Meteor is still in it’s infancy. There’s a good chance you’ll want to do something it is not mature enough to achieve right now. What’s a poor developer to do? When you can’t roll your own solution, you could consider using an external service that talks to your meteor server to get things done. In this article I’ll describe a couple of ways we did this to augment League, our sport-management application.

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Update: I’ve released my reactive router and the (complete) transitioner class. Enjoy!

Note: dear readers from the future!: at the time of writing the released meteor version is 0.3.7; as Meteor is a rapidly changing framework, it is likely this post is out of date!

I’d like to briefly walk through the process that we used to implement page->page transitions in the League project.

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Note: dear readers from the future! at the time of writing the released meteor version is 0.3.7; as Meteor is a rapidly changing framework, it is likely this post is out of date!

UPDATE: David Greenspan posted some detailed info about the heuristics that meteor uses to update DOM nodes. The important takeaway: you can achieve animations the ‘meteor way’ if you set an id on your DOM nodes (or a name on form elements). More details below.

A common question that people have as they begin to use Meteor for developing a javascript application is how to implement animations. This isn’t surprising as the example applications don’t really use them and the docs make no mention of it. Yet for a client-side responsive JS app, animating JS changes makes a lot of sense.
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You’re too busy for SEO. You’ve got a hundred things in the queue to get your latest site off the ground, and time spent optimizing for a robot is at the bottom of the list. That’s fair.

Search engines shouldn’t require us to do anything. Just build a good website, make some content, get incoming links (so people can find you!), and, if it’s interesting enough, it should appear on the first page. Sounds reasonable?

Well, unfortunately, neither of these things are true. Here’s the story of how we discovered we weren’t appearing in Google searches for ‘Bindle’ and the journey to find a solution. Along the way we learn the importance of restraint to keep the GoogleBot happy.
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Every so often in the life cycle of a website it’s evident that change is necessary to push the product to next level. This time around we’ve made design changes that refine your experience down to the smallest detail – a big deal. It’s our pleasure to announce a major refresh that opens the site to all, features a new design, and showcases the improved collage.

Open to all

With the newest updates, we’ve opened Bindle up to everyone. Share Bindle with your friends, no invitation required!

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Thank god for Ruby and DSLs. Gone are the days of developers resigned to using apache and having to mess with it’s arcane configuration syntax. The plethora of webservers used these days combined with simplicity and power of Rack middleware makes for a much simpler life for us rubyists.

Thanks to a variety of Rack middleware,  Bindle is faster, more efficient, and has better access for the Googlebot. This post will give you some tips to do the same.

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SCSS and LESS have made waves in the frontend development community. They’ve allowed us to write concise styles in a lean fashion, but is there a hidden performance tax?

The fact is preprocessors are used widely at the production level. But what about performance? What comes out is simply CSS, but how does that CSS compare to what we used to write by hand? How do browsers cope with the reams of machine generated styles?

In this post I’ll investigate how common CSS preprocessing idioms can affect the browser’s rendering performance.

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Blue highlight courtesy of Autotrace

Bindle 2 is fresh out of the oven; one of the main areas of focus was making Bindles more intuitive to create & navigate—to that end we’re making use of a binary called Autotrace which helps us calculate the boundaries of items.  Unfortunately there is no ruby interface for this library in rails just yet, so we needed to get a binary running on our Heroku Cedar instance. Luckily it was pretty easy to do.

Here’s how to use binaries with Rails on Heroku:

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The internet knows no horizon.  It is the most visible example of technology’s unstoppable progress and is so vast that we couldn’t cope if we had to use pre-Google search engines. Google’s Page Rank algorithm admirably filters signal from noise, but the imminent commoditization of production and the consequent explosion choice presents a new challenge: will an algorithm be able to make our purchasing decisions for us?

Dom explained the problem in an earlier post:

…the major challenge for new companies will not be in sales or manufacturing, but bringing their goods to the attention of buyers. The challenge for the consumer will be focusing their attention on the right goodsWhen everyone’s mom, sister, and brother is a producer, we’ll need to filter the deluge of brand messaging else expect to washed away in the mass of creativity.

In this post, I’ll begin to explore the solution. Keep reading »


Even though at Bindle we limit our support to IE9, we still fear the obscure IE bug. It leads to an aversion to booting up a Windows 7 VM. jQuery + Compass have (greatly) reduced the worries over IE quirks, but from time to time I am still left shaking my head.

These days I find I can get away with deferring IE testing until towards the end of a release process, as most of the time all we need to do is double check things look and behave right. So imagine my surprise when seeing this while loading our latest release: Keep reading »

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