Selling a side project for almost nothing..

by Cedric Dugas on November 13, 2013

Today I feel a bit dirty, I just sold WeddingDeck after putting more than 100 hours in it for a couple of hundred dollars. Would I recap WeddingDeck’s life, I think I would describe a lot of side projects out there. A big coding burst getting slower & slower until it get forgotten & frozen in time.

I was at a point where I was considering shutting down the project entirely, but could not resolve myself to pull the plug. Lack of focus, interest, being alone, all contributed to its downfall. At one point I hit a threshold where I could not even look at the code without having a headache & just wanted to wander elsewhere.

But then someone contacted me yesterday & asked if I was…

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Releasing Backbone.js Mobile Components, beta version

by Cedric Dugas on October 20, 2013

Doing mobile web apps can be challenging, not that it’s really harder than doing desktop style app, it’s just different. Working with mobile you need to focus on simplicity & performance.

When I started dabbling into doing mobile web apps with Backbone.js I really wanted to abstract from the start the mobile part to focus on building great apps. That’s why I builded Backbone Mobile Components.

It’s 7 components that helps you creating mobile apps with backbone easier. It also follows the backbone mantra, it does not get in the way of your architecture, you just extend those components like you would in backbone.js & there you go.

So the demo is a bit.. well.. underwhelming. I really wanted to have a Hacker news reader clone but that will…

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Launching a new product, Genius Bargain, helping you shopping online

by admin on September 24, 2013

The chrome web store is a really a weird place, it’s a bunch of bundled html5 apps, homepage buttosn that goes to some website & chrome extensions that puts buttons in your toolbar. The first time I had a look at that store I was surprised to see that some apps had actually millions of users. There are really opportunities to be taken here.

I first launched WeddingDeck more than one year ago on the store & had 7720 install to date, not to shabby considering it’s a niche app to manage your wedding.

Now I’m ready to launch my second app on the store, Genius Bargain is a price comparison app that does it on the fly while you shop & help you save money. When I shop…

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CakeMail is looking for 2 devs + free beers at js-montreal

by Cedric Dugas on August 8, 2013

Yup! CakeMail is hiring, we want to grow our engineering team a bit, and as such we got 2 new positions open. We are looking for 1 front-end dev working with me & 1 back-end dev.

In this exciting mindset, CakeMail will be sponsoring js-montreal next tuesday
(August 13).

There will be free beers + pizza & the doors will exceptionally open at 6. The show starts at 7 so that will give us plenty of time to talk with you guys about our perks, team, see our offices, know what technology we use & etc. We will also do a small presentation about the company & the challenges we are facing everyday.

Want to see the team? Head to our Coderwall page where we have a very good summary of our…

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Gluing together Jasmine, Grunt, Travis CI & Github, testing front-end code has never been easier

by Cedric Dugas on July 8, 2013

Battle testing api’s, that’s a pretty common task in the testing world. Now testing the front-end code of an application, or website, that’s a bit newer. Go back 3 years ago and there wasn’t a whole lot of frameworks to do that, you had qUnit, and it was not all that sexy.

But the more we move the stack to the front, the more we need to test this code. Fortunately with the current wave of front-end MVC frameworks came a bunch of tools to better integrated them in our workflow. Good news, it never been that easy to setup tests for your javascript code.

Jas what?

Here the basic idea, we already know that grunt helps us managing our front-end stack, it has a lot of…

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How to style select, radio & checkbox form elements only with css

by Cedric Dugas on July 4, 2013

Form elements have always been a problem for designers, they are ugly as fuck and never match a website or app style. In an earlier age javascript plugins popped up to solve this problem, at the expense of creating new problems. First let me make a case about not using js in this situation and then I will show you how you can very effectively style form elements with css while progressively enhancing & using the default style for older browsers like ie7.

You can skip ahead to the form element styling if you don’t want the rant about not using javascript.

Why not replacing native implementation by your own with javascript

The behaviour

Making a javascript plugin that make a select element behave exactly like the native one is…

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backbone-generate scaffolding plugin becomes better, evolving into Grunt-generate

by admin on May 26, 2013

3 months ago I open sourced bb_generate, a grunt plugin that scaffold files for backbone.js, the idea was to have an easier solution than yeoman to generate a custom scaffolding solution for specific projects.

It seems I was not the only one thinking about having an easier solution. Camille Reynders thought the same thing and decided to take my project and push it one step further. That iteration is called grunt-generate.

It got the same awesome stuff that bb_generate had plus a few nice goodies, like passing your paths configuration. There is also now only one folder for all backbone template files, meaning adding another framework is trivial.

All round that’s just a superior solution and if you are into scaffolding, love grunt, and are not quite sure about yeoman,…

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The weird state of mobile web apps

by Cedric Dugas on May 12, 2013

There are countless of articles debating going native or HTML5 for your next mobile app. But with Linkedin recently deciding to going back to native I am really starting to ask myself if HTML5 is still part of the equation for mobile apps at the current moment. Let’s look at a small retrospective & see what conclusions we can extract of the mobile web current state.

Linkedin reverting to native app = broken heart

Linkedin had one of the most polish html5 iPad app in the market but they recently decided to kill it off after countless of articles describing HTML5 as a viable solution for mobile. What triggered that 180 on their position? Well contrary to popular believes (that all html5 apps are slow), it’s not…

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iPresent, mobile mockups presenter

by admin on May 5, 2013

At CakeMail we are ramping up our mobile effort with a new mobile web app, recently we hit a milestone & completed most of the interface design. It got me wondering what could be the best way to get my coworkers to experience on their phone what this was going to be all about.

Turns out, about 3 years ago I asked myself the same question. How can I effectively present mockups for mobile beside just trowing them in basecamp or powerpoint. So I prototyped a project to do just that using jQtouch.

A video will probably explain better than words what this is all about, see below.

A live example helps too (better experienced on a phone). CakeMail let me use our first design iteration for the demo, so you have…

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jQuery Engage, a plugin taking a stab at better engaging blog readers

by Cedric Dugas on March 18, 2013

Optimizing user interactions is a never ending quest in software development. Fortunately in our time and age innovative ideas are rapidly incorporated and improved by other developers.

In that mindset I present today jQuery Engage, a plugin that helps you optimize user interaction with blogs & articles. This plugin adds a social toolbar when the reader finishes reading an article. This toolbar contains customizable zones (comments, subscribe newsletter & share social) that help better convert your readers.

You can test the plugin by scrolling down this page! There is currently 3 content zones on this page. That’s a bit crowded and create quite a lot of noise but that’s customizable and you can have 2 zones instead if you like that better.

The idea

One of the first to…

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