Through a creative newsletter I am subscribed to, I was recently informed of a composable css/scss based animation/transition framework. Currently it can be used via css, scss, vue.js and the react.js implementation is soon to be released.

AnimXYZ website screen shot

It just so happened I was starting to work on transitions for the project I’m currently building, so was perfect timing. Essentially it abstracts away from key-frames in css and saves a load of time. Using predefined attributes and values you quickly attach animations to elements and can nest them to work alongside a parent element’s animation. Furthermore, they have made each part of an animation customisable, allowing you to create your own specification. This is done via AnimXYZ css values attached to a custom css rule.

I am loving it, especially as it’s saving me a load of time and making more complex animations so much more accessible. It is for sure worth a go, I believe I will use it from now on!

Twitter Likes/Faves

development, projects

Now that Christmas is over I have decided to get on with my next project. Like the bookmarks tool I made, I am utilising another information source to create a tool for quicker/more visible development information. I have always used twitter as another source of information when it comes to programming/development work as it tends to highlight new and interesting updates in the dev world. Essentially I am going to gather the favourite/likes of a user to display via a user search.

To do so I have needed to apply for twitter API access. Luckily I was approved very quickly. However, it did take a bit of reading to make sure I got my application written correctly.

I intend to use bootstrap along with react in order to create a single page tool whilst gaining more insight with bootstrap as a CSS framework. First I’ll get it to search for a user’s likes and I may add extra features later if all goes well. For example, adding other people’s likes to my own account, therefore, saving for later reference.

React and MySQL


Recently I have taken a closer look at hooking up a React app to a MySQL database. Mainly so I have a better understanding of alternatives to local storage or an app that relies on a running express server to hold persisting data.

So far through the use of node.js, the ‘mysql‘ package, and Wampserver, I have gotten a local MySQL database to connect with the react app. Doing so has allowed me to practice querying and creating a database, creating tables, inserting information, and selecting information from the database.

Next, I’m aiming to connect it to my website server instead of just a local connection. Then I can really get to grips with manipulating stored data for future projects and potentially CMS creation.

Readable (extra-curricular)


Having completed the last required project for the React course ahead of time, and gone through the extra git course, I decided to take on the extra React / Redux project. Essentially it is an anonymous post and comment app where the user can vote up or down on a post and / or comment and has features to create, edit and delete posts / comments. Oh, and of course I made sure it used responsive design to suit all screen sizes, like all my recent projects. (github)

Screen shot of Readable app home page displaying three category posts

This project was a little more open and detailed than the previous one, which meant I got a chance to use a few more hooks and really help solidify my understanding or React and Redux. All whilst challenging myself with a tighter schedule. I also made sure I incorporated styled components from the beginning, and again, helped me form a greater understanding of it’s use. Styled components certainly feels like it suits being used with React!

Being able to complete the project within the allotted remaining time and incorporating all the features I wanted has boosted my confidence using all the technologies involved. I learnt more about using the ‘useEffect’ hook by getting it to look for changes in specific data. Furthermore, using nested styles and passing props in styled components.

React / Redux, ‘would you rather’


Straight after finishing the first React project I got on with the next section of the Udacity course. This part was all about including Redux and creating a single source of truth. I.E. holding data in a single place to avoid duplication or unintended changes which could create hard to solve bugs.

The project for this section asked me to create an app based around the game ‘would you rather‘. Using Redux, I would store user details and questions. The data also stored who had answered which questions and who created them. The user was also ranked based on the number of questions created and answered.

Creating this app proved to be a sound way to get my head around: reducers, actions and the implementation of basic UI transitions. After submission, I passed all the requirements and was given some great suggestions which I immediately refactored into the project, especially as I wanted to know the best ways of doing things. For example, separating concerns by not accessing a DOM element outside a component’s render function. I also found the way React updates the correct elements when the store state changes to be really interesting and a much more efficient way of doing things.

I managed to put all the required functionality in place well within the required / suggested time so went about adding extra features. For example, a sign up landing page where the user can log in to a previously created profile or create a new one. The signup form also had validation to make sure a new profile didn’t already exist. Ultimately, I learnt a lot from this project and it has given me more confidence to try new things moving forward.