All About CSS Flexbox


This month, Doug Bell will be talking about a CSS feature newly-supported by browsers: The flexible box (flexbox). Flexboxes makes laying out rows or columns fast and easy. Simple things become much easier, and even complex layouts become simple and responsive for a variety of display devices like phones and tablets. If you haven't learned anything about CSS in the last few years, or if you know the pain of using CSS floats, come learn about flexbox!

Doug Bell has been developing websites since the time of table layouts and spacer GIFs (pronounced "jifs"). He's developed websites professionally for 10 years, and is the organizer of the #css support community on the Freenode IRC network.

Test Environments for Modern Web Apps


This month, William Lindley ( blog) will talk about writing a test harness for modern Perl programs using Test::More, Test::Mojo for the API, and DBIx::TempDB for the database.

Building, testing, and deploying actual systems is more complex than merely writing a program. Real testing often needs to be done against databases of known large or problematic datasets. A test environment cannot affect production data. Staging even minor changes, so we can preview and find errors before moving to production servers, can prevent expensive errors. The "best practices" in this field are relatively new and still changing, and we look at the first steps from "I built this mockup last night" by building the test suite for a simple database-driven file-upload service with Mojolicious.

William Lindley has been hacking computers (in the good sense) since 1977, a database advocate since dBase II and PostgreSQL-predecessor Ingres in the 1980s, a Perl monger since 1994, and a free-software promoter since first getting Linux to run XWindows in 1995.

If time permits, Doug Bell (preaction) () will show a simple app to mock JSON REST APIs for testing using Mojolicious.

RSVP for the meeting on the Chicago.PM Meetup

Accepting Payments on the Web


This month, Noel Rappin will be talking about accepting payments on the web:

Your customers have money, and you’d like them to give it to you. Payment gateways, such as Stripe, Braintree, and Paypal, make it easy to start charging credit cards and get the money flowing. But charging cards is only the beginning. You need to worry that your app responds gracefully to service failures, since charging a customer for a failed transaction is bad. You need to guard against fraud and security breaches. You need administrative tools that are flexible but secure. You want to test against external services. And you’ll run up against the law. Learn from some of my mistakes and build a robust financial application.

Noel Rappin is the Director of Development at [Table XI]. Noel has authored multiple technical books, including "Rails 4 Test Prescriptions", "Trust-Driven Development", and the forthcoming "Take My Money: Accepting Payments on the Web". Follow Noel on Twitter @noelrap, and online at