David McDonald's Blog About tech, cooking, photography and stuff

Future of SharePoint

Earlier this month Microsoft announced a bunch of new and exciting changes that will be coming soon to SharePoint. Bob German, a former Microsoft MTC Architect wrote a nice summary - Roadmap to the Future of SharePoint

The interesting part (to me at least) is Bob’s thoughts on preparing for the SharePoint programming model. SharePoint will be built on open source tools like npm, gulp, and yeoman. The SharePoint framework is written in React too. It seems like a good time to invest in your javascript development skills too.


React.js Getting Started - Pluralsight

I’ve been a subscriber to Pluralsight for a few years now. I love it because it lets me quickly gain basic knowledge of almost anything in the rapidly changing development world. In the last year they have added many courses for deisgners and for IT Pros too.

The latest class that I’m just starting is Reach.js: Getting Started by Samer Buna. In this post I’ll capture a few key ideas that I learned in this excellent video/training. If you want to learn Reach.JS (who doesn’t right??), then I recommed watching this video on Pluralsight.

This month I’ve been diving into node.js and javascript frameworks. Knowledge of frameworks and tools like express, bower, gulp, angular, and react are going to be important, even to a Microsoft oriented developer.

If you want to see the official documentation, jump over to Why React.

React is a JavaScript library for creating user interfaces by Facebook and Instagram. Many people choose to think of React as the V in MVC. We built React to solve one problem: building large applications with data that changes over time. -Facebook on Github

Notes from React.js Getting Started

  1. Plunker - browser JS editor Nice tool that lets you play around with React.js in the browser. Can be used for lots of frameworks and experiments.
  2. Ok, well I didn’t get too far today. I’ll hopefully get back to this before the week becomes too crazy and finish the post with toughts about React.JS.


FavIcon Generator

Part of my (re)Education is learning about building modern websites. As part of that pursuit, I just ran into a new topic - FavIcon. FavIcon is the icon file that is used on Windows, iOS, and Android to save a link to the site.

To make generating one easier, try Real Fav Icon Generator.


Markdown Lessons Learned

Note that this will be my last post on Markdown. It’s time to move on to something else.

Ok, I noticed some odd layout in my previous posts. Some of the text that i entered was not wrapping properly on different size devices. It was as if it didn’t auto wrap. As I’m typing this, I’m entering new lines to keep the text that I’m entering from scrolling off of the editor window. But when it is rendered, i’m expexting that it will all flow correctly to show the text as a single formatted paragraph. The problem is that it wasn’t doing that on my previous post.

In my research, I found the following article Markdown Cheatsheet

It describes behavior of word wrapping. It turns out that if you put in two trailing spaces at the end of a line then the markdown will force a hard line break. When I went back to my previous posts I saw that I had done just that in a couple of places!

So I removed the extra spaces and Voila!! Sure enough everything is working great again.


Markdown Editors

Ok, so now we know more about markdown syntax. The next topic is what tools are there to help me write it. Here are some things that seem important (note that I am still in for dummies mode)

  • I’d like a simple editor where I can just type
    • understands markdown and gives me syntax highlighting
    • lets me easily see what the user will see
    • side by side viewing so I can see both at once
  • Lets me create new files and manage my files easily
  • Works directly with git so I can see/connect my posts
  • Spell checker would be valuable to catch pesky type-o’s


So I’m only a few hours into my first day of using Markdown. At this point I’m pretty happy with Visual Studio Code. I’m using it on my MacBook. It addressess all of the criterial above. As I type this, I have an adjacent window open showing a view of the output text. VS-Code also provides a view of my file system and I can easily create a new post and start working on it. Since it understands Git, i can commit this without leaving the editor. Note that I still have to push from my local git back to my blog on GitHub

Regards, –Dave.