Alternatives to Crystal logo

Alternatives to Crystal

PHP, JavaScript, Python, Java, and HTML5 are the most popular alternatives and competitors to Crystal.
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What is Crystal and what are its top alternatives?

Crystal is a programming language that resembles Ruby but compiles to native code and tries to be much more efficient, at the cost of disallowing certain dynamic aspects of Ruby.
Crystal is a tool in the Languages category of a tech stack.
Crystal is an open source tool with 13.9K GitHub stars and 1.1K GitHub forks. Here’s a link to Crystal's open source repository on GitHub

Crystal alternatives & related posts

PHP logo

PHP

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A popular general-purpose scripting language that is especially suited to web development
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PHP
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Crystal

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Nick Rockwell
Nick Rockwell
CTO at NY Times · | 27 upvotes · 244.1K views
atThe New York TimesThe New York Times
Apache HTTP Server
Apache HTTP Server
Kafka
Kafka
Node.js
Node.js
GraphQL
GraphQL
Apollo
Apollo
React
React
PHP
PHP
MySQL
MySQL

When I joined NYT there was already broad dissatisfaction with the LAMP (Linux Apache HTTP Server MySQL PHP) Stack and the front end framework, in particular. So, I wasn't passing judgment on it. I mean, LAMP's fine, you can do good work in LAMP. It's a little dated at this point, but it's not ... I didn't want to rip it out for its own sake, but everyone else was like, "We don't like this, it's really inflexible." And I remember from being outside the company when that was called MIT FIVE when it had launched. And been observing it from the outside, and I was like, you guys took so long to do that and you did it so carefully, and yet you're not happy with your decisions. Why is that? That was more the impetus. If we're going to do this again, how are we going to do it in a way that we're gonna get a better result?

So we're moving quickly away from LAMP, I would say. So, right now, the new front end is React based and using Apollo. And we've been in a long, protracted, gradual rollout of the core experiences.

React is now talking to GraphQL as a primary API. There's a Node.js back end, to the front end, which is mainly for server-side rendering, as well.

Behind there, the main repository for the GraphQL server is a big table repository, that we call Bodega because it's a convenience store. And that reads off of a Kafka pipeline.

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Ali Soueidan
Ali Soueidan
Creative Web Developer at Ali Soueidan · | 16 upvotes · 42.4K views
npm
npm
Babel
Babel
PHP
PHP
Adobe Illustrator
Adobe Illustrator
Asana
Asana
ES6
ES6
GitHub
GitHub
Git
Git
JSON
JSON
Sass
Sass
Pug
Pug
JavaScript
JavaScript
vuex
vuex
Vue.js
Vue.js

Application and Data: Since my personal website ( https://alisoueidan.com ) is a SPA I've chosen to use Vue.js, as a framework to create it. After a short skeptical phase I immediately felt in love with the single file component concept! I also used vuex for state management, which makes working with several components, which are communicating with each other even more fun and convenient to use. Of course, using Vue requires using JavaScript as well, since it is the basis of it.

For markup and style, I used Pug and Sass, since they’re the perfect match to me. I love the clean and strict syntax of both of them and even more that their structure is almost similar. Also, both of them come with an expanded functionality such as mixins, loops and so on related to their “siblings” (HTML and CSS). Both of them require nesting and prevent untidy code, which can be a huge advantage when working in teams. I used JSON to store data (since the data quantity on my website is moderate) – JSON works also good in combo with Pug, using for loops, based on the JSON Objects for example.

To send my contact form I used PHP, since sending emails using PHP is still relatively convenient, simple and easy done.

DevOps: Of course, I used Git to do my version management (which I even do in smaller projects like my website just have an additional backup of my code). On top of that I used GitHub since it now supports private repository for free accounts (which I am using for my own). I use Babel to use ES6 functionality such as arrow functions and so on, and still don’t losing cross browser compatibility.

Side note: I used npm for package management. 🎉

*Business Tools: * I use Asana to organize my project. This is a big advantage to me, even if I work alone, since “private” projects can get interrupted for some time. By using Asana I still know (even after month of not touching a project) what I’ve done, on which task I was at last working on and what still is to do. Working in Teams (for enterprise I’d take on Jira instead) of course Asana is a Tool which I really love to use as well. All the graphics on my website are SVG which I have created with Adobe Illustrator and adjusted within the SVG code or by using JavaScript or CSS (SASS).

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Nick Parsons
Nick Parsons
Director of Developer Marketing at Stream · | 33 upvotes · 152.5K views
atStreamStream
Go
Go
Stream
Stream
Python
Python
Yarn
Yarn
Babel
Babel
Node.js
Node.js
ES6
ES6
JavaScript
JavaScript
#Languages
#FrameworksFullStack

Winds 2.0 is an open source Podcast/RSS reader developed by Stream with a core goal to enable a wide range of developers to contribute.

We chose JavaScript because nearly every developer knows or can, at the very least, read JavaScript. With ES6 and Node.js v10.x.x, it’s become a very capable language. Async/Await is powerful and easy to use (Async/Await vs Promises). Babel allows us to experiment with next-generation JavaScript (features that are not in the official JavaScript spec yet). Yarn allows us to consistently install packages quickly (and is filled with tons of new tricks)

We’re using JavaScript for everything – both front and backend. Most of our team is experienced with Go and Python, so Node was not an obvious choice for this app.

Sure... there will be haters who refuse to acknowledge that there is anything remotely positive about JavaScript (there are even rants on Hacker News about Node.js); however, without writing completely in JavaScript, we would not have seen the results we did.

#FrameworksFullStack #Languages

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Yshay Yaacobi
Yshay Yaacobi
Software Engineer · | 27 upvotes · 196.9K views
atSolutoSoluto
Docker Swarm
Docker Swarm
Kubernetes
Kubernetes
Visual Studio Code
Visual Studio Code
Go
Go
TypeScript
TypeScript
JavaScript
JavaScript
C#
C#
F#
F#
.NET
.NET

Our first experience with .NET core was when we developed our OSS feature management platform - Tweek (https://github.com/soluto/tweek). We wanted to create a solution that is able to run anywhere (super important for OSS), has excellent performance characteristics and can fit in a multi-container architecture. We decided to implement our rule engine processor in F# , our main service was implemented in C# and other components were built using JavaScript / TypeScript and Go.

Visual Studio Code worked really well for us as well, it worked well with all our polyglot services and the .Net core integration had great cross-platform developer experience (to be fair, F# was a bit trickier) - actually, each of our team members used a different OS (Ubuntu, macos, windows). Our production deployment ran for a time on Docker Swarm until we've decided to adopt Kubernetes with almost seamless migration process.

After our positive experience of running .Net core workloads in containers and developing Tweek's .Net services on non-windows machines, C# had gained back some of its popularity (originally lost to Node.js), and other teams have been using it for developing microservices, k8s sidecars (like https://github.com/Soluto/airbag), cli tools, serverless functions and other projects...

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Python logo

Python

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A clear and powerful object-oriented programming language, comparable to Perl, Ruby, Scheme, or Java.
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Python
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Crystal

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Nick Parsons
Nick Parsons
Director of Developer Marketing at Stream · | 33 upvotes · 152.5K views
atStreamStream
Go
Go
Stream
Stream
Python
Python
Yarn
Yarn
Babel
Babel
Node.js
Node.js
ES6
ES6
JavaScript
JavaScript
#Languages
#FrameworksFullStack

Winds 2.0 is an open source Podcast/RSS reader developed by Stream with a core goal to enable a wide range of developers to contribute.

We chose JavaScript because nearly every developer knows or can, at the very least, read JavaScript. With ES6 and Node.js v10.x.x, it’s become a very capable language. Async/Await is powerful and easy to use (Async/Await vs Promises). Babel allows us to experiment with next-generation JavaScript (features that are not in the official JavaScript spec yet). Yarn allows us to consistently install packages quickly (and is filled with tons of new tricks)

We’re using JavaScript for everything – both front and backend. Most of our team is experienced with Go and Python, so Node was not an obvious choice for this app.

Sure... there will be haters who refuse to acknowledge that there is anything remotely positive about JavaScript (there are even rants on Hacker News about Node.js); however, without writing completely in JavaScript, we would not have seen the results we did.

#FrameworksFullStack #Languages

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Jeyabalaji Subramanian
Jeyabalaji Subramanian
CTO at FundsCorner · | 24 upvotes · 185.7K views
atFundsCornerFundsCorner
Zappa
Zappa
AWS Lambda
AWS Lambda
SQLAlchemy
SQLAlchemy
Python
Python
Amazon SQS
Amazon SQS
Node.js
Node.js
MongoDB Stitch
MongoDB Stitch
PostgreSQL
PostgreSQL
MongoDB
MongoDB

Recently we were looking at a few robust and cost-effective ways of replicating the data that resides in our production MongoDB to a PostgreSQL database for data warehousing and business intelligence.

We set ourselves the following criteria for the optimal tool that would do this job: - The data replication must be near real-time, yet it should NOT impact the production database - The data replication must be horizontally scalable (based on the load), asynchronous & crash-resilient

Based on the above criteria, we selected the following tools to perform the end to end data replication:

We chose MongoDB Stitch for picking up the changes in the source database. It is the serverless platform from MongoDB. One of the services offered by MongoDB Stitch is Stitch Triggers. Using stitch triggers, you can execute a serverless function (in Node.js) in real time in response to changes in the database. When there are a lot of database changes, Stitch automatically "feeds forward" these changes through an asynchronous queue.

We chose Amazon SQS as the pipe / message backbone for communicating the changes from MongoDB to our own replication service. Interestingly enough, MongoDB stitch offers integration with AWS services.

In the Node.js function, we wrote minimal functionality to communicate the database changes (insert / update / delete / replace) to Amazon SQS.

Next we wrote a minimal micro-service in Python to listen to the message events on SQS, pickup the data payload & mirror the DB changes on to the target Data warehouse. We implemented source data to target data translation by modelling target table structures through SQLAlchemy . We deployed this micro-service as AWS Lambda with Zappa. With Zappa, deploying your services as event-driven & horizontally scalable Lambda service is dumb-easy.

In the end, we got to implement a highly scalable near realtime Change Data Replication service that "works" and deployed to production in a matter of few days!

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Java

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A concurrent, class-based, object-oriented, language specifically designed to have as few implementation dependencies as possible
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Ganesa Vijayakumar
Ganesa Vijayakumar
Full Stack Coder | Module Lead · | 15 upvotes · 275K views
SonarQube
SonarQube
Codacy
Codacy
Docker
Docker
Git
Git
Apache Maven
Apache Maven
Amazon EC2 Container Service
Amazon EC2 Container Service
Microsoft Azure
Microsoft Azure
Amazon Route 53
Amazon Route 53
Elasticsearch
Elasticsearch
Solr
Solr
Amazon RDS
Amazon RDS
Amazon S3
Amazon S3
Heroku
Heroku
Hibernate
Hibernate
MySQL
MySQL
Node.js
Node.js
Java
Java
Bootstrap
Bootstrap
jQuery Mobile
jQuery Mobile
jQuery UI
jQuery UI
jQuery
jQuery
JavaScript
JavaScript
React Native
React Native
React Router
React Router
React
React

I'm planning to create a web application and also a mobile application to provide a very good shopping experience to the end customers. Shortly, my application will be aggregate the product details from difference sources and giving a clear picture to the user that when and where to buy that product with best in Quality and cost.

I have planned to develop this in many milestones for adding N number of features and I have picked my first part to complete the core part (aggregate the product details from different sources).

As per my work experience and knowledge, I have chosen the followings stacks to this mission.

UI: I would like to develop this application using React, React Router and React Native since I'm a little bit familiar on this and also most importantly these will help on developing both web and mobile apps. In addition, I'm gonna use the stacks JavaScript, jQuery, jQuery UI, jQuery Mobile, Bootstrap wherever required.

Service: I have planned to use Java as the main business layer language as I have 7+ years of experience on this I believe I can do better work using Java than other languages. In addition, I'm thinking to use the stacks Node.js.

Database and ORM: I'm gonna pick MySQL as DB and Hibernate as ORM since I have a piece of good knowledge and also work experience on this combination.

Search Engine: I need to deal with a large amount of product data and it's in-detailed info to provide enough details to end user at the same time I need to focus on the performance area too. so I have decided to use Solr as a search engine for product search and suggestions. In addition, I'm thinking to replace Solr by Elasticsearch once explored/reviewed enough about Elasticsearch.

Host: As of now, my plan to complete the application with decent features first and deploy it in a free hosting environment like Docker and Heroku and then once it is stable then I have planned to use the AWS products Amazon S3, EC2, Amazon RDS and Amazon Route 53. I'm not sure about Microsoft Azure that what is the specialty in it than Heroku and Amazon EC2 Container Service. Anyhow, I will do explore these once again and pick the best suite one for my requirement once I reached this level.

Build and Repositories: I have decided to choose Apache Maven and Git as these are my favorites and also so popular on respectively build and repositories.

Additional Utilities :) - I would like to choose Codacy for code review as their Startup plan will be very helpful to this application. I'm already experienced with Google CheckStyle and SonarQube even I'm looking something on Codacy.

Happy Coding! Suggestions are welcome! :)

Thanks, Ganesa

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Java
Java
Visual Studio Code
Visual Studio Code
JavaScript
JavaScript
TypeScript
TypeScript

I use TypeScript because it is strongly typed superset of JavaScript that provides many benefits. Integration with #IDE like Visual Studio Code is excellent. The main benefit is maintainability. Many error can be caught before code running. Also Angular recommends TypeScript as better alternative to JavaScript . Syntax is very easy to learn especially for people from the Java world.

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HTML5

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5th major revision of the core language of the World Wide Web
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Jeyabalaji Subramanian
Jeyabalaji Subramanian
CTO at FundsCorner · | 21 upvotes · 66.1K views
atFundsCornerFundsCorner
Amazon Cognito
Amazon Cognito
Vuetify
Vuetify
Vue.js
Vue.js
HTML5
HTML5
JavaScript
JavaScript

At FundsCorner, when we set out to pick up the front-end tech stack (around Dec 2017), we drove our decision based on the following considerations:

(1) We were clear that we will NOT have a hybrid app. We will start with Responsive Web & once there is traction, we will rollout our Android App. However, we wanted to ensure that the users have a consistent experience on both the Web & the App. So, the front-end framework must also have a material design component library which we can choose from.

(2) Before joining FundsCorner as a CTO, I had already worked with Angular. I enjoyed working with Angular, but I felt that I must choose something that will provide us with the fastest time from Concept to Reality.

(3) I am strong proponent of segregating HTML & JavaScript. I.e. I was not for writing or generating HTML through JavaScript. Because, this will mean that the Front-end developers I have to hire will always be very strong on JavaScript alongside HTML5 & CSS. I was looking for a Framework that was on JavaScript but not HEAVY on JavaScript.

(3) The first iteration of the web app was to be done by myself. But I was clear that when someone takes up the mantle, they will be able to come up the curve fast.

In the end, Vue.js and Vuetify satisfied all the above criteria with aplomb! When I did our first POC on Vue.js I could not believe that front-end development could be this fast. The documentation was par excellence and all the required essentials that come along with the Framework (viz. Routing, Store, Validations) etc. were available from the same community! It was also a breeze to integrate with other JavaScript libraries (such as Amazon Cognito).

By picking Vuetify, we were able to provide a consistent UI experience between our Web App and Native App, besides making the UI development ultra blazing fast!

In the end, we were able to rollout our Web App in record 6 weeks (that included the end to end Loan Origination flow, Loans management system & Customer engagement module). www.jeyabalaji.com

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Jonathan Pugh
Jonathan Pugh
Software Engineer / Project Manager / Technical Architect · | 16 upvotes · 115K views
Pouchdb
Pouchdb
CouchDB
CouchDB
Font Awesome
Font Awesome
CSS 3
CSS 3
Apache Cordova
Apache Cordova
PhoneGap
PhoneGap
HTML5
HTML5
Ruby
Ruby
Babel
Babel
Webpack
Webpack
Visual Studio Code
Visual Studio Code
Figma
Figma
TypeScript
TypeScript
JavaScript
JavaScript
Framework7
Framework7
#Css
#CSS3
#SCSS
#Sass
#Less
#Electron
#HandleBars
#Template7
#Sketch
#GraphQL
#HTML5
#GraphCool

I needed to choose a full stack of tools for cross platform mobile application design & development. After much research and trying different tools, these are what I came up with that work for me today:

For the client coding I chose Framework7 because of its performance, easy learning curve, and very well designed, beautiful UI widgets. I think it's perfect for solo development or small teams. I didn't like React Native. It felt heavy to me and rigid. Framework7 allows the use of #CSS3, which I think is the best technology to come out of the #WWW movement. No other tech has been able to allow designers and developers to develop such flexible, high performance, customisable user interface elements that are highly responsive and hardware accelerated before. Now #CSS3 includes variables and flexboxes it is truly a powerful language and there is no longer a need for preprocessors such as #SCSS / #Sass / #less. React Native contains a very limited interpretation of #CSS3 which I found very frustrating after using #CSS3 for some years already and knowing its powerful features. The other very nice feature of Framework7 is that you can even build for the browser if you want your app to be available for desktop web browsers. The latest release also includes the ability to build for #Electron so you can have MacOS, Windows and Linux desktop apps. This is not possible with React Native yet.

Framework7 runs on top of Apache Cordova. Cordova and webviews have been slated as being slow in the past. Having a game developer background I found the tweeks to make it run as smooth as silk. One of those tweeks is to use WKWebView. Another important one was using srcset on images.

I use #Template7 for the for the templating system which is a no-nonsense mobile-centric #HandleBars style extensible templating system. It's easy to write custom helpers for, is fast and has a small footprint. I'm not forced into a new paradigm or learning some new syntax. It operates with standard JavaScript, HTML5 and CSS 3. It's written by the developer of Framework7 and so dovetails with it as expected.

I configured TypeScript to work with the latest version of Framework7. I consider TypeScript to be one of the best creations to come out of Microsoft in some time. They must have an amazing team working on it. It's very powerful and flexible. It helps you catch a lot of bugs and also provides code completion in supporting IDEs. So for my IDE I use Visual Studio Code which is a blazingly fast and silky smooth editor that integrates seamlessly with TypeScript for the ultimate type checking setup (both products are produced by Microsoft).

I use Webpack and Babel to compile the JavaScript. TypeScript can compile to JavaScript directly but Babel offers a few more options and polyfills so you can use the latest (and even prerelease) JavaScript features today and compile to be backwards compatible with virtually any browser. My favorite recent addition is "optional chaining" which greatly simplifies and increases readability of a number of sections of my code dealing with getting and setting data in nested objects.

I use some Ruby scripts to process images with ImageMagick and pngquant to optimise for size and even auto insert responsive image code into the HTML5. Ruby is the ultimate cross platform scripting language. Even as your scripts become large, Ruby allows you to refactor your code easily and make it Object Oriented if necessary. I find it the quickest and easiest way to maintain certain aspects of my build process.

For the user interface design and prototyping I use Figma. Figma has an almost identical user interface to #Sketch but has the added advantage of being cross platform (MacOS and Windows). Its real-time collaboration features are outstanding and I use them a often as I work mostly on remote projects. Clients can collaborate in real-time and see changes I make as I make them. The clickable prototyping features in Figma are also very well designed and mean I can send clickable prototypes to clients to try user interface updates as they are made and get immediate feedback. I'm currently also evaluating the latest version of #AdobeXD as an alternative to Figma as it has the very cool auto-animate feature. It doesn't have real-time collaboration yet, but I heard it is proposed for 2019.

For the UI icons I use Font Awesome Pro. They have the largest selection and best looking icons you can find on the internet with several variations in styles so you can find most of the icons you want for standard projects.

For the backend I was using the #GraphCool Framework. As I later found out, #GraphQL still has some way to go in order to provide the full power of a mature graph query language so later in my project I ripped out #GraphCool and replaced it with CouchDB and Pouchdb. Primarily so I could provide good offline app support. CouchDB with Pouchdb is very flexible and efficient combination and overcomes some of the restrictions I found in #GraphQL and hence #GraphCool also. The most impressive and important feature of CouchDB is its replication. You can configure it in various ways for backups, fault tolerance, caching or conditional merging of databases. CouchDB and Pouchdb even supports storing, retrieving and serving binary or image data or other mime types. This removes a level of complexity usually present in database implementations where binary or image data is usually referenced through an #HTML5 link. With CouchDB and Pouchdb apps can operate offline and sync later, very efficiently, when the network connection is good.

I use PhoneGap when testing the app. It auto-reloads your app when its code is changed and you can also install it on Android phones to preview your app instantly. iOS is a bit more tricky cause of Apple's policies so it's not available on the App Store, but you can build it and install it yourself to your device.

So that's my latest mobile stack. What tools do you use? Have you tried these ones?

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ASP.NET

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An open source web framework for building modern web apps and services with .NET
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    Greg Neumann
    Greg Neumann
    Indie, Solo, Developer · | 6 upvotes · 28.8K views
    TypeScript
    TypeScript
    Vue.js
    Vue.js
    Electron
    Electron
    Quasar Framework
    Quasar Framework
    ASP.NET
    ASP.NET
    Xamarin Forms
    Xamarin Forms
    .NET Core
    .NET Core
    Xamarin
    Xamarin

    Finding the most effective dev stack for a solo developer. Over the past year, I've been looking at many tech stacks that would be 'best' for me, as a solo, indie, developer to deliver a desktop app (Windows & Mac) plus mobile - iOS mainly. Initially, Xamarin started to stand-out. Using .NET Core as the run-time, Xamarin as the native API provider and Xamarin Forms for the UI seemed to solve all issues. But, the cracks soon started to appear. Xamarin Forms is mobile only; the Windows incarnation is different. There is no Mac UI solution (you have to code it natively in Mac OS Storyboard. I was also worried how Xamarin Forms , if I was to use it, was going to cope, in future, with Apple's new SwiftUI and Google's new Fuchsia.

    This plethora of techs for the UI-layer made me reach for the safer waters of using Web-techs for the UI. Lovely! Consistency everywhere (well, mostly). But that consistency evaporates when platform issues are addressed. There are so many web frameworks!

    But, I made a simple decision. It's just me...I am clever, but there is no army of coders here. And I have big plans for a business app. How could just 1 developer go-on to deploy a decent app to Windows, iPhone, iPad & Mac OS? I remembered earlier days when I've used Microsoft's ASP.NET to scaffold - generate - loads of Code for a web-app that I needed for several charities that I worked with. What 'generators' exist that do a lot of the platform-specific rubbish, allow the necessary customisation of such platform integration and provide a decent UI?

    I've placed my colours to the Quasar Framework mast. Oh dear, that means Electron desktop apps doesn't it? Well, Ive had enough of loads of Developers saying that "the menus won't look native" or "it uses too much RAM" and so on. I've been using non-native UI-wrapped apps for ages - the date picker in Outlook on iOS is way better than the native date-picker and I'd been using it for years without getting hot under the collar about it. Developers do get so hung-up on things that busy Users hardly notice; don't you think?. As to the RAM usage issue; that's a bit true. But Users only really notice when an app uses so much RAM that the machine starts to page-out. Electron contributes towards that horizon but does not cause it. My Users will be business-users after all. Somewhat decent machines.

    Looking forward to all that lovely Vue.js around my TypeScript and all those really, really, b e a u t I f u l UI controls of Quasar Framework . Still not sure that 1 dev can deliver all that... but I'm up for trying...

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    ASP.NET
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    ExpressJS
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    React
    Angular 2
    Angular 2
    Vue.js
    Vue.js
    Netlify
    Netlify
    Heroku
    Heroku
    #Seo
    #Heroku

    I found Heroku to be a great option to get ExpressJS up and running with very little hustle. The free tier is great, but I'd recommend to set up a cronjob to visit your site every few minutes so that the server stays awake. Netlify was the option to host the front-end because doing the server side rendering on #Heroku would have taken a little more time than I'd like to. For the moment pre-rendering the app with prerender-spa-plugin is enough to help with #seo. Puppeteer was my choice over other options because it made it easier to scrape websites made on ASP.NET which is what I needed in this case. And Vue.js is my top choice at the moment because it's really beginner friendly and it has a lot of the features I like about Angular 2 and React. vuex is a must in most of the app I build.

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    Ruby

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    Jonathan Pugh
    Jonathan Pugh
    Software Engineer / Project Manager / Technical Architect · | 16 upvotes · 115K views
    Pouchdb
    Pouchdb
    CouchDB
    CouchDB
    Font Awesome
    Font Awesome
    CSS 3
    CSS 3
    Apache Cordova
    Apache Cordova
    PhoneGap
    PhoneGap
    HTML5
    HTML5
    Ruby
    Ruby
    Babel
    Babel
    Webpack
    Webpack
    Visual Studio Code
    Visual Studio Code
    Figma
    Figma
    TypeScript
    TypeScript
    JavaScript
    JavaScript
    Framework7
    Framework7
    #Css
    #CSS3
    #SCSS
    #Sass
    #Less
    #Electron
    #HandleBars
    #Template7
    #Sketch
    #GraphQL
    #HTML5
    #GraphCool

    I needed to choose a full stack of tools for cross platform mobile application design & development. After much research and trying different tools, these are what I came up with that work for me today:

    For the client coding I chose Framework7 because of its performance, easy learning curve, and very well designed, beautiful UI widgets. I think it's perfect for solo development or small teams. I didn't like React Native. It felt heavy to me and rigid. Framework7 allows the use of #CSS3, which I think is the best technology to come out of the #WWW movement. No other tech has been able to allow designers and developers to develop such flexible, high performance, customisable user interface elements that are highly responsive and hardware accelerated before. Now #CSS3 includes variables and flexboxes it is truly a powerful language and there is no longer a need for preprocessors such as #SCSS / #Sass / #less. React Native contains a very limited interpretation of #CSS3 which I found very frustrating after using #CSS3 for some years already and knowing its powerful features. The other very nice feature of Framework7 is that you can even build for the browser if you want your app to be available for desktop web browsers. The latest release also includes the ability to build for #Electron so you can have MacOS, Windows and Linux desktop apps. This is not possible with React Native yet.

    Framework7 runs on top of Apache Cordova. Cordova and webviews have been slated as being slow in the past. Having a game developer background I found the tweeks to make it run as smooth as silk. One of those tweeks is to use WKWebView. Another important one was using srcset on images.

    I use #Template7 for the for the templating system which is a no-nonsense mobile-centric #HandleBars style extensible templating system. It's easy to write custom helpers for, is fast and has a small footprint. I'm not forced into a new paradigm or learning some new syntax. It operates with standard JavaScript, HTML5 and CSS 3. It's written by the developer of Framework7 and so dovetails with it as expected.

    I configured TypeScript to work with the latest version of Framework7. I consider TypeScript to be one of the best creations to come out of Microsoft in some time. They must have an amazing team working on it. It's very powerful and flexible. It helps you catch a lot of bugs and also provides code completion in supporting IDEs. So for my IDE I use Visual Studio Code which is a blazingly fast and silky smooth editor that integrates seamlessly with TypeScript for the ultimate type checking setup (both products are produced by Microsoft).

    I use Webpack and Babel to compile the JavaScript. TypeScript can compile to JavaScript directly but Babel offers a few more options and polyfills so you can use the latest (and even prerelease) JavaScript features today and compile to be backwards compatible with virtually any browser. My favorite recent addition is "optional chaining" which greatly simplifies and increases readability of a number of sections of my code dealing with getting and setting data in nested objects.

    I use some Ruby scripts to process images with ImageMagick and pngquant to optimise for size and even auto insert responsive image code into the HTML5. Ruby is the ultimate cross platform scripting language. Even as your scripts become large, Ruby allows you to refactor your code easily and make it Object Oriented if necessary. I find it the quickest and easiest way to maintain certain aspects of my build process.

    For the user interface design and prototyping I use Figma. Figma has an almost identical user interface to #Sketch but has the added advantage of being cross platform (MacOS and Windows). Its real-time collaboration features are outstanding and I use them a often as I work mostly on remote projects. Clients can collaborate in real-time and see changes I make as I make them. The clickable prototyping features in Figma are also very well designed and mean I can send clickable prototypes to clients to try user interface updates as they are made and get immediate feedback. I'm currently also evaluating the latest version of #AdobeXD as an alternative to Figma as it has the very cool auto-animate feature. It doesn't have real-time collaboration yet, but I heard it is proposed for 2019.

    For the UI icons I use Font Awesome Pro. They have the largest selection and best looking icons you can find on the internet with several variations in styles so you can find most of the icons you want for standard projects.

    For the backend I was using the #GraphCool Framework. As I later found out, #GraphQL still has some way to go in order to provide the full power of a mature graph query language so later in my project I ripped out #GraphCool and replaced it with CouchDB and Pouchdb. Primarily so I could provide good offline app support. CouchDB with Pouchdb is very flexible and efficient combination and overcomes some of the restrictions I found in #GraphQL and hence #GraphCool also. The most impressive and important feature of CouchDB is its replication. You can configure it in various ways for backups, fault tolerance, caching or conditional merging of databases. CouchDB and Pouchdb even supports storing, retrieving and serving binary or image data or other mime types. This removes a level of complexity usually present in database implementations where binary or image data is usually referenced through an #HTML5 link. With CouchDB and Pouchdb apps can operate offline and sync later, very efficiently, when the network connection is good.

    I use PhoneGap when testing the app. It auto-reloads your app when its code is changed and you can also install it on Android phones to preview your app instantly. iOS is a bit more tricky cause of Apple's policies so it's not available on the App Store, but you can build it and install it yourself to your device.

    So that's my latest mobile stack. What tools do you use? Have you tried these ones?

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    Johnny Bell
    Johnny Bell
    Senior Software Engineer at StackShare · | 12 upvotes · 200.3K views
    atStackShareStackShare
    styled-components
    styled-components
    Emotion
    Emotion
    Glamorous
    Glamorous
    Showdown
    Showdown
    Ruby
    Ruby
    GraphQL
    GraphQL
    React
    React
    Markdown
    Markdown
    #StackDecisionsLaunch
    #CssInJs
    #Frontend

    For Stack Decisions I needed to add Markdown in the decision composer to give our users access to some general styling when writing their decisions. We used React & GraphQL on the #Frontend and Ruby & GraphQL on the backend.

    Instead of using Showdown or another tool, We decided to parse the Markdown on the backend so we had more control over what we wanted to render in Markdown because we didn't want to enable all Markdown options, we also wanted to limit any malicious code or images to be embedded into the decisions and Markdown was a fairly large to import into our component so it was going to add a lot of kilobytes that we didn't need.

    We also needed to style how the markdown looked, we are currently using Glamorous so I used that but we are planning to update this to Emotion at some stage as it has a fairly easy upgrade path rather than switching over to styled-components or one of the other cssInJs alternatives.

    Also we used React-Mentions for tagging tools and topics in the decisions. Typing @ will let you tag a tool, and typing # will allow you to tag a topic.

    The Markdown options that we chose to support are tags: a, code, u, b, em, pre, ul, ol, li.

    If there are anymore tags you'd love to see added in the composer leave me a comment below and we will look into adding them.

    #StackDecisionsLaunch

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