Photo by Clément H on Unsplash

As most coders know, how you format code matters, a lot. Consider the following React component:

It’s what most React developers are used to. But that doesn’t mean it’s an optimal way of conveying information to the React component.

What if, instead, we conveyed all of those properties in the format that’s most commonly used to convey information in JavaScript, the Object? Then, it would look like this:

Advantages

I’ve found component spread operators:

  1. easier to work with
  2. help with IDE autocompletion
  3. are simpler to copy/paste
  4. template literals instead of needing key={`this is a template literal`} you can write…

Dear Mark,

You don’t know me, and you’ll likely not read this comment. Though I need to share it with you here since I’m writing this comment as much for you as well as for others and myself. Because I believe it contains an important message.

A few years ago I came across a little audiobook called “Lying”. It was profound — it literally changed my world for the better. The premise of that book is that even good people, decent people, tend to rationalize their so-called “white lies” as acceptable, given some circumstance: for example, when we find ourselves…


Summary

In this essay I’ll walk you through how to create a GraphQL Server (using Apollo Server Micro) on a serverless platform (using Vercel), connect it (via Prisma) to a PostgreSQL database (hosted on ScaleGrid), and have the server connect to your client (a React app that uses Apollo Boost).

TL;DR: here’s a demo, and here’s the Github repo.

Introduction

But first, let’s do a quick big-picture overview of how an app usually works. For several decades now, applications have utilized a three-tiered model of how data is handled and presented to the end-user:

Recent advances in technology (Vercel’s NextJS platform used…


Part 2 of 3

Discover how to automatically export your custom Webflow CSS into your app using browser automation.

Here’s a follow-up to my previous essay on how you can design HTML components in Webflow and then use the Webflow-generated CSS in your web app.

However, manually exporting the CSS from Webflow proves to be tedious each time a design change occurs. You gotta first launch the export window, then manually select and copy your CSS, and finally paste it into the CSS file(s) in your app.

Here are two much faster ways of exporting your CSS using Selenium browser automation. The first option…


An acquaintance and I were having a conversation about writing, and it prompted me to share three personal anecdotes involving bestselling author Dan Millman (author of 17 books, including Way of the Peaceful Warrior). I would like to share them with you here as well, for shared benefit.

Dan Millman, author of Way of the Peaceful Warrior

About ten years ago, I had dabbled in some writing but felt it was no good. I told Dan how I would sometimes write entire pages, only to then throw them away — surely there was the proof of my poor writing abilities. He laughed! …


A long time ago human beings freely roamed the Earth.
One day, a man took a piece of land and said: “This is mine.”
Other men followed.
Thus, they lorded over the lands and became known as landlords.

The people who didn’t own any land now had to tend to the lands, and thus became known as tenants.

Soon after, landlords created banks. Tenants now had to borrow money to buy their own homes, and thus became known as homeowners.

Today, landlords and banks own the land, water, trees, and minerals, while everyone else has to pay them to…


Photo by Martin Adams, © 2018. All rights reserved.

The Eyes of the Eternal Brother was written in German by Stefan Zweig and published in 1922 under the title Die Augen des Ewigen Bruders. It has since reverted back into the public domain under German copyright laws.

In the process of engaging in this translation, I’ve taking a few liberties to make Stefan Zweig’s work more accessible to a modern readership — the original was composed in quite old-fashioned German — even as I’m endeavoring to remain true to the original spirit of the text.

For easy reading, I’ve subdivided the text into subchapters. …


“Have you also learned that secret from the river; that there is no such thing as time? That the river is everywhere at the same time, at the source and at the mouth, at the waterfall, at the ferry, at the current, in the ocean and in the mountains, everywhere and that the present only exists for it, not the shadow of the past nor the shadow of the future.”

Siddhartha, Hermann Hesse

The story I’m about to tell you reads like a tale out of a science fiction book. And yet, it’s an accurate account of what happened: I…


Part 1 of 3

This essay is about app development and component prototyping using Webflow.

If you’re wondering how to create apps that not only work but feel and look good, Webflow might just be the perfect tool for you. Of course you could use standard component libraries, but in my experience they are not as versatile as the ones I built from scratch using Webflow.

Anyone who’s talked to me for more than a few minutes about website and app development knows I’m a big fan of Webflow. What used to take me hours to create using raw html, css, and javascript, now…


It’s been said that software development is both an art and a science. It’s an art because it takes skill, patience, and repeated practice to master. And just like art, software development has the potential to produce works of beauty. It’s also a science because it’s a systematic body of knowledge that is inherently logical, structured, and interrelated in its parts. And just like science, software development has the potential to produce technology bordering on the magical.

Mt. Taranaki, as seen on flight from Auckland to Wellington on August 28, 2016. Taranaki is to the Māori a sacred mountain. Photo © 2016 Creative Commons Martin Adams

Knowing this, imagine therefore how excited I felt when I boarded a plane on August 26, 2016, in San Francisco, California, to fly…

Martin Adams

Ecstatic, CTO, ecstatic.com Author, unitism.com

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