Amazon’s Alexa has 80,000 Apps—and No Runaway Hit ::  Bloomberg

Echo-branded smart speakers have attracted millions of fans with their ability to play music and respond to queries spoken from across the room. But almost four years after inviting outside developers to write apps for Alexa, Amazon’s voice system has yet to offer a transformative new experience. Surveys show most people use their smart speakers to listen to tunes or make relatively simple requests—“Alexa, set a timer for 30 minutes”—while more complicated tasks prompt them to give up and reach for their smartphone.

Amazon’s Alexa has 80,000 Apps—and No Runaway Hit :: Bloomberg

Tips on getting the most out of Ubuntu 18.04 running in WSL on Windows 10

There are some good pointers and excellent tips in Web Development and Advanced Techniques with Linux on Windows (WSL) that are useful if you’re using WSL as part of your dev toolkit. Getting the same envs, including PATH, running across both systems is handy. It’s cool to be able to develop in Windows and test in Ubuntu without mucking about with VMs or ssh or anything.

My Modern PHP Development Setup · John Mackenzie | Software Engineer

My Modern PHP Development Setup · John Mackenzie | Software Engineer

What is Gatsby.js? Good Question. Here’s a Quick Answer.

Gatsby is a React-based, GraphQL powered, static site generator. What does that even mean?  Well, it weaves together the best parts of React, webpack, react-router, GraphQL, and other front-end tools in to one very enjoyable developer experience. Don’t get hung up on the moniker ‘static site generator’.  That term has been around for a while, but Gatsby is far more like a modern front-end framework than a static site generator of old.

You code and develop your site, Gatsby transforms it into a directory with a single HTML file and your static assets. This folder is uploaded to your favorite hosting provider, and voila.
Overall think, part Jekyll, part create-react-app.

Source: What is Gatsby.js | Mediacurrent

Looks like I need to take a peek at Gatsby.js and see what’s going on there. Most intriguing are features to leverage APIs on existing CMS’s to pull the content and display it with a new more modern front-end.

How to recover dropped data from stash |

First a warning: When you are implementing a big feature, split it in small pieces and commit it regularly. It’s not a good idea to work for a long time without committing your changes.

Source: How to recover dropped data from stash |

Git can save your bacon, but nothing beats applying the “saving frequently and often” approach. Commit frequently and often, stash sparingly, branch as necessary, push always.

GraphQL | A query language for your API

GraphQL is a query language for APIs and a runtime for fulfilling those queries with your existing data. GraphQL provides a complete and understandable description of the data in your API, gives clients the power to ask for exactly what they need and nothing more, makes it easier to evolve APIs over time, and enables powerful developer tools.

Source: GraphQL | A query language for your API

Tutorial: How to build a GraphQL server – Apollo GraphQL

[H]ow to build a GraphQL server that connects to multiple backends: A SQL database, a MongoDB database and a REST endpoint. We’ll be combining all of them to build a very basic blog with authors, posts and views.

Tutorial: How to build a GraphQL server – Apollo GraphQL

How to create your first Alexa skill :: BetaNews

For the last couple of weeks, Graham, Marcel, Sinem and I, from Red Badger, have been experimenting with Amazon’s Alexa Echo Dot. An Electric Hockey Puck that uses voice recognition powered by Amaz…

Source: How to create your first Alexa skill :: BetaNews

From Vagrant to NixOps – Mayflower Blog

NixOps is a cloud deployment tool using nix, the functional package manager for unix systems. Nix makes it very intuitive to define absolute package dependencies. No more thinking and guessing about required runtime dependencies.
NixOps supports deploying to different platforms. Bare-metal, cloud, and even virtual environments like virtualbox work out of the box.

 Mayflower Blog ::

Open Data Kit is a tool set for mobile collection of data with server aggregation

Open Data Kit (ODK) is a free and open-source set of tools which help organizations author, field, and manage mobile data collection solutions. ODK provides an out-of-the-box solution for users to:

  1. Build a data collection form or survey (XLSForm is recommended for larger forms);
  2. Collect the data on a mobile device and send it to a server; and
  3. Aggregate the collected data on a server and extract it in useful formats.

In addition to socio-economic and health surveys with GPS locations and images, ODK is being used to create decision support for clinicians and for building multimedia-rich nature mapping tools. See the list available toolsfeatured deployments, and implementation companies for more examples of what the ODK community is doing.

We welcome and encourage participation from the user community. ODK is supported by a growing community of developers, implementers and users as well as various companies. Core ODK development is supported by ongoing research at the University of Washington’s Department of Computer Science & Engineering and through donations from users.

This looks intriguing. There may be some legal tech us for a tool set like this.