The joy that is Source Maps (with Vue.js and TypeScript)

Published on Sunday, February 4, 2018 12:00:00 AM UTC in Programming

My last post was about setting up a TypeScript environment to work with Vue.js using WebPack. I was amazed about how simple that was and how well features like hot reloading worked. I always want more :). For example, debugging my code using source maps. Shouldn't be too hard, right? Oh boy was I wrong.

Vue.js with TypeScript

Published on Monday, January 22, 2018 7:00:00 AM UTC in Programming

For quite some time now I've been watching the development of Vue.js, listened to talks and tutorials from time to time, read articles - but never made an attempt to actually use it. Why? Maybe I was under the impression that support for TypeScript (which is a main criteria for me with any framework) still is rather fragile and of low priority. Until I read the following a few days ago, that was:

[...] we have included official TypeScript type declarations [...] (Source).

I felt that now is the time to start some first experiments myself. And, frankly, I was pleasantly surprised how simple the setup was. Here's a step by step guide.

Dapper Extensions Reloaded: Version 3

Published on Sunday, January 21, 2018 12:25:52 PM UTC in Programming & Tools & Announcements

A few days ago I published a new version of Dapper Extensions Reloaded, a fork of the original Dapper Extensions I created a while ago. I've added some new features, but I also removed a lot of older stuff that I felt were too much "black magic" for me. Here is the full list of changes from last version.

Runtastic, oder: wie man Kunden vergrault

Published on Saturday, January 13, 2018 2:05:16 PM UTC in User Experience

Runtastic fällt immer mal wieder durch negative Kritik auf, etwa wenn man zahlende Kunden von ihren eigenen Daten aussperrt, bis sie sich einer Zwangsregistrierung unterwerfen. Aber auch abseits gewinnmaximierender Maßnahmen gibt es bemerkenswerte Fehltritte, insbesondere in Sachen Benutzerfreundlichkeit. Mein jüngstes Negativ-Erlebnis dazu ist einen kurzen Artikel wert.

Analyze your Git repositories

Published on Friday, January 12, 2018 5:47:09 AM UTC in Tools

Over Christmas I wanted to analyze some of my Git repositories with regards to commit count, contributions by author and other details. I found some nice and simple tools for that, one particular being Git Fame, written in Python. The tool is great, but it had a few problems: first of all it apparently wasn't written for the average Windows user like myself, because it had some problems with author names and non-ASCII characters which in turn needed workarounds on Windows that resulted in misshaped console output. Second, I wasn't quite satisfied with the feature set and performance. My powerful machine was idling along with little CPU and disk load, yet still the remaining hours for the larger repositories was in the upper 20s(!). The output on the other hand was only written to the console, so for further processing i.e. in Excel I had to copy it over into a file and do manual formatting to make it usable. Additionally, statistics per file extension and author were not available at all, you could only have either but not combined. Even worse, depending on the machine I commit from to my repositories, I apparently use slightly different author names (really should fix that), resulting in multiple entries for the same author. Some of these metrics hence were useless, for example: there's a "number of files contributed to" metric that you cannot easily aggregate across multiple author entries without knowing the exact files, an information that is not output by the tool. I'm no Python expert, but a quick look at the sources revealed that the tool was a simple wrapper around the Git command line, which made me think...

Screencasts with Open Broadcaster Software

Published on Monday, May 29, 2017 5:00:00 AM UTC in Tools

This week, I spontaneously wanted to record a code review as a screencast to watch offline for others. In the past, I've recorded a lot of tutorials and screencasts, however the tools I used to use are not quite state of the art anymore (I loved to use Expression Encoder, for example). Luckily, I remembered that a friend of mine recommended Open Broadcaster Software (or "OBS Studio" for short) recently for streaming and recording, so I decided to take it for a ride. OBS Studio is open source (see GitHub) and very actively maintained. It also seems to have a large community that posts in their forums, publishes guides and creates plugins for the software. Overall, using it was a great experience right from the beginning, and it left a very professional first impression on me. I won't bore you with another "getting started" guide for this software here. What I want to provide is two things to help you improve using OBS Studio for your screencasts: a) Some configuration advise to set you up for an excellent audio experience, and b) a set of recommendations to get the best quality for your screencasts while keeping the filesize at an absolute minimum. Just to be clear on the scope of this post: I focus on the recording side of things (meaning to produce on demand/offline content); the video encoding details I describe here are particularly irrelevant for streaming scenarios.

Dem Einbrecher den Schlüssel reichen

Published on Wednesday, May 3, 2017 10:01:55 PM UTC in Security

Als ich gerade eben eine E-Mail mit einem angeblichen Link zu einem geteilten "Google Docs"-Dokument erhielt, wurde ich skeptisch: mit der betreffenden Person hatte ich schon länger keinen Kontakt mehr, und die E-Mail kam völlig kommentarlos. Es roch stark nach Spam und Phishing, aber andererseits sah die E-Mail sehr authentisch aus, und der Link führte eindeutig zur Domäne - eine gute Gelegenheit, sich die Details anzusehen.

How to improve Aurelia's watcher performance

Published on Monday, April 10, 2017 4:00:00 AM UTC in Programming & Tools

Aurelia's CLI has a watcher feature which - in theory - adds quite some improvement to your daily work: I watches files for changes, recompiles your project automatically and uses browser link to refresh the page you're currently working on. For quite some time the watcher had a rather unpleasant property: it crashed. A lot. Fortunately, that was resolved when a pull request was accepted for the CLI. Disappointment struck when I tested the fix though; yes, the crashes were gone, but the watcher's performance now was horrible. Looking through the code I realized that the fix simply turned off incremental TypeScript builds to get rid of the crash. After a discussion on GitHub, I decided to take a deeper look into this, and - well - here are the results.

Was für ein Zirkus

Published on Tuesday, April 4, 2017 4:00:00 AM UTC in Philosophical

Als ich gestern von der Arbeit nach Hause fuhr, sah ich in einem kleinen Städtchen, an einer Straßenlaterne befestigt, das Plakat eines Zirkus. Im Vorbeifahren waren für mich weder der Name des Zirkus zu erfassen, noch die Veranstaltungstage oder der genaue Ort, weil mein Blick einzig und alleine wie fasziniert auf den Preis gerichtet war: "Eintritt 2 Euro" stand da. Zwei Euro! Nachdem ich mich kurz versichert hatte, dass ich nicht versehentlich in der Zeit zurück bis zu den Fünfzigern gefahren war, verbrachte ich die restliche Fahrt - die von diesem Punkt aus für gewöhnlich ziemlich genau neun Minuten und fünfzig Sekunden dauert - damit, über Zirkusse nachzudenken.

Creating an Aurelia-based auto-complete control

Published on Sunday, February 19, 2017 6:00:00 PM UTC in Programming

A while ago I created a small private web application, and instead of going the usual MVC-based way I had accustomed to during the last years, I chose to create a single-page application using Aurelia, a very sophisticated, modern, .NET developer-friendly framework for such apps. Once I reached the point where I needed some sort of auto-complete control to asynchronously fetch data from the backend to choose from, I evaluated the usual suspects I had learned to use in the past. Frankly, none of them felt "right" for the job. The style of integrating and using these controls simply seems antiquated in the light of modern web development compared to concepts like those of web components. So I thought: how hard can it be to write my own? As it turns out, not so hard. What started as a proof of concept for private use actually was a lot of fun and evolved, and today I want to share the result of that experience with others.

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