Monday, November 14, 2016 Resolver - Chrome extension

It's been a while since I last blogged about anything...

Something that's been bothering me for a long time since I've been on Twitter, are links.

Naturally links got a serious boost in usage with Twitter's launch, and they serve a great tool of compacting links and embedding them beautifully inside Tweets.

However, many times, looking at those links, you can't help but wonder - "where will it take me if I click it? Am I going to get a worm or a virus on my laptop?"
Sometimes, people are just lazy to put any context telling you what this link is about, and so, they tweet or post a link with their cat's photo.
(Usually it is not their cat's paw-n-shop ya' know...).

So being very lazy that I am, yet curious as a cat.. I decided to pick up the glove, and create my very own Chrome extension (sorry y'all other folks using other browsers), that shows you the REAL URL behind that link you're gazing it right at this second, simply by hovering on it.

Welcome - Resolver Chrome Extension

You can simply click it, in order to install that extension on your browser. Resolver - Chrome Extension

GitHub link for those of you who are interested: 

As a :) :
Or simply as:

See you in a!

Saturday, May 21, 2016

Typescript, React and Sass - All in one - Skeleton Project built with Webpack

Just recently I had the need to set up a project that included 
Typescript, React, Sass and building it with Webpack, and couldn't find any good up-to-date source on the web for a 
skeleton project to base it on.

So I decided to create my own.

You can check it out (free of course) on my GitHub account:

Monday, May 9, 2016

Hubot Script for Image Search on Bing

How to write a Hubot script that integrates with Bing in Javascript

In case you haven't heard of Slack, I recommend you check it out.
Slack is a Messaging App with an extremely cool edge of customization abilities.

One of those abilities allows you to install an App that plugs-in to Slack, called Hubot.
A Hubot is a Bot app, that can listen to your commands on Slack, and perform a task.

After installing your Hubot on your machine, you will notice it has a "scripts" directory.
You can use this directory to write your own custom scripts which the Hubot will execute!
Very cool!

The scripts can be written in CoffeeScript and in Javascript.
You can simply copy-paste the code below, but notice that it will not work, unless you get your own Bing API key.
You can easily get it for free here.
This is how the screen looks like at Bing after you will (create an account as needed and) login.

Be sure to copy the API Key that (highlighted in red) shows in the box, 

and replace it with the 'key', 
which equals to 'XXXX-....-XXXX' in the code below.

The expected result

Enjoy hacking & slacking!

The code

// bing.js

'use strict'

var querystring = require('querystring');
var http = require('https');

// replace the 'XXXXX...' string here with your own Bing API KEY
var HOST_NAME = '';
var SAFE = {
  low: 'Off',
  medium: 'Moderate',
  high: 'Strict'

  "Accept": "*/*",
  "Content-Type": "application/json",
  "Ocp-Apim-Subscription-Key": key

function getParams(query, count, offset, safe) {
  count = count || DEFAULT_NUMBER_OF_IMGS;
  count = Math.max(5, Math.min(50, count));
  offset = offset || Math.floor(Math.random() * 4);
  return {
    'hostname': HOST_NAME,
    'method': 'GET',
    'path': buildQueryParameters(query, count, offset, safe || SAFE.medium),

function buildQueryParameters(query, count, offset, safey) {
  return '/api/v5/images/search?q=' + query + 
'&count=' + count + '&offset=' + offset + 
'&mkt=en-us&safeSearch=' + safey;

function getImagesFromBing(query, hubotCallback) {
  var body = [];
  var params = getParams(query);
  var req = http.request(params, function(res) {
    res.on('data', function (chunk) {
    res.on('end', function () {
       var data = body.join('');
       var dataAsJson = JSON.parse(data);
       var values = dataAsJson.value;
       var imgs = {
         return val.contentUrl;

module.exports = function(robot) {
    robot.hear(/bingme (.*)/i, function(res) {
        var photoname = res.match[1];
        res.reply("Looking for a photo of \"" + photoname + "\" on Bing!");

        var escapedQuery = querystring.escape(photoname);
        getImagesFromBing(escapedQuery, function(imgs) {
          var randomPhotoIndex = Math.floor(Math.random() * imgs.length);

Sunday, January 17, 2016

Spaceship X - Game Launch on Android Play

Spaceship X - Timeless Hero

A retro flavoured Spaceship shooter saving the Galaxy!

I have released my first Game App to Google Play!

It is free to download:

The game's website:

Have fun!

Saturday, April 18, 2015

Simple Webapp example using Flux with React

If you've been following the latest Front-End news for Web for the past year,
you have probably seen the huge buzz around ReactJS.

Just in case you haven't, you can visit ReactJS on the Facebook Github's page at: or just Google it and read about it.

So for those of you that do know what React is all about, you may have also heard about Flux.
If you haven't :) I recommend you to read about it a bit
here as well

If I have to try and sum it up on one leg, I'd say that Flux is an application architecture for building
big web-apps on the front-end that scale.  - Well, that's pretty vague :)

A main concept regarding this architecture is about a Uni-directional flow where an "Action"
(a Application Event) is triggered by the View part (Your components, which are shown the users),
using a "Dispatcher" (Some kind of an Event Hub) which propagates the Actions
on to the "Stores" (Your application's model), which hold the state (data) of your application,
perform the necessary update and logic, and updates the View back using listeners.

This illustration might help understanding the Flux flow a little better:

Why is Flux a good idea? - There are several reasons, but I will mention only 2 which I think
are the most important.

1. Simple Application Architecture - You can show this diagram to someone who never
heard of Flux before, and explain it in 2 minutes.

2. Scalable - Flux lets you scale. Meaning, it's relatively easy to add new features to
your application, debug it, and keeping it performant.

There's a really good talk about it by Facebook which is worth watching:

After all that being said, I really wanted to do some basic implementation of Flux myself,
to "feel" how it works. And so I created a very small Repository on Github that implements
Flux which you are welcome to look at and use.

The example code

The application built on top of that is a classic Todo App:

The code uses several 3rd party libraries such as RequireJS and React Templates but even if you are not familiar with RequireJS, or with AMD, my guess is you will still be able to understand how
it works.
React Templates is an amazing 3rd party library that helps you implement the "render" method
of React Components in an HTML like syntax. Totally cool.

Good luck!