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I&I musings – css, Apache, jQuery, web storage and LeanUX

CSS multi-language support

Chiuhua Chen, senior front end developer and prototyping expert at Perficient XD, is currently working on a web application that has a visual design supporting only english language. As with every other I&I Musingsproject, the business later on proposed support for multi-language support. When the application is in another language, spanish or Chinese, due to design constraints, the page appears messed up with some text occupying more width than what is actually allocated. On further research and checking with other peers, Chiu is working on implementing language specific stylesheet which would override the generic css file to take care of this issue. Lead front end developer Jacob Schulke has a few good points on the topic and has already shared his thoughts here. To learn more on how Chiu is tackling the multi-language css support issue, get in touch with her here.

Apache Virtual Hosts

Derek Montgomery, senior front end developer at Perficient XD, with a strong penchant for infrastructure setup and command line coding, is currently working on setting up a new virtual host for Perficient XD and doing further research on the topic, agrees that “If you have made a website, you have probably used Apache. One widely used application of virtual hosts is shared web hosting, whose prices are lower than a dedicated web server because many customers can be hosted on a single server”. He points out virtual hosts can potentially solve problems such as –

  • I have one domain (perficientxd.com), but I want multiple subdomains (e.g. dev., client., etc.).
  • I have one IP address available, but I need to test how multiple subdomains would function(use ports)!
  • Cost efficient, and pretty easy to configure and test.

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To learn more on apache virtual host or if you are using them on your next project, shout out to Derek here. He is always there for everybody.

jQuery Best Practices

Harish Bhavanichikar, lead front end developer at Perficient XD, having worked on javascript, jQuery and other frameworks extensively on a number of projects shares some of the simple, easy to implement, effective best practices for the jQuery framework. He mentions how to do DOM manipulations the right way, handle events without event bubbling, clean ajax calls, check for deprecated methods and some general jQuery guidelines mentioned below –

  • Do not use jQuery 2.x if you are supporting IE 6/7/8.
  • Keep all your javascript and jQuery at the bottom of the page.
  • Do not load multiple jQuery versions.
  • If you are using other libraries like prototype, mootools, zepto, etc that uses $ as well, for jQuery functions simply use jQuery and return control of $ back to to the other library using $.noConflict()

The reference sheet can be accessed here.

HTML Web Storage

Jason Ripplinger, senior front end developer at Perficient XD, adept at integrating data with the presentation layer, tells us that HTML web storage is a great way to store the data locally in the browser, offering great advantages such as –

  • Uses less bandwidth –  cookies are sent with every HTTP header.
  • More secure – because the data is stored locally, the server has no direct access to it.
  • More storage room – cookies only allow 4096 bytes per cookie, web storage allows 5MB per domain.
  • Super easy to use – no plugins or libraries needed.

He further adds that web storage supports IE8 (did you know that ?) and data is stored as name-value pairs in strings and easily convertible to other formats. One best practice he suggests is to do a check to make sure the browser supports web storage before trying to access it and to use web storage only If there are no concerns about data being deleted. Get in touch with Jason here to learn more about how he has leveraged web storage in his current project.

IA, Visual Design and UI – LeanUX

Michael Gorgone, Senior Front End Developer at Perficient XD, with a keen interest and great knowledge on Information Architecture, opines that, “in most projects, by the time the IA is done and the wireframes are produced along with the visual design, we, the front end developers don’t seem to have much leeway to give feedback as to problems or issues they think could come up. Most cases, FEDs are not allowed to make any suggestions to the layout or where things could be improved without avoiding a confrontation with the visual design folks. Or the client has already approved the design and so changing it could cause a problem – business thinks the design is done but now it isn’t and has to be reworked. LeanUX is something geared towards helping with these issues. I think we need to have the IA, Visual Design and UI folks working together when the wireframes and Ixd is being done so that there is more collaboration and agreement as to what we have resulting in less re-work and more of a final product when it comes time to turn it into a prototype.” If you do not agree, or to discuss more, reach out to Michael here.

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