Custom Alexa Skill with JavaScript – Part 1

Custom Alexa Skill with JavaScript – Part 1

Recently I starting messing around with Alexa Custom Skills. I created a Custom Alexa Skill with JavaScript that is a basic Grocery List app that allows you to create grocery lists with Alexa (Amazon Echo unless you have Alexa running on your own device). I chose a shopping list because it allowed me to get exposed to several different aspects of Alexa Voice Services. Alexa does come with a shopping list by default, but I made my own to try and learn a bit.

This post assumes that you are familiar with Amazon Developer (Alexa), AWS Lambda, and AWS DynamoDB. Below are links for all three if you are not. If there are enough requests I can post videos on setting up all three. I have Alexa running on a Raspberry Pi which I set up watching this video, he also goes through creating your Lambda and Alexa accounts as well. Continue reading

Ionic Apps and iOS 9

Ionic Apps and iOS 9 – Making The Switch

I recently updated one of my iOS apps built with Ionic to run on iOS 9. Ionic Apps and iOS 9, especially apps built a while ago, don’t mesh out of the gate. Severla changes Apple made to iOS 9 will cause problems with your Ionic Apps. In this post, Ionic Apps and iOS 9, I want to touch on the three blocking issues I faced when updating my app.

  • Failing to Archive because ‘Cordova/CDVViewController.h’ file not found.
  • An SSL error has occurred and a secure connection to the server cannot be made.
  • Invalid Bundle. iPad Multitasking support requires launch story board in bundle.

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Event Binding in Angular 2

Event Binding in Angular 2

No TL;DR Required 🙂

In my previous post I mentioned some of the many differences in Angular 2 from what we have grown used to in Angular 1.x. We covered property binding and how Angular is now binding directly to the DOM Object’s properties, and as a result of this we have been able to get rid of dozens of directives that come out of the box with Angular 1.x.

Some examples of directives we gave were ngShow, ngHref, etc. These old attribute directives were examples of one way and two way binding in Angular 1.x. In Angular 1.x we also have method binding. For this post we will focus on ngClick. In Angular 1.x ngClick is used to associate a function with an event on a DOM element. Continue reading

Property Binding in Angular 2

Property Binding in Angular 2

NO TL;DR Required 🙂

Property Binding in Angular 2 Explained

Angular 2 is full of drastic changes from what Angular 1.x developers have come to know. Fortunately the guys over at Google have put a lot of thought into this and all these changes seem to have very intelligent reasons behind them. The first change I want to talk about and probably the most easy to grasp is Property Binding in Angular 2.

Angular 1.x is filled with out of the box directives that manipulate DOM elements. Some of these you may be familiar with are ngDisable, ngShow, ngHide, ngClass, ngChecked, ngHref, and so on…

By including these attribute directives in your DOM element you can bind to those attributes, gather information, and set information accordingly. What the Angular Team at Google has done with Angular 2 is bind to the elements properties rather than the elements attributes. Continue reading


Using Promises in AngularJS

Click here for TL;DR

As I am learning some of the new features of ES6 it has gotten me thinking about how we are currently using them is ES5. Specifically Promises. Using Promises in ES5 has been made possible by several libraries out there. Most known would be the q library by Kris Kowal. Because of my love for, and general focus on, Angular I want to talk a little about the $q Service and using Promises in AngularJS.

Using Promises in AngularJS

It is important to note that Angular’s $q Service does not actually contain Kris Kowal’s q library. However like Kris’s library it allows us to write Promises in ES5. I have seen Promises used in Angular many different ways. I wanted to touch upon how I use them and why.

What is a Promise

Many would think of a Promise as replacement for callback functions. While this is true to some extent I think this is an unfair over simplification of the power Promises really give to JavaScript developers. Continue reading

const declarations

const Declarations – Undertstanding ES6

No TL;DR Required 🙂

const Declarations

So the next easy introduction to some ES6 properties are const declarations. const declarations are equivalent to var DONTCHANGEME = "foo" in ES5. When I say equivalent I mean in idea not behavior.

The var syntax and variables created with var can be assigned and re-assigned at any time. In ES6 the “read-only” nature of const declarations is respected and enforced Continue reading

let declarations

let Declarations – Understanding ES6

No TL;DR Required 🙂

I recently got back from attending AngularU in San Francisco. One of the best parts about going to community conferences like this is getting fired up about programming. There was a lot of information that I soaked up while in SF. It also became very clear that there is a lot that I need to learn if I want to keep up with the front end development community. One of those things is Ecma Script 6, ES6, or ES 2015 (it’s being called a lot of things).

So I decided to write blog articles as I start learning different pieces of ES6. This is the first in a series and will be about let declarations. Continue reading

submitting a new directive to angular js

Submitting a New Directive to Angular

Click here for TL;DR

Recently I embarked on the task of submitting a new directive to angular js. I am involved in several open source projects and am familiar with the process of contributing but I wasn’t ready for the carefully contstructed contribution process to Angular. I thought I’d get out a quick post about some trouble I ran into and how I solved it.

**This is up to date for angular.js repo as of June 17th 2015**

Submitting A New Directive to Angular

First things first. Continue reading

Twitter API with JavaScript

Twitter API with JavaScript

Click Here for TL;DR

Recently I needed to use Twitter’s REST API for a project. I was building a web app with JavaScript using AngularJS framework. I am not a back end developer so my projects end up using a combination of BaaS (Back End As A Service) software like Firebase and utilizing node.js environment. So my question was “How do I use the Twitter API with JavaScript?”

Using Twitter API with JavaScript

On Twitter’s website they list some libraries for leveraging their API. Under javascript/node you can find @BoyCook’s Twitter JS Client. This is a useful library for using node.js to access Twitter’s API. What I wanted to do was walk you through setting up your node/express environment to utilize BoyCook’s Twitter JS Client so that you can access Twitter’s API effortlessly with your client side application.
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ERROR ITMS-90035 When Submitting Ionic App to App Store

There are several good tutorials out there for the steps needed to send your app off to the app store. What I want to focus on are some specific issues that I ran into. This post will be a short one about a very specific problem I ran into, ERROR ITMS-90035. No TL;DR required 🙂

Here is the error I was receiving:

“ERROR ITMS-90035: Code object is not signed at all”

While trying to Google the issue I found a lot of people would run into this problem but the error also specified a specific .sh file that was causing the error. For me there was no file specified, it was the project as a whole that was the problem. Continue reading