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Create A Self-Signed Certificate For Node.js On MacOS

I recently picked up a Yubico U2F hardware key and thought I’d try to create a web application that was protected with two-factor hardware-based authentication. Things were going smooth until I realized that it is mandatory to be using HTTPS within your application, even when testing locally. HTTPS is common, but I’d never actually set it up with Node.js because I had always been using services like Cloudflare that configure it for you. The problem is that these services are for live domain names, not necessarily localhost.

While we’re not going to explore U2F hardware keys in this tutorial, we’re going to take a look at creating and installing a self-signed certificate for use in Node.js within macOS.

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Building Amazon Alexa Skills With Node.js, Revisited

A little more than two years ago, when the Amazon Echo first started picking up steam and when I was first exposed to virtual assistants, I had written a tutorial around creating a Skill for Amazon Alexa using Node.js and simple JavaScript. In this tutorial titled, Create an Amazon Alexa Skill Using Node.js and AWS Lambda, we saw how to create intent functions and sample utterances in preparation for deployment on AWS Lambda. I later wrote a tutorial titled, Test Amazon Alexa Skills Offline with Mocha and Chai for Node.js, which focused on building unit tests for these Skills and their intent functions. Fast forward to now and a few things have changed in the realm of Skill development.

In this tutorial we’re going to see how to build a Skill for Alexa powered devices using Node.js and test it using popular frameworks and libraries such as Mocha and Chai.

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Send And Manage DigiByte DGB Coins With Node.js

I’ve been spending a lot of time researching and watching the blockchain market because it is a very interesting subject matter. Not too long ago I had written an article titled, Create a Cross-Platform Desktop Ripple XRP Wallet with Vue.js and Electron, which focused on the Ripple, the banking network and cryptocurrency.

Ripple isn’t the only cryptocurrency that I’m following. I’m also following DigiByte, which targets digital payments and has the DGB coin. If you’re not familiar with DigiByte, the official wallet forces you to download around 12GB of data to synchronize with the network. It isn’t really appealing to anyone who just wants to sit on some DGB. The good news, is this can be avoided by building your own wallet and client.

We’re going to see how to build a DigiByte DGB client for storing, sending, and managing coins without having to synchronize with the network, using JavaScript and Node.js.

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Consume Remote API Data From Within A Node.js Application

Not too long I wrote about consuming remote API data using Golang. However, as you know, I’m also a heavy Node.js developer as well. So how do we issue HTTP requests from within a Node.js application and why might you want to. The simple answer is that you might want to consume someone else’s data within your web application and you can’t just do that like you would in a browser-based application using Ajax or similar.

We’re going to see how to make HTTP requests possible within Node.js.

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Getting Familiar with Gulp for Workflow Automation

I’ve been developing web applications for as long as I can remember and there are certain repetitive tasks that I do between the development and deployment of each final product. For example, current web standards demand that web resources like CSS, and JavaScript be minified or images be compressed. We could easily do this by hand or with helper applications, but why would you want to?

Instead, repetitive tasks can, and should, be transformed into an automated workflow, something that is particularly useful when it comes to continuous integration and continuous deployment.

We’re going to see how to create a an automated workflow using the Gulp toolkit to do simple tasks like cleaning, minification, copying, altering, and even deploying projects.

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Unit Testing a Node.js Application with the Jasmine Testing Framework

When building an application, regardless if it is mobile, web, or neither, it is a good idea to come up with a collection of tests that can be used in a continuous integration scenario. I must admit, I don’t have the best habits when it comes to writing tests, but I’m sure my applications would be significantly better if I did.

Previously I had written about unit testing in Golang as well as unit testing in NativeScript with Angular. This time around it makes sense to talk about writing tests in Node.js, another technology that I have in my tool belt.

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Validate Form Submissions In Node.js With Google reCAPTCHA

Anyone that operates a website or web application with a contact page knows how bad the SPAM problem on the internet is. Spammers, phishers, and other malicious people create bots that will crawl search engines for contact forms and send emails to the hosts, register accounts, or something else. There was a point in time that I was receiving more than ten emails a day from spammers that wanted to redesign my website. This kind of activity is incredibly annoying on my inbox.

This is where CAPTCHA and reCAPTCHA form elements come into play. These elements typically require some interaction such as typing words from an image or solving a math problem. Adding this small amount of form complexity can go a long way towards stopping bots.

We’re going to see how to hook up a Google reCAPTCHA element into a client facing form and validate that element using a Node.js backend.

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