Karl Herrick

A technologist and web developer

Going offline with HTML

The time I’ve put into working on postpress seems like it has been well spent. Not only for the experiences gained in going through the exercise, but also in how much I have enjoyed working with the code. After setting up a web app manifest and implementing a service worker, I’m really enjoying web development again. Not that I ever really wasn’t into it, there’s just something exciting about seeing your hard work yield new and interesting results.

Offline HTML powered by a service worker on Microsoft Edge / Windows 10 Insider Preview

The project now has a fast initial render from a blank cache (using server side rendering), and the articles and portfolio components have offline capabilities, as well as near instant loading on a repeat visit to a page. The “Add To Homescreen” functionality varies between browser and OS, but I can see how vendors might utilize this feature in the future to promote PWAs that conform to a high enough standard.



Most importantly in my mind is that it is all working right now. It behaves as a web app when it should, and just like a traditional website when it counts. Combined with what seems like an eventual adoption of WebAssembly and Web Components as a standard part of the Open Web Platform, it’s a really awesome time to be developing against it, as it feels more alive than ever. 🙂

React, Redux, and using the WordPress REST API

Web application development using React, Redux and server-side rendering has been exciting. A great general resource I’ve found on the topic is a book from O’Reilly Media titled, “Learning React – Functional Web Development with React and Redux.” It lays out the basics, while describing other helpful tools that one might use in a fully assembled application (Jest, ESLint, and React Router make appearances in this book as well).

One of the things I like most about the ecosystem is the number of resources offered. Not interested in reading a book? Checkout the React and Redux documentation. They’re both excellent. Additionally, there are plenty of videos (1, 2, 3), tutorials, posts and even a CLI tool, just to get started.

To explore some ideas in this space, I decided to bundle a setup that would consume portions of the WordPress REST API. While not trying to get too fancy, I’ve affectionately titled it, postpress and styled it to look similar to this site. Check it out at the project page on GitHub.

Fun with Cygwin

When interacting with a Windows system regularly, I like to install Cygwin. It has been my tool of choice to tie into Bash, or OpenSSH in some fashion, and from there use customized shell scripts for various tasks. In the past I’ve used it as a component in solutions to:

  • host environments for building and testing web applications
  • manage workstation policies and assist with software updates
  • provide backups using rsync
  • other really awesome things™

With tools like apt-cyg and ConEmu in addition, I feel rather satisfied. Obviously there are a lot of quality tools outside of this ecosystem, but as a base, I’m rarely in search of something else. With that said, I’m very interested in the future of the Windows Subsystem for Linux. Getting info regarding Bash on Windows directly from Microsoft is rather refreshing. 🙂

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