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JerseyScript: #JavaScript to automate apps on the #Mac OS X, #Touch methods for automating the @NYTimes recipe pages, How not to run a #web development shop

Posted on November 11th, 2014


11/11/2014 IndieGrove, 121 Newark Ave, Jersey City, NJ

If you are interested in spend an hour teaching students how to code, check out They will be teaching students in Jersey City on Dec 11 as part of Code for America.

Of the three presentations, the first two were about writing applications in JavaScript.


Tyler @Groundwork talked about creating OS X apps for the Mac using JavaScript accessing the UI and systems routines using the objective-C bridge. This replaces AppleScript and uses the Script Editor on OS X to compile the JS.

The code Tyler showed illustrated how the ‘$’ literal was used to access Objective-C methods. (not to be confused with j_Query).

He also mentioned that it is unclear how this JS tool will evolve when Swift replaces objective-C.

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In the second presentation, Douglas Back @ NYTimes talked about updating the page to encourage users to save a list of their favorite recipes. Initially, most users were unaware of the ability to save recipes so the interface was updated to include a left-right swipe selection (a la Tinder).

Doug talked about how he implemented the 4 touch events: start, move, end, and cancel in JS. Tips included adjusting for older mobile hardware by throttling transactions to a min of 1/10 a second and animating with transforms. He also recommended using clientX and clientY coordinates to identify the touch locations across many different platforms.

He also spoke about using SASS to handle media queries and how compiling and using gzip makes even a large, complex set of media queries quick to load and execute.

Alpesh Shah talked about his hard-won wisdom on running a web development agency. Tips included

  1. Must understand scope creep and other contracting pitfalls
  2. Don’t partner with your best friend (unless you want to make him/her your former best friend).
  3. Don’t limit your pool of hires to your friends – need diversity
  4. Take on clients your want, not just those you can get
  5. Continue to code. Don’t become just a manager – you will fall behind in technology
  6. Don’t let the inertia carry you nowhere as it masks the problems


The key is to keep your interest in the application development and to stay current with the changing technology.


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