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Ben Halpern
Ben Halpern

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What software projects made you "wow" ๐Ÿคฏ

Be it a historical project, a brilliantly built npm package, an application, etc. What has struck you as an incredible feat of software development?

It doesn't have to be massive in scope, it could just be one awesomely thought out class, but if you've ever been incredibly impressed, let's hear about it.

Top comments (97)

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anku profile image
Ankit Tiwari

For me, it is going to be the VS Code Editor. It is an incredible piece of software. There are tons and tons of features baked into it but still its very simple to use.

The VS code dev team is phenomenal, they keep adding new features to it every month. Given how big and complex the application is, it is no easy feat to add major features every month.

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Massimo Artizzu

Coming from Atom, I was pretty confident that making a modern, reliable and fast IDE based on Electron was basically impossible, if not even the creators of Electron could do it.

Glad I've been proven wrong.

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nathankc profile image
Nathan K. Campbell

one could say the same thing about GitHub Desktop which is woefully lacking - thankfully GitKraken is pretty great

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jsn1nj4 profile image
Elliot Derhay

Heck yes, especially for those who prefer to see the graph.

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ben profile image
Ben Halpern

The wow factor was so clear for early adoptors of VSCode and that was what really got my attention in the first place. It wasn't any one feature, it was the observation that people just loved it.

Wrote a bit about that way back.

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Kyle Boe

Agreed. One of the most insane part of VS Code for me is how quickly it went from being a laughing stock to the de-facto editor.

Low-key shout out to Satya Nadella.

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jithinks profile image
Jithin KS

Hey

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jacoby profile image
Dave Jacoby • Edited

I found a bug in it. From the command line, if a filename could be interpreted as a number, it would be. For me, it was 2551.e12456872, which, as it turns out, is scientific notation.

Once I reported it, they pegged it as a Minimist issue, and the fix came out in ... < 2 weeks?

Which raises my opinion of the program and the team. +1.

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Tyler V. (he/him)

This is an excellent answer! VS Code has a je ne sais quoi about it that makes it so wonderful to work with!

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Adam Crockett ๐ŸŒ€ • Edited

Vscode always reminds me of the early iPhone adverts "there's an app for that" catchphrase.

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Forest Hoffman

I've actually said, "oh, there's an extension for that" at work before ๐Ÿคฃ

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shiling profile image
Shi Ling • Edited

Anything that @devdevcharlie builds blows my mind.

Controlling devices with my mind was the stuff of my dreams. It's now a reality!

One step closer to being a wizard.

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evanoman profile image
Evan Oman

Really amazing stuff. The front-end integration is neat but the face-reading and brain-reading is happening on the backend with Emotiv's tooling

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Adam Crockett ๐ŸŒ€

Wow how do I get the hardware for that!

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prahladyeri profile image
Prahlad Yeri • Edited

The Linux Kernel Project without a doubt! It is both a historical project and has tremendous historical importance because it got the ball rolling in the early nineties that led to innumerable innovations in open source and free software world!

GNU was just an alpha experimental prior to that. If Linus hadn't started that thing, it was pretty much impossible to have an alternative working operating system today, be it for desktops or web servers. I doubt we'd be even using the word "open source" today, were it not for Linux.

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Miloslav ๐Ÿณ๏ธโ€๐ŸŒˆ ๐Ÿฆ‹ Voloskov • Edited

Git.

The small helper utility that was never actually meant for anyone but linux team basically became our industry's no-brainer.

And it also can shred huge amounts of data without fancy stuff, just plain old C.

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Tori Crawford • Edited

Honestly, Rails. When I first learned it about a year ago now, I thought it was a cool product that made my life easier but didn't really understand how.

Fast forward to 2 months ago when I was given a coding challenge to create a Ruby API without using Rails...holy cow did I realize how much is done behind the scenes that I wasn't aware of. It made me appreciate and understand Rails so much more.

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gypsydave5 profile image
David Wickes

What did you use in the end?

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torianne02 profile image
Tori Crawford

I ended up using Sequel as my ORM instead of Active Record, Sinatra as my framework, and Grape.

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Nick Taylor • Edited

Even though people complain about it a lot, the Electron project is pretty impressive and enabled a whole slew of apps to be developed by leveraging people's web skills.

GitHub logo electron / electron

:electron: Build cross-platform desktop apps with JavaScript, HTML, and CSS

Electron Logo

CircleCI Build Status AppVeyor Build Status devDependency Status

๐Ÿ“ Available Translations: ๐Ÿ‡จ๐Ÿ‡ณ ๐Ÿ‡น๐Ÿ‡ผ ๐Ÿ‡ง๐Ÿ‡ท ๐Ÿ‡ช๐Ÿ‡ธ ๐Ÿ‡ฐ๐Ÿ‡ท ๐Ÿ‡ฏ๐Ÿ‡ต ๐Ÿ‡ท๐Ÿ‡บ ๐Ÿ‡ซ๐Ÿ‡ท ๐Ÿ‡น๐Ÿ‡ญ ๐Ÿ‡ณ๐Ÿ‡ฑ ๐Ÿ‡น๐Ÿ‡ท ๐Ÿ‡ฎ๐Ÿ‡ฉ ๐Ÿ‡บ๐Ÿ‡ฆ ๐Ÿ‡จ๐Ÿ‡ฟ ๐Ÿ‡ฎ๐Ÿ‡น ๐Ÿ‡ต๐Ÿ‡ฑ View these docs in other languages at electron/i18n.

The Electron framework lets you write cross-platform desktop applications using JavaScript, HTML and CSS. It is based on Node.js and Chromium and is used by the Atom editor and many other apps.

Follow @ElectronJS on Twitter for important announcements.

This project adheres to the Contributor Covenant code of conduct By participating, you are expected to uphold this code. Please report unacceptable behavior to coc@electronjs.org.

Installation

To install prebuilt Electron binaries, use npm The preferred method is to install Electron as a development dependency in your app:

npm install electron --save-dev [--save-exact]

The --save-exact flag is recommended for Electron prior to version 2, as it does not follow semantic versioning. As of version 2.0.0, Electron follows semver, soโ€ฆ




An image of an electron in action

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Khoa Che

Electron itself is great. Electron apps aren't.

I think, all Electron apps should share a common engine runtime, or even use the runtime of system Chrome/Chromium for a fast boot up.

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dangxquang

Just wonder how VSCode so light (~70MB) vs other electron apps (just hello-word apps already ~200MB).

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voanhcuoc profile image
Khoa Che

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Brad • Edited

I was blown away by stackblitz.

Basically VSCode in your browser that can do the following:

  • Works offline (!!!)
  • live-code reload
  • Stupid fast (like faster than npm/yarn fast)
  • url hosting
  • Deploy directly into the cloud

I found out the entire system works by using PWA apis to basically run a lot of nodejs features for vscode in your browser. (which is why it works offline) So there isn't some container running your application somewhere, its all "local" which is why its so fast.

Pretty magical if you ask me :D

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vonheikemen profile image
Heiker

Thats redux-thunk for me. Never thought 14 lines could cause so much confusion to so many people.

Most recently tagmeme a cool implementation of tagged-unions in plain javascript.

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tammalee profile image
Tammy Lee

When CSS was invented my mind was blown.
How can style code live in a SEPARATE FILE from your HTML?
Up until that point, we'd been using tag attributes for styling!
I can remember calling a friend in NYC to try to figure it out together.

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quinncuatro profile image
Henry Quinn

Is this something a couple browsers implemented at the same time?

Or did you have to bundle some sort of compiler in with your website code to have the CSS actually style your HTML?

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tammalee profile image
Tammy Lee

No compilers were required!
The two browsers, as I recall, that supported it at the beginning were IE and Netscape Navigator.
It was a simpler time. Haha!

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nathankc profile image
Nathan K. Campbell • Edited

Timely answer: apolloinrealtime.org/11/

Specifically the "Mission Control Audio" button and the dozens of isolated station channels you can listen to.

I especially enjoyed hearing either Glynn Lunney or Chris Kraft ask his secretary to bring him a hamburger and fries during TLI

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Casey Brooks

Kotlin coroutines.

It's incredible how simple and intuitive they make async programming. Getting comfortable with these makes me realize that Rx, async-await, promises, and all those other patterns/libraries are really just band-aids over the core problem. Coroutines actually fix that core issue, and the solution is so elegant and well-executed. It's really hard to explain well, you just have to try it out and be amazed for yourself.

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David Wickes

You should definitely look into Scheme ๐Ÿ˜‰

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Jack Harner ๐Ÿš€

This one's kind of specific, but the one thing that's stuck in my head for so long is the Bank of Canada's Landing page for their new $10 note.

More specifically, just how fluid and smooth the animation on flipping the bill around, the way the edges twist depending on how fast you turn it, the reflective parts reflecting, all of it.

I stumbled across it in some non-programming Reddit thread on my old (super slow) phone, and that blew my mind even more.

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Vicente G. Reyes

Wow! This is the first time I saw this. ๐Ÿคฏ

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Tyler V. (he/him)

The most ๐Ÿคฏ I've ever felt was working through Ali's Vue intro guide for the first time:

I've been all in on Vue since working through this and every time I do something new with it I think "Holy Wow! That was magic!"

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anwar_nairi profile image
Anwar

Agree, vue is really mind blowing for his kind. SPA in general also, such a wonderful tech!

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Kyle Boe

Because VS Code has already been mentioned, I have to mention Discord. Their engineering team is nutty. Making everything Just Workโ„ข and at a mind-blowing scale.

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Priyanka Kore • Edited

Bellwoods is a generative arts game created by Matt DesLauriers

Every time I think of it .. the colors and music makes me go "wow" ๐Ÿ˜

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Manda Putra

Hey where are the list of the game? I can't access it :(

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piyukore06 profile image
Priyanka Kore

Heyy .. It was a part of this competition .. Here's the link to the entry, hope this one works for ya js13kgames.com/entries/bellwoods