What Are Web Cookies? And Why Are They Such a Big Deal?

December 3, 2019 livepipe 0

By now, most people are used to landing on a site where a notification comes up that the site uses cookies and asks if the visitor agrees to this. Most will just click yes and not give it a second thought. However, those who have websites should at least know the purpose of these as well as their importance.

What Are Web Cookies?

This is comprised of a code that allows for the tracking of certain types of information about visitors to a website. It gets downloaded to the device that a visitor to the site is using. 

What Type of Information Do The Cookies Collect?

They have the ability to glean different types of information about the visitor to the site, such as where they go when on the site.  Some cookies can store the log in credentials that are used on that site. The information gathered can be used for different purposes.

How Do They Work?

The process of how the web cookies work is fairly simple. The cookie is downloaded in the browser that the visitor used to get to the site with the cookies. The cookie is stored on the browser as a plain text file. The next time the visitor uses that browser to return to a site, then the browser opens that file and shares the information with the website. 

Types of Cookies

There are two main types of cookies. Which one the site uses depends on the purpose.

Session Cookies

Sites that are using these types of cookies are only collecting information that pertains to the visit that the visitor is making at the time. This is collection data from a single browsing session. This creates a better user experience. For example when a user is going from one page to another on a site they don’t have to authenticate each time they go to a new page. It is because the cookies have collected the authentication data from the first page visited.

Persistent Cookies

These ones are more long term the cookies stay on the browser that was used and continue to collect information for a period of time. The information gathered from this cookie is used to create better user experiences. They can help a website using them to determine the user preferences, for example. 

Cookie Categories

With the cookies being able to serve different functions they have be placed in different categories

Essential Cookies

This is part of the memory of the website. It is used to store the preferences of a visitor to a site. For example, if the site requires a log in, then the cookie stores the information used for this purpose. The user only has to log in when arriving on the site and doesn’t have to repeat this every time they go somewhere else on the site. 

Functioning and Performance 

Some cookies are required for certain actions to be completed on a website. They make it easier for the visitor to perform actions like watching a video on the site, for example. 

Analytics and Customizing

Web owners like to know what visitors are doing when they visit their site. There are cookies that can track this type of information.  The web owner can analyze that information and use it to enhance their site.

Advertising

Many sites have ads on their sites. When they use advertising cookies, it can tell them which ads the visitors have been exposed to. It can prevent those ads from re-appearing again where another one would appear in its place.

Social Networking

With this type of cookie, it allows for the sharing of information. The activity that takes place and the data pertaining to it can be shared with a third party. 

The Rules About Cookies

There was a lot of controversy over cookies. Due to the fact that they are capable of collecting a lot of personal data. Therefore laws were put in place to govern their use. 

General Data Protection Regulation

This regulator has set rules for the use of cookies. Those websites that are going to be using certain cookies must let the visitor know, and the visitor must give their consent to this. This is where a user will usually see a pop-up appear on a website advising of the use of cookies and asking for consent. 

The Exceptions

There are some cookies that are used that do not require notification or consent in most cases. This may pertain to performance cookies, essential cookies, and also functionality cookies. The laws put in place by GDPR are very complex and detailed.

Policies

The website that is using cookies has to have a policy in place that users of the site can refer to. This is within the privacy policy. It has to be detailed, explaining exactly what the information collected is used for along with other details. 

Every Country May Have Its Own Laws

Each country may have its own specific laws regarding the use of cookies. For example, there is a EU Cookie law, and there are laws in the US as well.

The Value of Cookies

Although a lot of people feel that cookies are a nuisance in respect to the pop ups, or that there are too many risks that come with them, they serve some good purposes for the website as well as the visitors.

For The Web Owner

The information collected can help the site owner create a better user experience for the visitors. It can help determine what is appealing to visitors and what is not. It can determine which advertising is going to work the best.

For The Site Visitor

As previously mentioned, some cookies are necessary to help make a site convenient for its users. In other cases the cookies can create a much better user experience. It can do this by allowing the site owner to analyze the information to determine which is the most useful for visitors. This, in turn, can enhance the visitors experience on different levels. 

Best UI Frameworks To Build Your Next App

December 3, 2019 livepipe 0

For those that are into building apps, they need to be able to rely on all the tools and resources that are available to them. One of the problems that can arise is knowing what is available and which have the most value for the job at hand. For app developers they need to give UI frameworks some serious consideration.

What Are UI Frameworks?

The framework itself, as the name suggest is a frame that contains all of the code that is needed for the project at hand. In UI development it allows for the building of a base where everything else can be built around it. UI stands for user interface development. 

The Benefits of Using UI Frameworks.

To be convinced that UI frameworks are the best tool for apps, it means being aware of the benefits which are:

  • Cost Effective
  • Ease in handling big projects
  • Flexibility in being responsive
  • Compatibility with browsers
  • Good support for security purposes
  • It allows for more efficiency

What To Look For When Choosing a UI Framework

When choosing any type of tool or resource for app building, it means being able to make an informed decision. This is best done when one knows what to look for in the UI framework. There are some major components that it must possess such as:

Easy Learning

Any tool is going to come with a learning curve. The more experienced the developer is, the easier this will be. However, it may not always be the experienced developer that will be using it. Therefore it should be one that beginners or intermediate developers will be able to learn. 

Simplicity

This is another important aspect of the UI framework. It is suppose to make the whole project easier, not more complex. The user should be able to learn how the framework performs, without it being too technical. 

Maintenance

The UI framework should be able to be maintained by any developer. It should possess the standard technology that goes into this type of resource. Each UI framework may have its own unique qualities, but these should still fall within the range of what is standard.

Problem Solving

The UI framework has to be a problem solver by being able to perform specific functions that are applicable to the project in hand.

Prepared For The Future

There is always new technology emerging, and the UI frameworks that are being used today have to be such that they can adopt new technology, without rendering the framework useless.

Knowing some of the basics of what to look for when choosing a UI framework takes a user onto the next step of which one to choose. While there are many options, there are some that are considered by the experts to be the best. Following are some suggestions:

Xamarin:

For those who are looking for flexibility in native performance, this one is a good choice. It is supported with Microsoft technology and has a large community of developers. It is comprised of a native user-interface with good controls. It is ideal for cross platform development of apps. There are options for building apps for Android, Windows, and iOS. There is also an opportunity to be able to share codes with several different platforms. With there being a large community it means there is a lot support available, including a forum that is dedicated to it as well as a lot of third party resources.

React Native:

For those who want to develop with iOS or Android, then this UI framework will more than meet their needs. For those who don’t want to have to learn or implement complex languages React functions off of JSX. Another great feature is that prior to rendering, the code is transitioned into native views, which allows for smooth animations. This is a great UI framework for those that want to develop mobile apps that deploy faster and have short development cycles. This particular framework is one that is versatile that it is often chosen from beginners right up to highly experienced developers. It is considered to be one of the easiest to use for mobile apps because of its efficiency and its use with JavaScript.

Corona SDK:

Every developer of apps will have what they consider to be their priorities. For those who want an easy to use UI framework that is known for its compatibility with cross platforms this particular one should be considered. It is best used with solitary code that is required for Nook and Android as well as iOS. The graphic content is of high quality, and it has the ability to scale content automatically as required by different devices. For those that want to monetize their app in an easy manner this framework will allow for that.

jQuery Mobile:

This framework comes with an extensive built in library of JavaScript by way of plugins. The benefits of this particular framework is that the developer doesn’t have to write as much code. It is SEO optimized and easily read by the search engines.

Intel XDK

For those who want to have some options with what they can do with their UI framework, the may want to consider this one.  It allows the developer to create both mobile and tablet apps with HTML5 and JavaScript. It has a single code base, and apps can be easily developed for Nook, Amazon, and Android. Plus, it is applicable for iOS and Windows. One of the many features that come with this framework is its drag and drop interface. It is easy to test as it has some debut options and profiling capabilities. This makes testing it on different devices an easy process.

Appcelerator Titanium

Many developers want to use an UI framework that is considered to be a one stop. For them, this is the one to choose. It has independent APIs, and it functions with native UI components. It is considered to be a good performer by its users. 

These that are listed are good examples of the choices and options that are available in UI frameworks for apps, and there are others that can be researched if a developer is looking for more choices.

Best JavaScript Frameworks To Build Your Next Project

December 3, 2019 livepipe 0

There are a lot of people who are now building their own websites instead of having these professionally done. This has become somewhat easy with the use of templates and using the very popular WordPress platform. Although some impressive sites can be built this way it comes with a lot of limitations for those who don’t want a cookie-cutter type website. For those individuals they may want to build their site from scratch, and they can do so by using javaScript frameworks to accomplish this. It is one of the most common favorite types of frameworks used by developers. To be able to build a website with this it does require quite a bit of knowledge, so it is usually best left up to the developers unless someone knows coding. 

What is JavaScript?

This is the computer programming language or code that is written to get a web page to perform some type of task. For example it can allow for an interactive map or an animation, or the use of a form.

What is JavaScript Frameworks?

These are a collection of codes that have already been written that can be used in an application without having to write the code from scratch. Basically, they are a library of codes. They provide the framework in which the project can then be further developed with the specifics that the project is demanding.

Choosing the JavaScript Framework

There are plenty to choose from, but those that are considered to be the best are the ones that are most commonly used by most of the developers. Following is a list of some examples of these.

Angular:

 This is a single web development framework. It can be used for both desktop or mobile. It has been developed by Google. Originally this was called Angular JS. Why many developers like this particular JS framework is because it has Google support. It has been developed, so it overcomes a lot of the problems that developers were having to deal with when it came to this type of framework. It comes with a lot of benefits such as it makes it easy for developing dynamic lading. It has a lot of great features. Most developers claim that development is much faster with this framework because it has a lot of built in tools. It has easy testing capabilities.

Backbone.js:

For those who are into heavy web applications they may want to rely on this particular framework.  It functions on the RESTful Json interface, which allows for easy connection to the existing APIs.  This is a framework that has been around for a long time, so the question is raised as to whether it is still relevant. The answer that most seasoned developers will come back with is yet. It is applicable for older applications as well as newer ones. It is a framework that many developers feel can be trusted for its performance.

Vue.js

This is an open source JavaScript framework. What makes it a good choice is it is easy to adapt and integrate into projects that are depending on other JavaScript resources. For those that are junior developers, this framework is a good choice. There are a lot of developers that favor this because it has great scaffolding options, and it can handle applications of any side. Other advantages that come with Vue.js is that it has an easy learning curve to. Others are impressed with the Virtual DOM. On the list of being complex it is near the bottom.

Node.js:

For those that want a framework that has additional capabilities, then they will want to look at Node.js. It is a powerful framework that also allows for server side development. It is free, which is an added bonus, and there is the advantage of it working on the most common platforms such as Windows and including Linux, along with some others. This framework can make the claim that it has the largest selection of open source libraries. There is plenty of support information available for those who want to learn to work with this framework.

jQuery:

For those developers that are just starting out, probably the first JS framework they are going to hear about is jQuery. This is because it is one of the most popular among developers. Mostly because of its ease of use and the many different purposes it can serve. It is perfect for animation and event handling. It is easy to work with HTML within the JS framework. Other tools can be utilized with it such as those with React and Angular. As popular as what it is there are still some developers that have a strong dislike for it. Some say that it is no longer relevant and hasn’t been for a long time. 

JSF:

This is provided by Oracle and is not considered to be the easiest to use. What is good about it is that it comes with a lot of documentation. One of the concerns that many developers have when using a new framework is the type of support they are going to get with it. Having good documentation to rely on is a plus. 

Struts:

This is an open source framework, so there is the risk for limited support. However, it has the capability of being able to build elegant applications. It does come with some drawbacks such as ease of use and complexity.

Meteor JS:

This is another JS framework that is on the popular list. Some of its benefits are that it is simple and easy to understand. The apps are in real time. The downside is that that it is not a great choice for large applications or ones that are considered to be complex.

Overall these are some great choices. What is important is to choose one to learn that seems to have a good future ahead of it. It is disappointing to become proficient with a JS framework only for it to become quickly outdated.