An illustration of a line of dinosaurs marching forward Illustration by Sue Lockwood

At Bocoup, we hold strong convictions about the social significance of the web platform. We want to see it expand, and we want to make sure that it remains open in all senses as it grows. Following the lead of Philippe Le Hegaret of the W3C (and in collaborations with the folks at WHATWG), we're framing web standards as a combination of three equally important components: specifications, tests, and implementations. We began in 2015, tackling the JavaScript runtime by modernizing the Test262 test suite. Through that work, we experienced the impact that automated conformance testing can have on platform compatibility. This year, we're starting a new effort for browsers and the web by contributing to the Web Platform Tests project (a.k.a "WPT").

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In part one of this series we started learning how to make maps rendered by WebGL, a browser based hardware-accelerated graphics API for 2D and 3D graphics. Our access to this technology was via Tangram, a map rendering library from Mapzen. This post will focus primarily on shaders, those perplexing parallel programs that power our pixels, and how to create visual effects using them. We will be focusing on 2D effects for now and will also look a bit at how to create interactive effects that are powered by shaders. If you haven’t read part one, you might want to start there.

What are shaders anyway?

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NVDA stands for NonVisual Desktop Access and is a FREE screen reading app for Windows OS. Emphasis on the "free", as there are other Windows screen readers out there with prices that will make you spit-take across your monitor. (Is there such a thing as a subtweet inside a blog post?) If you do end up using NVDA in your development process, please donate to them, as we all know free software isn't technically free.

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Many points on canvas in phyllotaxis layout

Sometimes in life, you've just gotta move thousands of points around on the screen. For hundreds of points, this can be accomplished with D3 through d3-transition on SVG nodes, but this typically becomes too slow when you need to animate more than a thousand points. So how do you do it?

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We are excited to announce that Matt Surabian, aka "Scorpion," aka "I picked Scorpion as my own nickname at a company dinner," is stepping up to lead our Web Applications team as Director. Matt joined Bocoup in 2014 as an Open Web Engineer and has also served as an Account Manager for some of his time here.

In his role as Director of Web Applications, Matt will be responsible for managing our Web Applications team to build the bridge between our strategic goals and the professional responsibilities of the team. He will also be partnering with our Sales team to identify and explore new business opportunities.

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Free agency is just a reality of the modern NBA. We knew that when Jenn Schiffer brought her talents to Boston, and we know it today. That's why we're taking a moment to celebrate Jenn's three years at Bocoup and congratulate her on her new role as Community Engineer at Fog Creek Software!

During her time at Bocoup, Jenn was a consistent contributor to a number of consulting project teams and helped bring functional tomatoes to Slack with Pombot. She also debuted var t; and finally provided the web development community with a comprehensive solution to the difficult problem of sorting your jorts. She even blogged once!

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Since starting our work on Test262, the official test suite for the ECMAScript programming language, we've seen our fair share of strange tests. For nerds like us, every test has the promise to teach us something new, make us laugh, or bury our head in our hands. But unlike choosing between movies, books, or 18th century shoe makers, I've never had trouble picking a favorite JavaScript test.

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How do you visualize the “Health of the Internet”? This was the challenge posed to the Data Vis team at Bocoup by our client Measurement Lab, a nonprofit that collects millions of Internet speed tests every month from around the world since 2009. This data is invaluable to policy makers, researchers, and the general public for understanding how Internet speeds are changing over time as well as for highlighting and understanding the impact of service disruptions. However, with petabytes of individual speed test data reports as a data source, it can be difficult to make a visualization tool that is engaging and useful for such a broad audience.

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A diagram showing WordPress content flowing out into mobile applications, reports and desktop websites and data dashboards, with yellow stars signifying enthusiasm

In December WordPress 4.7 shipped with a built-in REST API, giving every WordPress site out-of-the-box REST endpoints for the core WordPress data types such as posts, comments and categories. This release is the culmination of almost four years of work by a globally-distributed contributor team, and I'm proud to say that here at Bocoup we've been involved in the project for over three years now.

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Reflow your content with ease

In the first post I wrote about my very first learnings with CSS Grid, I showed how I took a pattern I've used many times and reproduced it with a lot less code. After learning about how to do something simple, I started wondering about the other properties of CSS Grid, such as the reflow—how you can move content around on the screen without having to worry about source order in the HTML. This is commonly talked about as “display order” versus “source order.”

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