Monday, 12 November 2018

Sharing JS Code Across BitBucket Repositories

Recently, I have been writing APIs in node.js with the express framework, a React website and a React Native app that have some shared code. These are spread across several repositories, so I needed a way to share code across the repositories. So I created a node package in another repository.

Then I needed to figure out how to access the repository and install my package via npm. Fortunately, this proved to be relatively easy… Go to your account's BitBucket Settings > App Passwords. From here, you can create an app password and grant read access to your repositories. Then all you need to do is go to your package.json and add to your dependencies e.g.

    dependencies: {
      "[PACKAGE_NAME]": "git+https://[BITBUCKET_USERNAME]:

If you then execute the "npm install" command this should install the repo to your node_modules folder.

But what happens when you push changes to the common repository? How do I run the code with the latest commits? Simply add an additional line to your package.json scripts:

    scripts: {
      "clean-start": "rm -rf -- node_modules/[PACKAGE_NAME]; 
                      npm install; npm start;"

Then when you want to run with the latest changes use
npm run clean-start
instead of
npm start

Friday, 2 November 2018

How to create a VERY basic (and useless) Node Package

This is just the absolute basics of a node package so that you can install it via npm, whether it be a private or publicly accessible repo. See my follow up post about how to install a package that's in a private bitbucket repo.

Firstly, setup a basic package.json as follows:

        "name": "tripwiretech-common",
        "version": "1.0.0",
        "description": "Tripwiretech common code",
        "main": "index.js",
        "author": "Tripwiretech",
        "license": "ISC",
        "scripts": {
            "start": "node index.js"

The name is one of the key properties in the package.json as it will represent your node package name. Any repo with a package.json can be published to npm. It is also recommended that your repo contains a in the root of the repo, this will be the documentation displayed on the npm website, if you choose to publish it there.

Next you will need some content exported in your index.js that other code can import and use. For the purposes of this example, I've kept it quite simple:

    module.exports = {
        Countries: ["Australia", "New Zealand", "South Africa"],
        Sports: ["Rugby", "Cricket"]

Then you can import it and use it in your code. If you're struggling with more complicated node packages, then I recommend taking a look at one of the many existing and much more practical open source node packages that already exist on npm.

Monday, 26 March 2018

Swift 4 - Adding Admob Interstitial Ads to your iOS App

  1. Sign up for or sign in to Admob
  2. Add an App in Admob
  3. Add an Ad unit in Admob - Choose Interstitial. You can set ad type, frequency capping and eCPM floor under advanced settings
  4. You should now have an Ad Unit ID and App Id which will be used in displaying interstitial ads to the user
  5. In your code, create a file InterstitialAd.swift, it should have the following code:
      let adController = InterstitialAd()
      import GoogleMobileAds
      class InterstitialAd : NSObject, GADInterstitialDelegate {
        var testAdId = "ca-app-pub-3940256099942544/4411468910"
        var adId = "[YOUR AD UNIT ID GOES HERE]"
        var interstitial : GADInterstitial!
        func createAndLoadInterstitial() {
            interstitial = GADInterstitial(adUnitID: testAdId)
            interstitial.delegate = self
        // Load new interstitial on close so that adController 
        // is ready for the next time showAd is called
        func interstitialDidDismissScreen(_ ad: GADInterstitial) {
        func showAd(_ viewController: UIViewController) {
          if interstitial.isReady {
            interstitial.present(fromRootViewController: viewController)
  6. Add the following to your AppDelegate.swift file, it will configure the app for Admob ads and load the first interstitial so that it is ready to be displayed when you try to display the interstitial:
      import GoogleMobileAds
      class AppDelegate: UIResponder, UIApplicationDelegate {
        var appId = "[YOUR ADMOB APP ID GOES HERE]"
        func application(_ application: UIApplication, 
            didFinishLaunchingWithOptions launchOptions: 
            [UIApplicationLaunchOptionsKey: Any]?) -> Bool {
          GADMobileAds.configure(withApplicationID: appId)
  7. From the view controller where you want to show your interstitial ad, make the following call:


For testing, you should use the testAdId as the adUnitID in InterstitialAd.swift, this is so that real ads are not displayed during testing. For release, switch to using adId.

... included for brevity in ApplicationDelegate.swift code above

Swift 4 - How to share messages and images

There are many benefits of enabling sharing within your application:
  • Free advertising for your app if users share from it on social media
  • Better user experience
  • Using recent iOS features to make the app feel more modern
The code for this is simple, when an event occurs that you would like to share on, you can call the following method:

  func share(_ message: String , shareImage: UIImage) {
    let share = [message, shareImage] as [Any]
    let activityViewController = UIActivityViewController(
      activityItems: share, applicationActivities: nil)
      .sourceView = self.view
    self.present(activityViewController, animated: true, 
      completion: nil)

Friday, 23 March 2018

Swift 4 - The app's Info.plist must contain an NSCameraUsageDescription key

As of iOS 10, some features require an entry in the Info.plist before access will be allowed. This is for privacy purposes.

You can read more about this setting on Apple's developer website.

To solve this issue add the following to your Info.plist:
 <string>[why you need camera access]</string>