Review: “Full Stack Web Development With Backbone.js” by Patrick Mulder

A while back I built a small project using Backbone and really liked the way it turned out. A larger project came up, also well-suited to the framework, and I got this book to help me build a more solid knowledge base before beginning the project. It didn’t help at all.

Although Backbone.js provides the core content of the book, my impression (I didn’t read the book carefully, all the way through) was that peripherals take up much more space, and I was reading much more about Bower, Browserify, Requirejs, Grunt, Handlebars, Obscura, Yeoman and so on, than I was about Backbone. There’s nothing wrong with those tools but I use many of them already and I simply could find no use for much of the book’s content within my work flow and I lacked the time (and the inclination) to change my workflow so that I could undertake the tutorial embedded.

I suppose if you have never built a JavaScript application you could use this book to build you tool set complete your first project, but if you’re already experienced I suspect that, like me, you won’t have the patience to sort through the tooling information to glean the Backbone stuff.

Are We Mobile-Friendly Yet?

Every site I’ve built in the last couple of years incorporates a device-responsive layout using media queries to serve different styles to different device widths. (Except for one, which used device-detection at the client’s insistence, but I don’t like to talk about that one.) I’m not unique — every developer I work with can probably say the same thing.

Making a responsive site costs a little more than a static, fixed-width site, as everyone should know by now, but given the trends in mobile-device usage and search engines’ inclusion of “mobile friendliness” in their ranking algorithms, those of us still building static sites have their heads in the sand.

Google is trying to help yank those heads up (actually, they’re trying to help themselves by improving the quality of their search results, but we can pretend) by providing a simple pass/fail tool to tell you if a site is Mobile Frieldly, here. It’s also avaialable via Webmaster Tools.

Online Reviews As Good As Personal Recommendations

online-reviews-chartSearch Engine Land published a study from BrightLocal about the effect of online business reviews. There’s lots of data, but the take-away is that those reviews matter, almost as much as personal recommendations, which matter a whole lot. I try to review products (books!) and services, especially when my experience has been positive, because I read and value reviews myself and I’m willing to take a few minutes to go beyond the “this sucks”, anger-driven Amazon one-star reviews.

Trends in Logo Designs

2014 logo trends. 2014 Logo Trends[/caption]Bill Gardner at The Logo Lounge has compiled his 2014 Logo Trends, a look at what’s popular in logo design. The narrative emphasizes the steadily increasing importance of Smart Phones to the design worlds, as logos lose some detail so they can be attractively rendered on small screens.

Note: If you’ve come to realize that your website IS your business and most people look at it on a smart phone, you might lose all interest in seeing your logo on a glossy print brochure.