LESS is a great language for writing styles faster and getting more out of CSS with its dynamic nature (variables, mixins, operations and functions).

Normally, .less files are live-converted to CSS via JavaScript by the browser (or server -like Node.js-).

SimpLESS brings another option for designers willing to generate the CSS from .less files quickly.

SimpLESS

It is a desktop-app that has versions for Windows, Mac OS X + Linux and works simply by drag 'n' dropping your project files into the app and getting the CSS output.

P.S. SimpLESS is also an open source project.

The focus on creating a better user experience and good use of JavaScript usually ends up in great results.

Tangle is definitely one of them. It is a JavaScript library for building interactive documents where users can easily change parameters and see the document updated live.

Tangle

The library can add several interaction methods (like a a slider or onClick) to any given elements for easily changing their values and comes with functions to bind these variables with the values of other elements.

Implementing Tangle is pretty easy, the library is well-documented and supported with examples.

jsMessage is a tiny (3kb gzipped) JavaScript library for displaying notifications with ease.

Besides notifications, it supports alerts + confirmations and doesn't require any other JS libraries to run.

The positions of the messages, their auto-expire duration and whether they can be controlled via keyboard or not can all be configured.

Each message type (except notifications) has callbacks for a customized interaction and the look/feel of messages can be completely styled.

jsMessage

Today, speed in web applications is one of the keys to success. It effects the interaction with users, their perception about the website and even how Google ranks websites.

And, database performance is one of the most important factors of speed, as, once there is a bottleneck in it, nothing will function fast.

During the development of Uptime Robot (and still), in order for the application to handle more requests in a shorter time, I needed to optimize 2 things:

  • the queries used
  • MySQL server itself

Yes, minimizing the number of queries, using indexes smartly or changing the well-known settings of MySQL server makes sense but measuring the results and finding out how each update effects the performance is the hardest thing to analyze.

This is when I started using MONyog, a desktop application (with Windows and Linux versions), that helps tracking everything about a MySQL server. And, most importantly, it comes with working advices at every point.

The application can connect to any number of MySQL servers which is great for working with the test and production server at the same time. And, it only requires the MySQL root login to collect data (nothing to install on MySQL servers).

MONyog

Its dashboard welcomes you with the most important charts like the availability of the server, number of connections, cache misses, statements and any other metric can be added.

Besides the ability to viewing the process list, disk usage or events, there are 2 menus that saved me so much time:

  • Monitors/Advisors
  • Query Analyzer

Monitors/Advisors

The menu has multiple sub-menus where each of them helps fine-tuning the server so much.

You can get the number of "current connections" and how effectively they are used, InnoDB cache and logs performance, thread cache, table cache, index usage (how effective they are), the number of each statement (select, insert..) and many sub-metrics.

Each item is explained shortly yet clearly and advices are shown to make them better.

MONyog also scans the settings of the server, displays the values as a snapshot and warns you about any possible security issues (and how to fix them).

Query Analyzer

This is where you can find the popular "slow query log". But it comes with a better presentation (compared to a standard MySQL slow log query) that focuses on finding the issues.

The Query Analyzer is vital in locating the problematic queries and seeing how they perform after optimizing them live.

To sum up

I started using MONyog when I was just about to decide that everything was done for performance, the limit of the server was reached and a 2nd or a much powerful MySQL server was required as the resource usage was ~90% in average.

MONyog

After the optimizations with the application, the same server responds to a bigger number of queries in a shorter time with lower than 50% of resource usage.

Simply, it saved me renting a new server and providing a better experience to Uptime Robot users. And, totally suggest it if you are managing a busy MySQL server.

The giveaway and how to join?

After my experience with MONyog, I contacted them with the idea of running a giveaway and they were kind enough to giveaway "3 MONyog Ultimate Single Server with Premium Support" licenses ($399/each) to WRD readers.

In order to join the giveaway:

  • Share this giveaway with a tweet: "Just joined the MONyog  MySQL Monitor and Advisor giveaway at WebResourcesDepot – http://goo.gl/0O6Eg" (click to tweet easily)
  • Follow @webyog Twitter user
  • Share your tweet URL within the comments

The winners will be announced 1 week later (3 November 2011) and good luck.

For any web project, if it is only the animations we need, wouldn't it be nice to use a lightweight framework rather than a complete and big-sized one?

jsMorph is a standalone JavaScript animation framework which can manipulate stylings of multiple HTML elements.

The framework automatically detects start positions, converts units, adjusts rendering speed and corrects time leaks for smoother rendering experience.

jsMorph

It is only 2.3kb, chainable, well-documented (supported with examples) and works pretty fast (with an optimized browser rendering buffer usage).

And, there is a queuing system which allows morphing multiple items.