About the Author

Mat Warger

I'm a software consultant with Keyhole Software in Kansas City. I am a coder and life-long student, also enjoying technology, learning, cooking, and gaming. Recent projects have included React, Angular, and Java.

Rethinking REST Practices: An Introduction to GraphQL with AWS AppSync

Mat Warger AWS, Development Technologies, GraphQL, JavaScript, Programming Leave a Comment

The basic premise of data transfer and involves requesting and receiving lists. This is simplistic, but it gets to the root of why we’ve developed the technologies and best practices to pass data using web services. RESTful APIs have grown to serve the needs of numerous individuals, startups, and enterprise companies across the world. They are useful, productive, and the concepts surrounding them are relatively standardized. If you don’t know how to create one, you can quickly find information building a great API that can grow to fit your needs. That’s when things get complicated…

If you start digging into REST, you’ll realize there’s quite a bit more to throwing lists. There are common threads that many people encounter when developing an API, and you begin to encounter many of the same questions so many others have before, such as: How strictly should you adhere to the principles of REST? How should you handle versioning? Should you bother? How do you want to structure your objects? Are users able to easily figure out what API endpoints are available and how they should be used?

There are many ways approach these. It boils down to communicating the structures that a given endpoint will return or accept. The cascade of questions that results from the choices made here will ripple through from the back-end to the client. The secondary issue is that these questions and choices are not at all uncommon. There are answers to these that follow Best Practices. But there is still plenty of ambiguity involved when attempting to build a flexible API that works well. These are the Commonly Tolerated Situations.

If you hadn’t already guessed, there is a solution that frees us from the dogma of REST and allows us to solve all these issues in a declarative, powerful, and fun way. That solution is GraphQL. In this blog, I’ll provide an introduction to the GraphQL specification with code examples…

Thoughts on Application State

Mat Warger AWS, JavaScript, React Leave a Comment

Use Redux! Use MobX! Just use `setState`!
Redux is functional! Mobx is reactive! `setState` is built-in!
But Redux has so much boilerplate! But MobX is more difficult to debug! But `setState` doesn’t scale!
Why don’t you just use Rematch to abstract the Redux boilerplate? Do I use redux-thunk? redux-saga? redux-observable?
How about using Unstated? How about just using the Context API?

:head-explodes:

There are a lot of options for developers regarding how and when to use state management libraries (SML).

Remember those last two articles (The Joy of Forms with React and Formik & One Router to Rule Them All: React Router) about the massively underplayed game library? There was a third part to come — a follow-up meant to implement an example of state management for an application. The application was small, granted, but this somewhat contrived example would tie it all up. It’d be the cherry on top. It would complete the rule of threes. 😉

There is not going to be another tutorial about which state library we can use to better manage our game library. Rather, in this post, we’re going to look at how and why you might use a library to manage your application’s state, and why that particular application is a perfect example of when you might not need a SML at all.

One Router to Rule Them All: React Router

Mat Warger Development Technologies, JavaScript, React Leave a Comment

Previously, we looked at a very basic example of how one can benefit greatly by using community projects such as Formik to avoid the tedium of certain solutions while embracing convention to create composable and scalable applications. We will be build on that foundation to explore the objectively great library that is React Router.

React Router has been at the forefront of routing in the React ecosystem for as long as I can remember. If you’re new to React, this is the way to go when you move state and start needing more options such as parameterized routing, nesting, and conditional rendering. If you have experience with React, this brings a powerful pattern to bear in that everything is a component. It takes the composablity of React and uses that to its benefit, handling any and all use-cases with relative ease.

In this blog, we’ll introduce the basics of the React Router through hands-on examples using its features.

The Joy of Forms with React and Formik

Mat Warger Development Technologies, JavaScript, React, Tutorial 9 Comments

React is a JavaScript library for building user interfaces. That’s it. It’s a way to use JavaScript to define UI elements based on user-defined properties and internal state.

It has a clean, functional style. You can create simple components that compose very well into larger components, which you can then use to compose pages and entire applications. This simple composability is one of the main reasons I enjoy working with it.

But, it is not an application framework. It doesn’t pretend to be. This can be useful when all you want is some quick UI. But, as the application grows, you will need to depend on outside libraries for things like state-management, routing, and forms.

In this article, learn how to handle form input with React, from basic form input using simple state through advanced form components using Formik….