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Brunch with Panache

A modular approach to building web apps with Brunch.

:: Node / CoffeeScript / Cordova / Backbone / Chaplin / Brunch / Sass / Handlebars / Swag / Hapi / Browser Sync / Jake

I created BWP while leading the UI team at Trunk Club, a Chicago startup I joined 18 months prior to exit. Apps using this framework were based on my experiences scaling up an enterprise e-commerce Web app for sears.com and kmart.com.

Telltale Signs Your React App Isn't SEO Friendly

3 minute read Published

Is Your React App Invisible to Google? Here's how to find out.

As you may or may not be aware NPM and React have caused a Cambrian explosion in the number of Awesome React Boilerplates out there. But did you know many of those boilerplates and the web apps that build upon them aren’t SEO friendly, and possibly even invisible to Google? Sites experiencing SEO issues are more likely to be buried deeper in Search results and unlikely to see the Organic traffic they’d otherwise enjoy sans marketing efforts.

In this post we’ll explore some of the telltale signs your React app isn’t SEO friendly and what you can do about it.

Developing Web Apps on Windows with Vagrant

12 minute read Updated

How to set up a Node.js development workflow on Windows using a Linux VM.

I earlier this month I spent way too much time writing an article on how to SFTP to Ubuntu Server with Sublime Text. The purpose of the SFTP effort was to set myself up for developing modern web applications on a new Windows 8 machine I bought to play SimCity 2013. And after getting everything working I realized the SFTP method had some gremlins and the file syncing reminded me of Dreamweaver—it simply wasn’t fast enough.

Lately, unless you were running a Linux machine or had the pleasure of owning a Mac with OS X, developing modern web applications has been a bit of a kludge. Enter Vagrant.

Vagrant is a tool for building complete development environments. With an easy-to-use workflow and focus on automation, Vagrant lowers development environment setup time, increases development/production parity, and makes the “works on my machine” excuse a relic of the past.

In this article I’ll explain how to set up a development environment in Windows using a virtualized Linux box, suitable for rapid prototyping. Then I’ll take it a step further and explain how to integrate a Backbone-based application framework with Vagrant and Sublime Text, greatly increasing the speed for developing modern web applications on Windows.

The Holy Grail: Full-stack JavaScript MVC with Rendr

1 minute read Published

The quest for the Holy Grail of JavaScript revealed by Airbnb Engineering.

Spike at Airbnb just mentioned during a live TechTalk webcast that the Rendr framework they built was open sourced earlier this month: github.com/airbnb/rendr. The framework leverages Node.js and Backbone.js to allow full-stack JavaScript MVC using a common set of code–greatly improving time to content, improving crawability, and reduces overall application complexity.

During the talk, Meteor and Derby were mentioned, and Mojito *sigh*. And Stitch was also mentioned, as a part of the stack they’re using. So anyway, there you have it. The Holy Grail I talked about. It’s out, but admittedly, according to Spike, not quite finished. Caveat emptor.