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Author: engineering

The Real-time Web in REST Services at IMVU

By Jon Watte, VP Technology @ IMVU IMVU has built a rich, graph-shaped REST (REpresentational State Transfer) API (Application Programming Interface) to our data. This data includes a full social network, as well as e-commerce, virtual currencies, and the biggest 3D user generated content catalog in the world. This post discusses how IMVU addresses two of the bigger draw-backs of REST-based service architectures for real-time interactive content: Cache Invalidation (where users want to know about new data as soon as…

Responsive Graphics In Core Publisher With Pym.js

Note: This post is out of date. NPR Visuals recommends using the new pym-loader.js to load iframed content on Core Publisher pages. Editor’s Note: Core Publisher is a content management system that staff at many NPR member stations use to maintain their websites. This post is written for that audience, but may be useful for users of other CMSes. Over time, many member stations have created maps, graphics and other projects for their websites that were sized to fit Core…

Packaging Matters: Packaging Fail – How not to unload a Truck

Packaging Matters: Packaging Fail – How not to unload a Truck Pages Packaging Fail – How not to unload a Truck Packaging and material handling are everyday activities when they go as planned, but there are always special occurrences and variances to normal processes and events in your supply chain. Check out the following video of pallet jack material handling dock truck unloading gone amiss. That is quite the pallet jack fail, hopefully the operator was not harmed too much.…

Improving User Engagement Through Subtle Changes: Updating the Book Concierge

By David Eads and Christina Rees | December 12, 2014 The NPR year-end 2013 Book Concierge was a big hit. Instead of writing a bunch of lists, the books team solicited over 200 short reviews by critics and staff and put them into a single, beautiful website designed to make discovering great books fun. Readers loved it. For the 2014 Book Concierge, our goal was to build on last year’s success and resist the urge to rewrite the…

The Case of the Trailing Space

Solve the case of the trailing space with IMVU’s Senior Engineer, Michael Slezak. In this post, I wanted to discuss a problem we ran into recently dealing with REST authentication in our IMVU client application which ultimately boiled down to small discrepancies between JSON encoders. In this case, I’m going to focus on Python’s JSON library and javascript’s JSON encoder. Before I dive into the problem, I want to provide a quick background on the client application architecture. Client Architecture The…

Three interesting code snippets from NPR’s Election Party

NPR’s Election Party app has a lot of moving parts. It displays live election results from the Associated Press, ingests posts from our Tumblr liveblog, bakes out visualizations of our data, and presents all of this in a slideshow that, on election night, was continuously changing through an admin. It even works as a Chromecast app. All of the code is open source and freely available to read and use, but it can be hard to make sense of all…

How IMVU Builds Web Services: Part 3

In this 3-part series, IMVU senior engineer Bill Welden describes the means and technology behind IMVU’s web services. Part 3: Documents and Links In the previous entry in this series I described how IMVU uses a structured network model to implement the uniform contract for our REST services and showed how they might apply to a set of services for a hypothetical high school scheduling system. Under this model we have Node Groups (represented by the different colors of circles in…

Apply NOW for a spring internship with NPR Visuals

Hey! Are you a student? Do you design? Develop? Love the web? …or… Do you make pictures? Want to learn to be a great photo editor? If so, we’d very much like to hear from you. You’ll spend the spring working on the visuals team here at NPR’s headquarters in Washington, DC. We’re a small group of photographers, videographers, photo editors, developers, designers and reporters in the NPR newsroom who work on visual stuff for [npr.org]. Our work varies widely,…

UW-Stout Packaging Alumni Social @ Pack Expo 2014

Packaging Matters: You’re Invited: UW-Stout Packaging Alumni Social @ Pack Expo 2014 Pages You’re Invited: UW-Stout Packaging Alumni Social @ Pack Expo 2014 Please join us at the UW-Stout Packaging Alumni Reception being held during Pack Expo International 2014!  The event will be a great opportunity for you to reconnect with classmates, network with your fellow alumni in the packaging industry, and meet some of the current program faculty and students.  UW-Stout Packaging Alumni SocialTuesday, November 4th @ 6:30PM The…

Optimizing WebGL Shaders by Reading D3D Shader Assembly

We are optimizing WebGL shaders for the Intel GMA 950 chipset, which is basically the slowest WebGL-capable device we care about. Unfortunately, it’s a fairly common chipset too. On the plus side, if we run well on the GMA 950, we should basically run well anywhere. 🙂 When you’re writing GLSL in WebGL on Windows, your code is three layers of abstraction away from what actually runs on the GPU. First, ANGLE translates your GLSL into HLSL. Then, D3DX compiles…