PhaultLines

Get the advantages of TypeScript without transpiling

Microsoft’s TypeScript programming language brings many of the advantages of static typing to JavaScript. Although it doesn’t enforce types at runtime, it enables richer static analysis, encourages more safety, and opens the door for better IDE integration. TypeScript code is typically transpiled to standards-based JavaScript so that it can run natively in browsers and Node.js. Given the attractiveness of TypeScript’s benefits, it is unsurprising that adoption is growing at a rapid pace.

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Using the Plex webhook API to control Hue lights

A Plex Media Server update released earlier this year introduced a new webhook API that exposes media playback events, making it possible to track when Plex starts and stops playing content. I used the API to make my living room lights dim automatically when I’m watching a movie or television show. To use the API, you create a simple web application that receives HTTP POST requests at a given URL endpoint.

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How to query an on-disk SearchKit index with PyObjC

OS X comes with a framework called SearchKit that applications can use to index content and support full-text searches. I occasionally run into situations where I want to take advantage of an application’s existing SearchKit index so that I can perform my own full-text searches programmatically. The most recent case arose this weekend while I was attempting to build an Alfred workflow for searching Quiver notes. Quiver uses SearchKit internally to expose full-text search through its own user interface, but it doesn’t have native Spotlight integration yet.

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Weekend Project: Leap Motion and Pixi.js

The Leap Motion Controller is an input device that tracks the position of the user’s hands and fingers in 3D space, taking the first step towards the kind of gesture-based computer interaction that we’ve seen in science fiction films like Minority Report. I built a simple space game demo with the Leap Motion JavaScript library and the Pixi.js 2D graphics framework. You can find the complete source code on GitHub.

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Watching the Web evolve at Fluent 2014

I attended O’Reilly’s Fluent conference in San Francisco earlier this month. The annual event covers various aspects of the Web platform, particularly topics that relate to frontend development. The talks that I attended covered a wide range of topics, spanning from JavaScript performance improvements to unconventional uses for the CSS border-radius property. Fluent gave me an opportunity to reflect on the manner in which the Web is evolving and the opportunities that will arise as it continues to mature.

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