccounts## The hand written client doesn't quite match the spec...
#elseif ( ${str.capitalize($} == "GetStatus" )
#elseif ( ${str.capitalize($} == "GetPendingTransactionsByAddress" )
#elseif ( ${str.capitalize($} == "GetPendingTransactions" )

Other mappings are more specific to the language, such as the OpenAPI type to SDK type:

#macro ( toQueryType $param )##
#if ( $param.algorandFormat == "RFC3339 String" )
#elseif ( $param.type == "integer" )
#elseif ( $param.type == "string" )
#elseif ( $param.type == "boolean" )
#elseif( $param.type == "binary" )
- ref: $!param.refType
- type: $!param.type
- array type: $!param.arrayType
- algorand format: $!param.algorandFormat
- format: $!param.format
##$unknown.type ## force a template failure because $unknown.type does not exist.

Because of this, we are phasing in code generation gradually by skipping some types. The skipped types are specified in the property files:




Java Template

The Java templates are in the java_templates directory.

These are not used yet, they are the initial experiments for the template engine. Since the Java SDK has used code generation from the beginning, we should be able to fully migrate to the template engine eventually.


Preparing an external repository for automatic code generation

In general, the automation pipeline will build and run whatever Dockerfile is found in a repository's templates directory. For instructions on how to configure the templates directory, look at the repository template directory example.

If you are trying to verify that automatic code generation works as intended, we recommend creating a testing branch from that repository and using the SKIP_PR=true environment variable to avoid creating pull requests. If all goes according to plan, generated files should be available in the container's /repo directory.

Setting up the automatic generator

The automatic generator scripts depend on certain prerequisites that are listed in automation/ Once those conditions have been satisfied, automatically generating code for external repositories should be as easy as building and running a particular SDK's templates/Dockerfile file.

Download Details:
Author: algorand
Source Code:

#algorand  #blockchain  #cryptocurrency #java #golang #openapi 

Alex Riley

Alex Riley


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