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A zero-day in jQuery File Upload could affect thousands of projects because the jQuery plugin vulnerability has existed for eight years and actively exploited for at least three years.

A zero-day flaw in the popular jQuery File Upload plugin that could affect thousands of projects has been actively exploited for at least three years.

After Cashdollar reported the jQuery plugin vulnerability to its creator, Sebastian Tschan, the German developer who goes by the nym “Blueimp,” the two worked together and discovered the issue was caused by a change in the Apache HTTPD server. The change was made in Apacheversion 2.3.9 — made five days before release of the first version of jQuery File Upload in 2010 — and it disabled support for .htaccess web server configuration in order to prevent security features from being overridden. Unfortunately, Tschan’s plugin relied on .htaccess to implement security controls.

However, Cashdollar said in his report that “Apache had good reasons to disable .htaccess, but their changes left some developers and their projects open to attack, especially if they relied on .htaccess as a security function.”

“The internet relies on many security controls every day in order to keep our systems, data, and transactions safe and secure,” Cashdollar wrote. “If one of these controls suddenly doesn’t exist it may put security at risk unknowingly to the users and software developers relying on them.”

The issue was in the source code of the jQuery File Upload plugin, originally developed by Tschan, so the vulnerability could affect many other projects.

According to GitHub, jQuery File Upload is the most starred — meaning users mark it in order to signal interest and support — jQuery plugin and also the most forked. Cashdollar said the plugin has been forked more than 7,800 times and could have been built in to thousands of other projects, making it difficult to determine how widespread the jQuery plugin vulnerability could be.

“Unfortunately, there is no way to accurately determine how many of the projects forked from jQuery File Upload are being properly maintained and applying changes as they happen in the master project,” Cashdollar wrote. “Also, there is no way to determine where the forked projects are being used in production environments if they’re being used in such a way. Moreover, older versions of the project were also vulnerable to the file upload issue, going back to 2010.”

Although Cashdollar has credit for discovering the jQuery plugin vulnerability (CVE-2018-9206), it seems to have been an open secret as YouTube videos going back to 2015 show how to exploit the flaw.

“I suspected this vulnerability hadn’t gone unnoticed and a quick Google search confirmed that other projects that used this code or possibly code derived from it were vulnerable,” Cashdollar wrote. “There are a few Youtube (sic) videos demonstrating the attack for similar software packages.”

Tschan patched the plugin in version 9.22.1, but because of the number of forks and other products using the plugin, it’s unclear how many other vulnerable programs still exist.


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2018 was a big year for Java because of the changes to the language’s release schedule and the transfer of Java EE to the Eclipse Foundation. Last year, Oracle announced that it would be releasing major versions of Java twice per year, and Java 10 was the first release in that new schedule.

Java 10 was released in March and included features such as extending type inferences to local variable declarations, GC parallelization, optimized startup time, and the ability to use Graal as an experimental JIT compiler on Linux/x64.

Java 11 was released in September and was a Long Term Support (LTS) release, which means that it will be supported by Oracle via security and bug-fixing updates until at least 2026.

Sometime between the release of Java 10 and Java 11, the JVM Ecosystem Survey Report revealed that Java 8 was still the most widely used version of Java. The report found that 79 percent of developers use Java 8, four percent use Java 9, and four percent use Java 10.

In February, Java EE was renamed to Jakarta EE after being moved to the Eclipse Foundation from Oracle. The name is a reference to the Jakarta Project, which was an early Apache open-source project. A new specification process called the Eclipse Foundation Specification Process was also created. Other renamed Java projects include Glassfish, which is now Eclipse Glassfish, and Oracle development management, which is now Eclipse Enterprise for Java Project Management Committee.

The Eclipse Foundation also added 16 new members to support the growth of the Jakarta EE and IoT communities.

In March, Oracle split off JavaFX into its own module. It was previously part of the JDK, and will continue to be supported as part of JDK 8 until at least 2022, but starting with Java 11 it was available as its own module. Oracle revealed that it would work with third parties to make it easier to maintain JavaFX as an open-source module.

Other cuts made by Oracle include removing support for Applets in 2019 and removing Java Web Start starting with Java 11. According to the company, Java Web Start will be supported in Java 8 until 2025, and products with Web Start dependencies will be supported on a to-be-determined timeline.

In June, the Eclipse Foundation released the latest version of the Eclipse IDE. Eclipse Photon expanded on polyglot capabilities. New features include C# editing and debugging capabilities, support for Java 10 and Java EE 8, dark theme improvements, and support for building, debugging, running, and packaging Rust apps.

The next month, Google released Jib, which is a method that Java developers can use to containerize applications. The reasoning behind creating Jib was that Java developers are often not container experts, making it difficult to containerize their apps.

Amazon also released a no-cost distribution of OpenJDK in an effort to make sure that Java is available for free to its users in the long term. Amazon Corretto is available with long-term support, and Amazon will continue making performance enhancements and security fixes.


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According to the Tiobe Index for January 2019, Java, C, and Python remain the most popular programming languages in the world.

Other popular languages include C++ and Visual Basic, all ranked highly on the index.

While Python gained popularity significantly over the past year, Java remains the most popular language.

It has dominated the rankings for years, and still shows high year-over-year growth, meaning it is not going anywhere for now.

There are multiple reasons for the extended popularity of this programming language, from its ease of use and capability to its widespread adoption and development.

Powerful and widely adopted

Many developers learn Java as one of their first programming languages, with its relatively simple syntax making for easier reading and understanding of functionality.

The language is also object-oriented and has a useful API which provides a lot of easy-to-use features.

While these make for a powerful and accessible programming language, the popularity of Java is the direct result of its adoption across platforms and its community investment.

Oracle has made Java available for free to all developers, and this has cultivated a strong community which produces a large collection of open-source libraries.

Perhaps most importantly, Java can run independently on the Java Virtual Machine – making it ideal for web programming and cross-platform applications.

Java developers can create applications for desktops, mobile, online platforms, and more, thanks to the language’s versatility.

The programming language currently has a variety of uses, and is used to build everything from Google docs to mobile games. Most commonly it is a tool to make small application models for use in web environments like ecommerce websites or financial trading platforms.

A number of useful software platforms are also created using Java, including Netbeans, Eclipse, and IntelliJ.

While it can be used to build impressive video games like Minecraft, it can also be used in an embedded environment as any system only needs 130KB of RAM to use Java technology.

The versatile programming language has also become the default for scientific applications.

The programming language is taught at universities and various other educational institutions worldwide, and is also available as a course from massive online open course (MOOC) platforms, including UdemyEdX, and Coursera.


Java is not without its competitors though, even though they do not appear in the top 10 rankings for popularity of programming languages.

While it does not appear on the top 10 list, Tiobe predicts that the programming language Kotlin will enter the top 20 list this year due to its rapidly-growing popularity.

Kotlin is designed to fully integrate with Java and the Java Virtual Machine, but offers more concise syntax and the option to compile to JavaScript.

It also fixes a number of issues which Java suffers from. For example, its null reference is controlled by the type system, arrays in Kotlin are invariant, it has proper function types, and does not have checked exceptions.

Google also officially supports Kotlin for mobile development on Android, and the language is included as an alternative to Java in Android Studio.

Kotlin is currently ranked at 31 on the Tiobe Index, but it is expected to soar up the rankings over time.

However, it still has a long way to go before it takes on Java for the title of most popular programming language in the world.

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Follow best practices for Java method design, and don’t allow one public class to call another. If you skipped this step, be prepared to pay the consequences.

While it seems so basic that it wouldn’t require a mention, there’s a basic and often violated software design principle pertaining to Java method modifiers that is in need of explanation.

A public method should never be called by another public method within the same class hierarchy. It should only be called by other classes via the classes’ public interface.

Class calls might not be the first and foremost software programming design principle, but it seems to be the one that I see broken most often. Fast-paced environments require a developer to get things done as quickly as possible and result in this principle often being overlooked for speed instead of clarity. As a result, when a use case pops up later on and requires the same public method from another class, we can run into problems. Another issue that can arise is that it becomes more difficult for a developer to refactor classes to a better design.

You can quickly and easily correct this Java method modifier issue based on how soon you can refactor. Then, it just comes down to which method you want to use.

Let’s explore two options on how to fix this issue and diagnose the pros and cons of each selection.

Java method modifiers example

To demonstrate your options as simply as possible, let’s start with a simple code example. I will use Spring Framework with @Transactional to demonstrate why a public method that calls another public method in the same class can create such a big problem. @Transactional is how Spring will add transactions to your code via proxies. These proxies will play a major role in how this call method issue will arise. In this code example, the OrderService interface’s saveOrder method brings up the main problem.

public interface OrderService {

public Order findOrder(long id);

public Order saveOrder(Order order);

public void updateCustomersOrdersAsShipped(long custId);





public class OrderServiceImpl implements OrderService {


private OrderRepository orderRepository;



public OrderServiceImpl(OrderRepository orderRepository) {

this.orderRepository = orderRepository;




public Order findOrder(long id) {

return orderRepository.findOne(id);





public Order saveOrder(Order order) {





public void updateCustomerOrdersAsShipped(long custId) {

List<Order> ordersForCustomer = orderRepository.findAllOrdersForCustomer(custId);

for (Order customerOrder: ordersForCustomer) {

boolean isReadyForShipment = validateOrderReadyForShipment(customerOrder);

customerOrder.setShipDate(new LocalDate());


Here, we now have a public method calling another public method within the same class:





private boolean validateOrderReadyForShipment(Order order) {

boolean readyForShipment = true;

if (order.getReadyForShipment != null) {

readyForShipment = false;


return readyForShipment;



You will notice that we have updateCustomerOrderAsShipped — a public method in the interface or class — making a call to another public method saveOrder() in the same class. This can be problematic for a few reasons. The saveOrder method wants to have a brand new transaction created every time it gets called. However, because Spring adds transactionality via aspect-oriented programming proxies, the call from updateCustomerOrderAsShipped won’t create a new transaction. Instead, it will just participate in the already existing transaction because the call originates from inside the same class.

Imagine if you flew to Hawaii and received a lei. But once you’re in Hawaii, you can’t get another lei unless you leave the state and come back.

Fix the public method problem

There are a couple approaches to consider how to rectify the Java method modifier misuse issue.

A developer can move the shared code into a private method that both public methods call or move one of the public methods into a different class and let one class call the other.

But which one is the better choice to create transaction demarcation? The first choice still needs a call to the first public method to start a transaction and the next call would be to the second public method to start another new transaction. A developer must find a way to get outside the Spring-created proxy, and that can’t happen between a call within the same class. The only way this can occur is if the two methods are in two different classes and both get their own proxy. Also, one class will need to call the other and then go through the proxy of the called class.

Essentially, the first public method gets called from outside that class and starts a new transaction. Then, inside that class, it calls to another class through its proxy and creates the new REQUIRES_NEW transaction that we expected. I will create a new interface called CreateOrderService.

public interface CreateOrderService {

public Order saveOrder(Order order);


And an implementation public class CreateOrderServiceImpl implementsCreateOrderService:


private OrderRepository orderRepository;



public CreateOrderServiceImpl(OrderRepository orderRepository) {

this.orderRepository = orderRepository;





public Order saveOrder(Order order) {




With this new interface and class, OrderServiceImpl will now look like this:

public interface OrderService {

public Order findOrder(long id);

public void updateCustomersOrdersAsShipped(long custId);





public class OrderServiceImpl implements OrderService {


private CreateOrderService createOrderService;


private OrderRepository orderRepository;



public OrderServiceImpl(OrderRepository orderRepository, CreateOrderService createOrderService) {

this.orderRepository = orderRepository;

this.createOrderService = createOrderService;




public Order findOrder(long id) {

return orderRepository.findOne(id);




public void updateCustomerOrdersAsShipped(long custId) {

List<Order> ordersForCustomer = orderRepository.findAllOrdersForCustomer(custId);

for (Order customerOrder: ordersForCustomer) {

boolean isReadyForShipment = validateOrderReadyForShipment(customerOrder);

customerOrder.setShipDate(new LocalDate());


Here, we now have a public method calling another public method within the same class:





private boolean validateOrderReadyForShipment(Order order) {

boolean readyForShipment = true;

if (order.getReadyForShipment != null) {

readyForShipment = false;


return readyForShipment;



What are some tradeoffs with the two-class approach?

The biggest issue I’ve come across when addressing the Java method modifier issue focuses on application complexity with circular references among classes. For example, Class A references Class B, which references Class C, which, in turn, references Class A. As a result, a developer will need to untangle the circular references as Spring makes proxies and determine which class needs to be created first to properly set up the links. Other potential tradeoffs include extra classes in code bases and determining which methods need to be moved to other classes.

When should we create a private shared method option?

In most cases, I believe the first option will be your best choice to fix public method issues and will always be the easiest to implement.

My approach is to take the code you need moved to the private method and declare the private method as simply private void sharedCode() {…}.

At this point, you’ll see some errors in the new private method because parameters haven’t been set, and some variables or parameters from the public method will need to be passed to this new method to enable the code to compile. Use the red in your IDE to help you determine the parameters you need to pass in. I prefer to see red errors instead of a guess-and-check approach to create the private method — unless it’s a small private method, in which case it can be simple to identify the problem areas.

In most cases, the private method will need more parameters that are harder to determine upfront. In our code example, it’s easy to see that the only parameter we will need is the Orderobject. The only line in saveOrder is, and that also happens to be the only line that will be in our new private method.

private Order saveOrderPrivate(Order order) {



And the public methods now look like this:



public Order saveOrder(Order order) {

return this.saveOrderPrivate(order);




public void updateCustomerOrdersAsShipped(long custId) {

List<Order> ordersForCustomer = orderRepository.findAllOrdersForCustomer(custId);

for (Order customerOrder: ordersForCustomer) {

boolean isReadyForShipment = validateOrderReadyForShipment(customerOrder);

customerOrder.setShipDate(new LocalDate());




Pitfall of this approach

One tradeoff to be aware of is code access. The code we moved into the private method will only be available to that class. If you want to share it with other classes, you will no longer have this access. You could potentially create an interface method with the same signature to pass all parameters down to the private method and return what it returns to fix this issue. In the case of our example, the saveOrder method would do just that. But, in many real-world scenarios, the code would be much more complex.

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If you’ve browsed job boards for web positions over the last few years, you’ve most likely encountered the term “full stack developer” in your searches. A full stack developer is an engineer who can handle everything from databases and servers to systems engineering and clients — and they can rake in upwards of six figures a year.

Tackling all of the skill sets you need to become an in-demand full stack developer takes time, but you can get a head start (and a resume-boosting certification) with the Beginner Full Stack Web Development course.

This class is a one-stop shop for front-end and back-end development. With more than 25 hours of content available to you 24/7, you can study at your own pace, kicking off with basic lessons in HTML and CSS. You’ll build your own website, learn to code with JavaScript, and manage that code with Git.

Industry-standard frameworks like Bootstrap will be a snap to manage after these lessons, and cross-platform JavaScript programs like Node, Mongo, and React will be at your fingertips. Once you’ve mastered the entire course, you’ll gain a well-earned certification to show off.

Usually, the Beginner Full Stack Web Development course goes for $200, but right now you can dive into web development for only $19 (90% off).


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Software development limitless possibilities with more numerous programming languages being released day by day to learn. It is completely dependent on aspirant criteria to learn programming languages which suites their need or the organisation they work for.

In this article, we list 5 programming languages that are recommended for 2019 and the importance of these languages.


Python is not new in the world of programming languages. It is an early contender and has been in the race from a long period, but became a must learn a programming language with AI, ML, data analytics, algorithm-based development suddenly catching loads of world attention.

With Industry considering the automation was a big priority and business owners regarding scale and build, python has become extremely consistent for all developers to acquire and develop.

Python Applications

     1.Web Development: Python is very well befitted for improving a web application without much complexity. The language comes with a rich collection of libraries and internet protocols like

  • Requests — assigned to the HTTP client library
  • BeautifulSoup — used for HTML parser
  • Feedparser — used for parsing RSS/Atom feeds
  • Paramiko — used for performing the SSH2 protocol
  • Twisted Python — used for asynchronous network programming

It also has a very active framework like Django, Pyramid and microframeworks like flask and bottle which serves users in swift and dynamic web development.

      2. Data Analytics: Python is the most preferred language in the fields of data science, statistics, analytics, ML. Even facing tough competition from R (statistical language) Python has sustained as it is a customary purpose programming language and used not only for statistical programming, but is also well accommodated for building games, websites, business applications,  and much more.

     3.Science and Numeric Purposes: Python is widely used by most of the data scientists because of its library compilation which is devised for statistical and numerical analysis

SciPy — it is a collection of packages for mathematics, science, and engineering.

Pandas- A package extensively used for data analysis and modelling

IPython — A powerful shell designed for simple editing and recording of work concourses and supports visualisations and parallel computing.

NumPy- helps in dealing with complex numerical calculations.

    4.ERP Progress: Python is being applied for developing business software which solves enterprise-level issues. Successful ERP like Odoo and Tryton is enduring small and important businesses in managing their entire administration and stock index.

    5. Game Development: Programmers can develop games applying python even though most favoured structure for game development is Unity, python does have PyGame, PyKyra structures for game-development with Python. Users can get a mixture of 3D-rendering libraries to generate 3D games.


Being an open source programming language Go makes it simple to create simple, secure, and productive software. It is also one of the latest players in the programming platform.

Go was formulated in 2007 and officially published in 2012 and was ratified at Google to advance programming richness, in a period of multicore processors, computer networks, and large codebases. The designers aspired to fix general criticisms of other languages while retaining many of their valuable characteristics like:

  • Static typing and efficiency (offered by C++ or Java)
  • Richness and comfort of use (resembling Python or JavaScript)
  • Extraordinary performance networking and multiprocessing
  • Go encompass all the efficiency of python and performance of conventional languages like C++ and Java to help users build scalable applications.

The language has raised lots of hope for the upcoming class of coding geeks.
As it has features of Python, JS, Java. But it is slowly becoming one of the most assuring languages to study and adopt in the future.

Importance Of Go: Go’s growing usage is anticipated, because of its lightweight, open source language revised for today’s microservices designs. Container Docker and Google’s container orchestration outcome Kubernetes are developed using Go. Go is also obtaining ground in data science, with depths that data scientists are studying for in overall execution.


For web developers, Javascript is the most favoured language and it will be very hard to find a job in the web development platform without knowledge of Javascript. It is an object-oriented programming language. It is one of the most conventional programming languages in this modern digital world.

Besides HTML and CSS, JavaScript is quintessential to front-end web development. A majority of the web’s most successful sites, from Facebook and Twitter to Gmail and YouTube, rely on JavaScript to design interactive web pages and dynamically display content to users.

In extension to absolute JavaScript, there are various libraries and frameworks designed to make JavaScript development easier. Some of the most accessible frameworks include Angular, React, Vue, Ember and jQuery. Professional JavaScript developers will likely need practice with one or more of these.

Although JavaScript is fundamentally a front-end language run on the browser, it can also be practised on the server-side throughout Node.js to create scalable network applications. Node.js is congenial with Linux, SunOS, Mac OS X and Windows.
JavaScript has an accepting, compliant syntax and works over all major browsers, it is one of the favourable programming languages for beginners.

Use cases: Websites like WordPress, LinkedIn, Amazon, Microsoft etc utilise JavaScript language.


Swift is a comprehensive purpose language which was generated by Apple for applications that are applied to their multiple operating systems. Swift is assuredly the best programming language to learn if aspirants liked to acquire or work with Apple programs and applications. Although it was only published four years ago, in 2014, the demand for Swift developers has increased exponentially. It is now one of the most popularly used languages in the world, and aspirants job prospects will be bright if one decides to learn it.

Due to the tremendous need for experienced Swift developers, the average programmer who knows how to use the language can expect huge pay cheque. The language has advantages like cleaner syntax and limited low-level juggling of pointers


Scala implements functional programming assistance and strong static type system, which makes it an excellent general purpose programming language.

The user will be able to commence applying functional programming techniques to support user-developed applications and overcome issues that result from unintended consequences. The provision of shifting from mutable data structures to immutable data structures and from conventional methods to absolute functions that have no impact on their environment, user code will be maintained, more stable, and much simpler to comprehend.


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The world of web development experiences demand constant transformation every year, whether it is related to tools, services, coding, languages, or designs.

Today, every business or individual is making a shift to the online world with a website or web app. As per the 2018 Web Server survey by Netcraft, the internet has more than 200 million active websites. The total number of websites is around ten times more than the active ones. Further, the report reveals that more than 200 new websites are launched every minute today.

The rapid rise in the number of websites brings a lot of new resources to users, but it also increases competition and the need for new skills for web developers.

The world of web development experiences demand constant transformation every year, whether it is related to tools, services, coding, languages, or designs. And with every year, new trends and technologies emerge out to evolve the way developers work. While one year is dominated by static websites, the next by mobile responsiveness, then another by chatbots.

To make the best out of web development and stand apart from the competition, developers will need to keep track of these web development trends in 2019 and use the same into their work.

1.    Artificial Intelligence (AI)

AI is one of the hottest technology today and is used as a core component in most of the digital transformation strategies. More and more enterprises are implementing AI to automate business processes, reduce costs and accelerate time to market.

As per the leading analyst firm Gartner, the business value from AI will reach $1.2 trillion in 2018, up 70 per cent from 2017. Further, it is predicted that AI-derived business value will total $3.9 trillion by 2022.

In 2019, the role of AI will increase significantly in web development arena like never before. Companies will leverage the power of AI in web development to improve productivity and customer satisfaction.

2.    Motion User Interface (UI)

The average attention span of human beings is decreasing continuously. From 12 seconds in 2000, the attention span has now come down to an average of 8 seconds. The main reason behind this drastic decline is the increased use of social media, smartphones and highlighted links in the posts and web pages.

In a world where average attention of humans is decreasing, developers will need to implement motion UI in their projects to catch the attention of users. The web pages will require more eye-catchy graphics and intuitive motion UI. This kind of UI changes adapts itself as the users scroll up or down the page, which eventually keep the users engaged.

This suggests that motion UI will be trending in 2019 and beyond.

3.    Push Notifications

Website owners started the use of push notifications for encouraging visitors to take action. The push notifications have helped websites to gain momentum and proved as a successful component over the years. Today, the push notifications have become crucial enough to replace the email newsletters.

Businesses are using push notifications to notify visitors about new content, offers and promotions. This feature will be trending in web development as most of the websites will be looking to use it.

4.    Modular Design

When there is modularity in design, a system is divided into multiple parts which are called modules. Developers or designers can use these modules independently and use them in other systems as well. What this means is that the components of a design can be reused for creating more web pages, instead of building a web page with a restrictive template.

WordPress’s new editor Gutenberg is also using a modular design approach to allow users to insert content in the form of blocks.

5.    Progressive Web Apps (PWAs)

Progressive web apps are those web applications that combine the experience of browsers, websites and mobile applications. The loading of these apps is similar to websites, but they allow users to work offline, push notifications, access device hardware just like native mobile applications.

The organisations that have started to use PWAs in place of simple websites have witnessed a rise in conversion rates and user engagement. Since PWAs provide the experience of both websites and mobile apps, these are very likely to trend in 2019.

6.    Responsive and Mobile-friendly Designs

As per Statista, the website traffic from mobile devices is continuously increasing over the years. In 2015, only 35 per cent of web pages were served to mobile devices, which now increased to over 50 per cent in 2018.

An increasing number of users today browse websites from their smartphones and tablets. What this means for web developers is that they need to build mobile-friendly and responsive websites that work without any glitches and provide user experience as they do on desktop devices.

Going ahead, Google has started to consider mobile responsiveness of websites as a ranking factor. Developers will need to ensure that the mobile version of the website includes important and high-quality content.

No business would like to rank lower in search results on Google and provide poor user experience to their users. As a result, developers will increasingly work on responsive designs to make the websites and web apps mobile-friendly.

7.    Chatbots

Over the next few years, enterprises will prefer chatbots as the most used application across all AI integrations. Chatbots are being used today to serve the customers better. They serve as good options for businesses that need to provide basic support to their consumers 24/7.

The chatbots can minimise or eliminate the need of humans to answer the queries of end users. Gartner forecasts that more than 85 per cent of enterprises will interact with customers without the involvement of a human by 2020. Chatbots can significantly save money for businesses while ensuring customer satisfaction.

8.    Voice Search Integration

With the advent of digital assistants like Siri, Alexa and Cortana, people are getting more comfortable with voice search queries. They are increasingly using this feature with Google Assistant on smartphones to avoid typing.

As per Google, over 20 per cent of the mobile searches on Google are made using voice. What this means for developers is that they will need to integrate voice search option on websites to let users be comfortable while browsing the site. It will also enhance the user experience.

Wrapping up


To make the most out of 2019 in web development, prepare yourself for these trends. A combination of modern and long-term technologies, these trends will open a door to new opportunities for developers at several points.

Apart from these trends, Augmented Reality, Internet of Things (IoT) and low-code development are also supposed to trend in the year ahead.


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I try to keep up with web development trends but it’s hard to keep pace since it’s such a fast evolving field. Barely a week goes by without the release of a new JS framework, elaborate build tool or testing suite — all of them touted as the one to learn. Sorting the hype from the genuinely useful is no mean feat, so my aim in this article is to summarise some of the most interesting happenings that web development saw in the last year, and what trends we expect to see more of in 2019.

A technology or framework doesn’t have to be brand new to be on our list here, it just needs to be growing rapidly or evolving in an interesting way. Let’s take a look!


Single Page Applications (SPAs) saw a leap in popularity in 2018. A simple concept made possible by the power of modern Javascript, a SPA loads a page once then never reloads it or navigates to another page; instead, Javascript is used to manipulate the DOM and render new layouts in the browser. JSON data can be sent between the client and server, but the page behaves more like a desktop application than a “conventional” website. (Visit the websites of Gmail, Facebook, Apple and many more to see a SPA in action). It can provide a much snappier experience to the user and really transform the responsiveness of a site, but usually requires a sizeable chunk of code shipped to the browser. It’s an idea that’s been popular for a while but really saw a lot of developer engagement last year.

2018 also saw some long-awaited improvements to core web technologies. It’s fair to say that when HTML and CSS were conceived, they were not designed to handle the modern web. Hence, CSS preprocessors and libraries are rife, because they provide a more abstract, convenient interface to create and layout UIs. Bootstrap, the most popular front-end library, has a grid system which has been widely used to easily position content for years. 2018 brought the widespread adoption of a native CSS grid, supported by all major browsers; a big deal for headache-free aligning.

Something that was really taken to heart last year was how much mobile users care about page-load speed. In fact, Google even started including this in its ranking algorithms for search. Additionally, its “Open Source” Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP) project continues to be popular but controversial for the amount of control Google has over it.


First, let’s talk about some of the backend/server-side changes we can expect to see, before moving onto front-end technologies.


Ok, so this one certainly isn’t a new idea, but it’s a technology which is growing so fast that it’s impossible to ignore. These days, rapid deployment is the name of the game, which means your backend/server needs a consistent, repeatable environment. The goals of this is to make development, testing, and production seamless.

Containers also provide an awesome amount of modularity, which makes both development and maintenance very easy. Want separate containers for your application, database, compute workers and Redis? No problem; in fact, it’s encouraged. This makes it super simple to switch out different modules and scale your service as required.

Docker is, of course, the most popular platform for containerisation. I love using it and wrote a guide to Docker and containers if you’re curious about what’s under the hood.


Closely linked to containers is serverless computing, and this is perhaps the biggest change that’s happening right now in terms of how websites and applications are deployed.

Serverless computing allows you to write and deploy code without ever touching the underlying infrastructure. Anyone who has deployed a website after manually setting up servers, load balancers, etc knows how much time configuring infrastructure can take away from time developing the app/website itself.

Serverless code is written as a number of independent “functions”, which are all event-driven. Each of these modules runs only when triggered, spinning down when not in use. The beauty of this is that you only pay your serverless provider for the computation which takes place: it’s effectively pay-as-you-go. If your site has a quiet period, you pay very little. But if you experience a sudden surge in demand, it’s very easy to scale your service by simply adding hundreds or thousands more module instances on the fly.

Ultimately, it makes it possible to scale your provisioning by network-usage, CPU or memory instead of units of “a new server”. On-demand computing is great for technical efficiency and maintenance, and it makes economic sense as well. 2019 is set to be an exciting year for new heights of adoption, as well as open-source serverless technology like OpenFaaS.


Cool, those are some of the backend trends I expect to see, what about the front-end?

The web app becomes more modular by the day

There’s a reason that front-end development frameworks like Angular and React are so popular, and for the most part, it comes down to modularity. Writing large, monolithic files of HTML and JS, makes for code which is difficult to re-use between pages, slow to re-factor, and horrible to unit test. Instead, why not use a framework to create components, each with its own styling and scripting, and defined inputs and outputs. Not only does this make it incredibly easy to use the same building blocks again and again, but the codebase also becomes far easier to understand and plug into a test suite.

The reason I mention this is that there’s a new framework on the block which implements the component model so well that it’s enjoyed amazing growth in 2018.


Vue’s remarkable recent success will only continue. It’s done so well because it implements exactly what developers want, in a very lightweight package (see this size comparison with other mainstream frameworks). Its recent growth is a good indicator of where it’s going this year.

If you’re looking to improve your front-end development skills and haven’t learned Vue yet, it’s a solid place to start in 2019.

Is this the death of server-side rendering?

Ten years ago, the standard way to create a website was to render all the files server-side before sending them to the browser, using technologies like PHP and ASP.NET. Then Javascript frameworks/libraries started showing up, first slowly, then in a deluge. More and more parts of web applications shifted client-side, until we arrive at today, where it’s common practice to create a Single Page Application entirely in the browser.

That doesn’t mean that server-side rendering isn’t used today, far from it; many new applications continue to use it because it fits well with their requirements. Server-side rendering is well suited to largely static sites, as well as being great for SEO out of the box. On the whole, the decision between server-side and client-side rendering is a complex balance depending on network speed, the type of dynamic/interactive content on the site, and many more factors.

What does that mean for the future? Whilst server-side rendering is conceding ground today, it’s still a good fit for a large number of use cases; it’s not going anywhere for now.

Progressive Web Apps (PWA)

There are some interesting statistics on apps vs websites on mobile devices. Whilst mobile sites receive about 12x as many visitors as apps, users spend roughly 20x longer on apps than mobile sites. What if there was a way to get the user engagement of an app without the friction of installing one?

A Progressive Web App, or PWA, is simply a term for a website which fulfills a set of requirements and best practices, predominantly for mobile use. PWAs should load reliably and load fast, with snappy navigation and identical feel to a native app. They are designed to be added to the home screen of mobile devices and are capable of operating offline.

Google turns out to be a big fan of PWAs; Chrome will automatically prompt users to add a website to their mobile home screen if it meets the PWA criteria. They also created an open source tool, Lighthouse, for auditing your site to PWA standards and integrating into CI workflows.


2019 is set to be an interesting year for web developers and users, with exciting technologies at the front-end and back-end. If you have any predictions, be sure to leave them in the comments, we’d love to hear what you think. And of course, I’ll be coming back to this thread in a year to see if we got it right!

Posted in Featured, Interest, Slider, Software DevelopmentTagged amp, containers, css grid, docker, pwa, server-side rendering, serverless, spa, ssr, trends, vue.js, web development.
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  • Gone are the days when you had to go to a tax preparer to ensure that you filed your taxes correctly.
  • Now, you can do your taxes at home with tax software online.
  • Of all the tax preparing services we’ve tried, TurboTax Deluxe is the best with its easy-to-use software and helpful explanations.

The old saying goes: Nothing is certain except for death and taxes. These days, you can add one more to the list. It’s certain that you’re going to be bombarded with advertisements for tax preparation software and services from New Year’s Day through April 15, 2019 when the deadline to file 2018 taxes hits.


  • Free Edition ($0): The most basic software for those with a 1040EZ or 1040A form and no deductions.
  • Deluxe ($39.99 + $36.99): The best for homeowners who itemize because it offers 350+ deductions and one-on-one help.
  • Premier ($59.99 + $36.99): The best for people with stocks and rental property because it covers stocks, bonds, ESPPs, and other investment income.
  • Self-Employed ($89.99 + $36.99): The best for freelancers with customized help and one-on-one assistance to deduct work expenses.
  • TurboTax Live ($149.99 + $36.99): This new service is for people who need a check from a TurboTax CPA or EA.

H&R Block

  • Basic ($29.95 + State Return): The basic software is for those with a 1040EZ or 1040A form and no deductions.
  • Deluxe ($54.95): The best for homeowners who itemize because it offers 350+ deductions and one-on-one help.
  • Premium ($74.95): The best for people with stocks and rental property because it covers stocks, bonds, ESPPs, and other investment income. Also best for freelancers.
  • Premium & Business ($89.95): The best for small business owners with S corporations, partnerships, LLCs, or non-profits.


  • Free ($0): The basic software is for those with a 1040EZ or 1040A form and no deductions. You can pay $15 for tax support and prior year import.
  • Basic+ ($9.95+ $19.95): The best for filers with independents, college expenses, etc.
  • Deluxe+ ($29.95 + $39.95): The best for homeowners and deductions.
  • Premier+ ($34.95 + $39.95): The best for people with investments and rental property.
  • Self-Employed+ ($49.95 + $39.95): The best of freelancers and other self-employed people.

Tax prep software is a big business, and you may hesitate to pay for help with something you could do yourself for free with pencil and paper. But for a process that most people approach with all of the excitement of a root canal, having the ability to calculate your taxes easily without worrying about math errors is well worth the fee you’ll pay to use the software. You can even file for free with TurboTax, H&R Block, and other software if your taxes are simple.

How to file taxes online

You can get tax preparation software as a CD-ROM that you stick into your computer (if your computer still has a disk drive, that is) or as a downloadable app for your Mac or PC. Alternatively, you can simply file your taxes online or in a mobile app. That may sound scary, but reputable tax software companies like TurboTax, H&R Block, and TaxAct take your security very seriously, so you can count on these services to protect your information.

You can file your taxes electronically after using tax prep software, which is a far easier process than making printouts and mailing your forms to the IRS. You may have to pay a fee to electronically file, depending on the software you’re using.

The software will make all of the calculations for you, ensuring that your poor second-grade math skills aren’t exposed for all the world to see … and for the IRS to penalize.

Most tax prep software makes use of an interview style process, where the software asks you questions about your income and expenses. The software then figures out which forms are pertinent to your situation and fills them out, based on the data you enter.

Tax software often can pull data from your past returns, while also downloading your current W-2 forms. This saves time and reduces data entry errors.

TurboTax, H&R Block, and TaxAct all offer several different versions of tax software to suit different people’s needs. As a general rule, the more complex your tax situation is, the more you’ll have to pay for tax preparation software. However, most people will likely be okay with basic software.

Once you start filling out your tax forms, you may hit a snag and have to upgrade to a higher priced tier of software. The upgrade is easy to do, so you won’t have to start over entering your data, but you’ll have to pay more to finish your tax return.

In our guide, we’ve chosen the best tax software for three different types of people: your average person, homeowners, investors and rental owners, independent contractors, and small business owners. No matter your needs, you’ll find an option for you in our guide.

Here is the best tax software you can use to file online:

  • Best tax software overall: TurboTax Deluxe Tax Software
  • Best tax software for homeowners: H&R Block Deluxe Tax Software
  • Best tax software for investors: TurboTax Premier Tax Software
  • Best tax software for independent contractors: TaxAct Online Freelancer Edition
  • Best tax software for small business owners: H&R Block Tax Software Premium & Business

Why you’ll love it: TurboTax Deluxe is super easy to use, helps you find more deductions, and maximizes mortgage and property tax deductions.

TurboTax Deluxe has been one of the most popular tax software options for years, and it shows no signs of slowing down. TurboTax guides you through your taxes with a simple interview-style process. As you answer questions, TurboTax fills in the forms to help you maximize your savings.

You can search through more than 350 tax deductions and credits, plus, TurboTax helps homeowners maker mortgage and property tax deductions without any fuss. Charitable deductions are also welcome with this software, so if you were giving this year, you’ll get something back for your efforts.

If you don’t own a home, you don’t need to deduct much of anything, and you have a 1040EZ or 1040A tax form, you don’t need the Deluxe version and you should try the free tier. Multiple members of the Insider Picks team, including guides editor Malarie Gokey have used the free version of TurboTax for years without any issues.

TurboTax seems to pick up many loyal customers, and user reviews on its site are incredibly positive. many say that they will never use another tax software. Expert reviews are also very positive from Nerd Wallet, Dough Roller, and The College Investor.

However, a few Amazon customers say the CD version of TurboTax Deluxe will not work on Windows 10 without a workaround, which is a hassle. We recommend you file on TurboTax’s website or mobile app instead.

Pros: Easy to use, available on CD, available online or in mobile app, deductions for homeowners


Cons: More expensive than some other options, CD version suffers some errors on Windows 10 computers

Start your taxes online with TurboTax (Federal Return starts at $39.99 and State Return starts at $36.99)

Buy TurboTax Deluxe Tax Software on Amazon for $39.99 (originally $59.99)

Why you’ll love it: If you’re looking to itemize deductions as a homeowner, the H&R Block Deluxe software will guide you through the process

The H&R Block Deluxe Tax Software will give those of you who itemize deductions an inexpensive means of completing your tax forms. The Deluxe version offers step-by-step guidance for more than 350 different deductions, which is a helpful feature for those who itemize.

H&R Block guides you through the entire process and helps you find out which deductions you can make for your mortgage, property taxes, and charitable giving. The software is specifically designed to help homeowners make the most of their deductions, so if you own a home, this is the software you need.

In its review, the Dough Roller says the DeductionPro tool in the Deluxe version does a good job of ensuring you receive all of the deductions to which you’re entitled. Additionally, you’ll have the option of chatting online with tax professionals as you do your taxes, according to the Nerd Wallet review. It’s a very helpful feature for anyone who gets confused by all the questions, and one Amazon buyer says the online help has improved from previous years.

Consumer Reports also points out that having data automatically transferred is easier with H&R Block versus competitors, because you can use PDF files of last year’s tax forms, imported W-2s, or a photograph of a W-2 shot on a mobile phone. However, you may experience some problems downloading previous tax forms that were completed with other software packages.

We recommend downloading the software, but if you do buy the CD version of the software, be forewarned: One Amazon reviewer says the software charges extra for a state return, so the low price of the software is misleading.

Pros: Allows for itemized deductions, trusted brand name for tax software, easy to use, live chat with tax experts is free

Cons: State version of tax software costs extra, problems importing previous year tax return from other software

Start your taxes online with H&R Block Deluxe (Federal Return for $29.99 and State Return for $36.99)

Buy the H&R Block Deluxe Tax Software on Amazon for $17.99 (State Return NOT included) (originally $34.99)

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