Hypertext Gaming - Starting June 29th on Twitch

Starting Sunday, June 29th I will be hosting a livestream on Twitch I call Hypertext Gaming.

The stream is my efforts to combine my two favourite things: HTML5 and Video Games into one conversation.

What is it?

The plan is simple: to play, chat, and enjoy HTML5 videos games from all the different perspectives.

The goal is to have a conversation about HTML5 gaming and put a spotlight it on. Nothing more, nothing less.

What to expect?

The format is still up in the air, but for now I have the plan to play HTML games, have some HTML-related guests join me live for the conversation (and play games), and then a bit of a technical deeper dive in HTML games by playing around with different tools to see what is out there with respect to game development in the HTML space.

Where to find it?

You can watch it live on Twitch or watch replays on YouTube.

You can also join the conversation on Reddit and suggest games for me to play or topics/themes you'd like to see on stream.

Back to Basics: The Text Editor


To use a minimalist toolset to build and manage an HTML and JavaScript/NodeJS project from the ground up.

Minimalist Toolset?

Simple: no Visual Studio or other IDE. This would allow me to do development on any device, in the literal sense.

Here's what I considered to be minimalist:

  • Text Editor (i.e. Not an IDE)
  • Browser based developer tools
  • Command line

That's it. I haven't done this sort of thing since I first got into programming back in university, prior to falling into Visual Studio in my third year.


Since the introduction of Windows Apps with the Surface and Windows 8, I've had the facination about having a consistent way to code across all my devices that can handle a keyboard.

As an avid Visual Studio user, I started to see that the Microsoft development flagship did a lot of magic behind the scenes without me knowing what it was.

Now, not only did I want to write code across platforms, but I also wanted to build something from the actual beginning rather than wait for Visual Studio to build the beginning for me.

To do this, I need to step away from my all-in-one toolbox and get back to basics with some simplier tools.

I ended up trying out a few, but these were my top three notable ones.

Sublime Text 3

I found the aesthetics of Sublime Text to be the best of the three, especially the high level view of the file on the right. Still, it didn't win me over in the end.

The negative I had about it was trying to figure out why there was a price point on it. I get that software like this takes time and effort, and ultimately money. I just didn't understand why I would pay for something that I deemed as a "pretty" application.

I know the application has a lot to offer. For example, the large number of plugins through the package manager and the ability to write scripts to customize and tailor the experience. Still, it just didn't grab me other than the aesthetic.

Moving on.


I have used Npp a bunch over the years, but never as a primary code editor. Generally, it's the replacement to Notepad on a server so that I can edit config files on the spot once and a while. This time around, I gave it a real shot.

Ultimately, I was impressed. More specifically, I was impressed with the ability to set the syntax colouring on any language and the officially managed plugin list.

I ended up installing a few plugins to allow me to browse through my file tree, and thanks to the Github community, I added syntax highlighting for both CoffeeScript and LESS.

I'm still using it now with my JS projects, but the web hipster in me misses Sublime.


And then it finally happened: I dropped the GUI. Through the years, I have always tried Vim as I know it can be powerful. Unforuntely, I was never really able to get the hang of it...until now.

Vim gives me the ability to write my JavaScript on any platform, Linux or Windows as it's totally command line based.

Here's what got me sold on it: the plugins. Again, the only ones I wanted should allow me to explore the file system and have syntax highlighting. Thanks to Github, I found that and managed to get it going in an hour.

In the end, I'm using Notepad++ probably because I'm a cheapskate and don't understand the price point for Sublime Text. I use Vim when I need to use a shared machine or device that has a terminal.

Still, the experiment was a total a success that between Vim and Notepad++ I get the ability to build code and project structure from the ground up myself, and be able to code from anywhere on any platform.

Thanks for playing.

~ DW

End of Support for Windows XP FAQ

If you are still holding on to Windows XP even though Microsoft has officially ended support for it as of yesterday read this.

Brian Bourne, Colin Smith, Marcos Nogueira, and I some questions about why you should really consider upgrading at this point.

Not to mention, you will get a browser that actually works (referring to IE11).

Thanks for playing.

~ DW

Image Credit: Wikimedia Commons

Microsoft IE MVP - Year Four

That's right everyone, I've been awarded the the Microsoft MVP award in the area of Internet Explorer again for 2014.

This is year four, and I'm as pumped as ever to keep it up for another full year!

Here is to another year of being an IE MVP!

Thanks for playing.

~ DW

BUILD 2014 Cool Stuff - Day 1

I haven't been to BUILD, but I always follow it as Microsoft makes a bunch of really cool announcements throughout that pump me up.

I know there are plenty of people talking about BUILD, but I thought I'd take a moment to share my favourite bits that came out of day one.

IE11 on Windows Phone 8.1

If you're not a WP owner, then you won't care about this. You'll just be missing out.

I use the browser on my phone often. It's a continuous disappointment to me that phone browsers are limited in so many ways. Now that IE11 will be part of my Windows Phone, I won't need to be disappointed.

Plus, Cortana doesn't hurt either.

Reference - IEBlog

Enhanced F12 Developer Tools

IE11 introduced a complete refresh of the F12 Developer Tools. With the IE11 update for Windows 7 and 8.1, we developers get some enhancements including:

  • Source Maps
  • Ability to identify library files (to skip them when debugging)
  • Updates to the JavaScript Console and CSS Editor

You can get a more in-depth review of the dev tools from this post from Aaron Powell and this one about the JavaScript console, and finally this one about the CSS editor.


I blogged about it already.

I am a huge fan of transparency when it comes to technology, and so I found this site to be fantastic.

Enterprise Mode

Old versions of IE lingering around the machines in a big enterprise has been a thorn in my side since I started up with the whole HTML5 thing.

IE has something of an answer. It's called Enterprise Mode and it allows for the IT (not developers) to configure through group policy how IE should render certain URLs, for example to an old HR application that only renders in IE8.

You can learn more about from this post from Chris Love.

WinJS Goes Open Source

Although I'm not a big non-web developer these days, I like watching how I can leverage my HTML and JavaScript skills outside of the browser.

I've always thought WinJS was a cool idea, but wasn't quite what it needed to be.

Today, Microsoft announced that WinJS is going open source. This will allow for the JavaScript community to actually get involved with development and possibly help form the furture of cross-platform development both on and off the web.

This, combined with universal apps, makes HTML and JavaScript a very helpful set of skills when it comes to developing Windows-based apps.

Check out the library on Github or on MSDN.

This is just the tip of the iceburg, but this has been quite the day for HTML and JavaScript developers.

Looking forward to see what happens on day two!

Answering the question: When will IE support that HTML feature?

Tired of waiting to hear from Microsoft on whether or not IE will support the latest HTML5 feature?

Well wait no more with the new site direct from the Internet Explorer team: status.modern.ie.

When looking up an HTML5 feature you can find...

  • ...what version of IE already supports the feature OR
  • ...the current state of the feature in the development of new versions of IE

What does the latter option mean? In the screenshot above you can see that the download attribute feature for anchor tags is currently Under Consideration. That means the current versions of IE do not support it, but the IE development team is considering it for future releases.

This site is another way that the Internet Explorer group is working to be more transparent and share with the development world how they are moving forward with the vision of IE.

But Wait, There's More!

This is more than just a IE version of Chrome Status.

Not only can you see details on HTML5 features with respect to Internet Explorer, but you can see what features the competition is has implemented.

You can also see the state of the spec with the W3C, complete with a link. There is also a brief description of what the feature is, letting you browse and explore new HTML5 features that you can use in your next application.

All in all, this is a pretty useful application and a great place for developers to learn more about HTML5 features and what the IE team is doing about them.

Check it out and send feedback to IEDevChat on Twitter.

Thanks for playing.

~ DW