Introducing Laravel, part 2

In the first part of this introductory mini series we looked at simple routes and views and now we’ll look at how to work with controllers and models , how these two fit in the framework and how to use them. Controllers ... In the first part of this article I showed you how to link routes to views, but as you might have noticed we still haven't added any logic and that is where controllers come into play. Controllers contain public methods that are known as actions and a simple controller that calls a view looks...

Introducing Laravel, part 1

Laravel is a PHP Web Application framework that works with the MVC pattern, as its website states: it’s the PHP framework for web artisans. Version 1.0 of Laravel was released just a couple of years ago and this PHP framework has definitely taken the community by storm with its simplicity and maintainability. Laravel makes creating web applications simple whilst also being easy to learn. Laravel works in a very focused way, allowing you to concentrate on what’s important for your application...

How to use the Dialog element

In the last couple of years pop-ups and modal boxes have become a lot more popular, and with the HTML5 dialog element we can create easy HTML dialogs and modals without the need for any JavaScript plugins, just simple HTML and some vanilla JavaScript. Since this feature is so new it’s only available in Chrome Canary and even then you need to go to chrome://flags and turn on the Enable Experimental Web Platform Features flag in order for it to work properly. Helpfully there is also a polyfill developed...

How to customize <textarea>s

When we create textareas, we don't exercise a lot of control over how they resize. By default they can be resized vertically or horizontally and they also use the default resizing button. However, we actually have far more control than we think we do: we can define how the textarea should resize and we even have a pseudo element that allows us to control the icon. Controlling the resizing ... Depending on our designs, we frequently don't want our textareas to resize both vertically and horizontally because...

Reshaping the web with CSS shapes & exclusions

Today's web is built of rectangles, we can try and cheat it by creating other shapes in the browser, but the basic foundation is rectangles. That poses a problem for anyone trying to produce a more organic layout with, for example, text wrapping around a curve; or even limited within a circle. The solution to this is CSS shapes and exclusions, which allow us to create true polygons, circles and ellipses. For now this feature is only available in Chrome Canary, or by enabling experimental WebKit features;...

Voice control with Annyang

Something that's always welcome are plugins that enhance usability on websites, especially when they assist people with disabilities. Annyang is a great example of that. It's a plugin that helps you set up speech recognition on your site. It assists people with visual impairments and it's just plain cool to boot. Currently it's only supported by Chrome, but it degrades gracefully so it's usable now. Using Annyang ... Annyang doesn't have any dependencies, so all you need to do to get it working is to...

Getting started with Ember.js

Web applications today are nothing like the ones we saw just a couple of years ago, they're far more complex and many rival desktop equivalents. In order to create this kind of application, we can't really rely on libraries like jQuery that are intended for DOM manipulation. This new rise of web applications has lead to JavaScript developers taking the MVC route simply because it creates much cleaner and more manageable code.  A number of JavaScript frameworks have emerged for creating web applications...

Building faster pages with Web Workers

In recent years web pages and applications have been requiring the use of more, and increasingly complicated, JavaScript. Google Drive, for example, is a full blown desktop application which relies on JavaScript being responsive. Although JavaScript performance has improved, large, complex scripts can still slow browsers down, or even cause them to freeze. This is where Web Workers come in. They tell the browser to execute large, potentially problematic, scripts in the background so the user...
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