Overriding Backbone.sync for local use

If you’re using Backbone to develop the front end in a local application you’ll have to override the Backbone.sync functionality to replace the REST functionality normally used by the library. Using Backbone in a local environment to store data, whether to store data in a file on the hard drive or using a local DB, is a bit different from its normal usage. The REST functionality has to be replaced with a file write or some other data storage code. The code below works for me:

Backbone.sync = function(method, model, options) {
    if (method === "create"){
        let attrs = model.changed;
            console.log("Update a record.");
            console.log("Create a record.");
    if(method === "read"){
        if(model.length === 0){
            console.log("Pull the entire collection of records.");
            console.log("Pull a single record.");
    if(method === "delete"){
        console.log("Delete this record and return nothing.");
    if(method === "update"){
        console.log("This update functionality never runs.");
Analyze-It, Browser Extension, Internet Explorer, Javascript, Look-It-Up, Plurk-It, Share-It, Windows

Internet Explorer Context Menu Chooser Application Version 2

Analyze-it menu chooser

Analyze-it menu chooser

With this new version the Analyze-it context menus were updated to the most recent version. Analyze-it contained so many menu items that I had to add a counter to the interface to indicate when there are more than the twenty menu item visible limit. The menu counter is only active for page context (basic context menu the page provides – nothing selected in other words) menu items. I suppose when there are more than twenty selected text context menus I’ll have to add another one; this is good for now. The counter only indicates when you are over the visible limit, it doesn’t prevent you from going over, which helps you fine tune your choices.

Analyze-it context menus

Analyze-it context menus

I had to break out Analyze-it into three logical, domain based sections, making it easier to choose the menu items you would like to use.

Analyze-it-Scritch menu chooser

Analyze-it-Scritch menu chooser


Scritch menu items

Scritch menu items has its own section in the application now, making it easier to discern their tools from the rest.

ViewDNS menu chooser

ViewDNS menu chooser

ViewDNS provides a group of helpful online tools on their site that I have included menu items for in this release. The application is now up to date with my other add-ons hosted in various places. Again, if you are running a tablet exclusively, this application isn’t for you. This application is used with Internet Explorer not Microsoft Edge (the tablet browser included with Windows 10) . If you are on a Surface device and if you use Internet Explorer with your keyboard and mouse – this will give you extra context menus.

ViewDNS menu items

ViewDNS menu items

There is a newer version available – see post here

Browser Extension, Firefox, Javascript, Useful-New-Tab-Page

Firefox Useful New Tab Page Now in the Public Index at the Mozilla AMO

Firefox Useful New Tab Page

Firefox Useful New Tab Page

Firefox Useful New Tab Page addon is out of experimental hosting at Mozilla now and is available here;

I also placed the source code for it on Github here: in case anyone wants to check out the source code.

Apache, FlightPHP, Javascript, PHP

Setting up FlightPHP to work with Backbonejs

FlightPHP and Backbonejs work well together inherently by design. Even though the two frameworks are written in two different languages and are designed for different tiers in your enterprise application development design, its hard to ignore the ease of integrating the two.. Most Backbone examples you see posted on the Internet involves node.js on the server; which makes sense considering you program both in javascript. However, the most common (and cheapest) hosting on the Internet is shared host PHP hosting. As long as your load is relatively light you can get really great results out of a shared PHP host as the new PHP runs virtually as fast as C++ on the server (takes about 2x the RAM though).

How Backbone works with FlightPHP

Backbone is a REST-centric library. Basically what that means is that you have to set up four endpoints in your FlightPHP index file for every collection of models in your application. With Backbone, you will not be setting up AJAX calls – the library handles all of the traffic cop stuff for you automatically. Using a Backbone model: a save uses a POST if the model does not have an id set on it from a previous save, and uses a PUT to update the record if it does have an id; a get without and id in the path returns the array of JSON objects (used by Backbone.Collection), including an id in the path returns that record; and a model.destroy uses a DELETE verb to indicate a record delete.

Your CRUD functions will map to the GET, POST, PUT, and DELETE HTTP verbs on your server.

/* basic PHP pseudocode structure for handling backbone CRUD functionality */
// Create
Flight::route('POST /rest/somecollectionname', function($id){
    // posting a new record (saving the model)
        // return the object saved with new id created by db
// Read
Flight::route('GET /rest/somecollectionname(/@id)', function($id){
    // getting a collection or a single record if id was provided
        // return an array of javascript objects or a single
        // object if an id was provided
// Update
Flight::route('PUT /rest/somecollectionname/@id', function($id){
    // updating a record (saving a model with an id)
        // return updated object
// Delete
Flight::route('DELETE /rest/somecollectionname/@id', function($id){
    // deleting a record (destroying a model)

Flight also allows you to map these endpoints to a separate class which is probably the best way to go if you are working on an API that’s larger than a couple of endpoints.

Apache issues – something Node users never have to deal with

On some shared hosts PUT and DELETE requests are blocked by default. You’ll get a 403 Denied error on the first PUT or DELETE attempt if these HTTP verbs are blocked. Its, unfortunately, a fact of life that has to be dealt with. Apache allows PUT and DELETE by default, so its probably the way they have their virtual hosts configuration set (usually because of security issues). You can sometimes (probably) get away with a .htaccess directive to overcome this shortfall. Other than that I recommend you contact whatever host you have for a solution.

# try this in .htaccess
order deny,allow
allow from all

Even if your shared host vehemently denies you access to these verbs, a workaround is relatively easy to script. For instance: add an updateid to your model to indicate an update and handle it as a new record on the client, etc. It shouldn’t come down to that though (a paying customer is a paying customer).

If you are running your own server you should open “/etc/httpd/conf/httpd.conf” as root and look for something that looks like:

<Directory /home/*>
AllowOverride All
Options -MultiViews -Indexes FollowSymlinks IncludesNoExec +Includes
Order allow,deny
Allow from all
Order deny,allow
Deny from all

Anywhere you see “GET POST” just add put and delete : “GET POST PUT DELETE”. Then restart httpd server with “/sbin/service httpd restart” and they should work. Also, here is a link to a good how-to for Apache in case you get confused:
Apache Docs

In many cases you might not even need those two verbs. Many people use Backbonejs to display and sort data on the client without ever needing to use PUT or DELETE.

Analyze-It, Browser Extension, Google-Music-Search, Google-Open-Storage-Search, Google-Translate-It, Internet Explorer, Javascript, Look-It-Up, Plurk-It, Share-It, Windows

IE11 Menu Addons – New Version – 1 – Happy New Year!

New Internet Explorer 11 Menus Version


This release basically fixes a few bugs and adds Google Music Search to the menu. I’ll be using whole numbers from now on on these installers (just makes things easier). I had to remove tumblr from the menu as their format changed (no more sharing with a GET request). Fixed the Fetch and Guess tools to be compliant with their new versions – so they should work properly. The spaces in query bug in Google Open Storage search was fixed – so multi word queries work properly.

Download and Install IE11 Menu Addons for Windows 7, 8, and 8.1

New Version Completed – Read and download from here.

If you’re paranoid about the download – the hash values for the file are listed on the Repo page.

Google Chrome, Javascript, NodeJS, Opera

Video – Memory Management Masterclass with Addy Osmani

Really good video on managing memory using Google Chrome Dev Tools.
From YouTube:Published on Sep 2, 2014

Addy is a senior engineer on the Chrome web engineering team, focusing on tools to help improve developer productivity and satisfaction. He works on Polymer – a Web Component library, is the the lead engineer on Yeoman and Web Starter Kit and regularly writes about web application architecture and the front-end. Outside of Google, Addy enjoys both hacking on open-source projects like TodoMVC and Grunt-UnCSS. He has authored books on JavaScript design patterns and frameworks.

Efficient JavaScript webapps need to be fluid and fast. Any app with significant user interaction needs to consider how to effectively keep memory usage down because if too much is consumed, a page might be killed, forcing the user to reload it and cry in a corner. Automatic garbage collection isn’t a substitute for effective memory management, especially in large, long-running web apps. In this talk we’ll walk through how to master the Chrome DevTools for effective memory management. Learn how to tackle performance issues like memory leaks, frequent garbage collection pauses, and overall memory bloat that can really drag you down.

AIR, Javascript, Prattsville N.Y., Windows

Adobe AIR Application – Prattsville NY Creek Gauge (Alpha release – Windows only)

Simple System Tray Icon application that keeps a small meter that displays the water level of the Schoharie Creek in Prattsville N.Y. within sight on the Windows desktop

This is a useless application to anyone other than people who live in Prattsville N.Y. and the surrounding area. It utilizes the data received from the unmanned experimental sensor located in Prattsville (the gage house is on the side of the creek down by the bridge). There is no Mac functionality at this time for this application (maybe later on). The code is less than elegant at this point. However, there is a view source context menu item if you would like to view the code anyway (Mac users unzip the installer).
I wrote this application for myself to keep an eye on the creek water level in my neighborhood – sorry if its not perfect at this point.

  • Downloads water level datum and default hydrograph every 30 minutes (And caches them on the system in case of disconnection).
  • Click on the icon to download and display the most recent NOAA hydrograph in the lower right corner of the viewport
    (click on it again to make it go away)

  • Icon displayed changes to reflect changes in the water level.
  • Added context menu items that open various pages related to Prattsville N.Y. in the default browser

Download Prattsville NY Creek Gauge
(Requires Adobe AIR)

				  File: PrattsvilleCreek.air
				CRC-32: 4d057fdb
				   MD4: 0f5aa9605d292368cb546fc55ef8d81c
				   MD5: f53dbe407bfc5b477c84a7d9f66d0071
				 SHA-1: fdf93f2f2af533d8e80c84ad1a7621a7269279c5