In a previous post, I went over how to add authentication to your Rails + Angular app using JSON Web Tokens (JWT). This time, I’ll do the same, but using the React ecosystem. But even if you’re using another front-end framework (Angular, Ember, Backbone), this post will be helpful because it fixes some issues with the previous server-side code that broke due to a change in the jwt gem.
As you can tell from the content of my blog posts, I’ve been practicing and preaching Angular.js for quite some time now. It is an extremely productive web framework that felt like a big step forward from my days doing jQuery “sprinkles” and then Backbone.
But then recently, I started playing with Facebook’s React framework. And while I’m still not quite as productive as I was with Angular, I absolutely love the code that I’m writing. And on top of that, it has opened my eyes to a whole new paradigm for creating user interfaces.
UPDATE: There have been some changes in the JWT Gem that make some of the below not work exactly right (it’ll still be about 90% the same). Specifically, they added expiration support. See my post on the same topic, but using React.js. The server side code in this post will work just as well with Angular.
While working on an angular.js application recently, I found myself needing some form of authorization logic (not to be confused with authentication / login). I needed to restrict content in my app based on a user’s role as well as some other factors. At first, I created a single
AuthService service that dealt with login, authorization, and session management. But this felt messy and violated the Single Responsibility Principle, so I decided to make something cleaner. My goal was for the API to look something like this:
“Onboarding” is one of those things we sometimes forget about when developing an application, but it really deserves more attention. Showing the user how to use your app can be critical in retaining them. Some people might say that if you need onboarding, your app just needs to have a better UX, but I don’t think this is practical in all situations, particularly complex business applications.
Modals are Easy
I’ve used a dozen or so modal / lightbox plugins over the years, almost exclusively jQuery-based. But you know what I didn’t realize until fairly recently? Modals are easy to build yourself from scratch. So let’s make one in the Angular fashion.
UPDATE (March 14th, 2015)
When I first wrote this library, I didn’t have a great understanding of the ngModelController API, nor good directive design. So I wouldn’t recommend this library anymore. I started on a replacement library here, though it’s not quite ready for production use.
I wasn’t particularly happy with any of the datepicker directives out there for Angular.js, so I decided to build one myself. I did it out of a need on my current project but also because I wanted to learn the ins and outs of directives. You can find the library on Github.
Currently, I’m working on an Angular app that is very form-centric. Fields and fields and more fields. I want to make the form-filling process as quick and painless as possible, so I’m trying to implement auto-save.