A Shiny New Dev Stack

We’re starting a project from scratch at work. This is an unusual opportunity to go seeking out new technologies to incorporate without creating a mess trying to integrate it with pre-existing code. To make it even better, we’ve been given a few weeks as a UX Team with nothing to do except explore new toys to use and best practices to follow.

This is a list of the toys we’re planning to use. It’s really a sort of statement of intent – I will at some point post in more detail about all most of these with some chat around why we’re using them and some details of how we’re getting them to work.

JavaScript Libraries

  • JQuery.js – We’ve always used Jquery but its here for completeness. Library for making JavaScript more pleasant to write
  • Zepto.js – A much smaller alternative to Jquery. We’re planning to use this on the mobile site where size is more important and IE is less of a pain
  • Require.js – Dependency Management for modular Javascript
  • Almond.js – Much smaller replacement for Require after all its clever business is dealt with before serving the code
  • Backbone.js – MV* Structure for JavaScript
  • Underscore.js – Collections and templating utilities. A dependency of Backbone
  • Lodash.js – A larger but more performant drop in replacement for underscore. We haven’t actually made a decision between the two yet
  • Modernizr.js – Feature detection to allow us to use advanced features then provide a fallback for older browsers

CSS Tools

  • SASS – A CSS Preprocessor to turn CSS into the language it should always have been
  • Compass – A Framework built on top of SASS to make it even better

Build Tools

  • Grunt.js – A tool made of magic and JavaScript for running tasks
  • NodeJS – Let’s JavaScript run outside a browser. We’re only using it right now because Grunt depends on it, but once we’ve got it I know there are all sorts of things it can do
  • PhantomJS – A Headless webkit browser for running tests
  • Jasmine – Jasmine isn’t new to us but I’m including it for completeness. It’s a JavaScript testing language
  • Saga – A JavaScript test Coverage detection tool
  • Gradle – I don’t really expect to interact with gradle much but will list it here anyway. A build automation tool
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One thought on “A Shiny New Dev Stack

  1. […] back in my list of things we’re planning to use I said we were going to use saga for our JavaScript test coverage tool. But since that decision was […]

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