Skip to main content

12 min read
Yiming

Cover image

Prisma is a beloved ORM for NodeJS developers. As with every popular open-source project, it has a long wishlist. Here are two prominent examples:

They are about the same thing and have received at least 1000 reactions in total. The ask is for modeling an inheritance hierarchy in the database. ORM鈥檚 responsibility is to fix the gap between the two world views: "table + relations" and "object-oriented". Polymorphism is an obvious missing piece in its mission.

10 min read
Yiming

Cover Image

The security of most applications depends on two pillars: authentication (AuthN) and authorization (AuthZ). The former checks if the user is who one claims to be, and the latter governs what one can do in the system.

Authentication is a well-understood problem. After many years of evolution, the industry has summarized clear patterns you can adopt and best practices to follow. You'll find mature libraries and services available for all major programming languages, whether with credentials, magic links, OTP, MFA, or OAuth. Once you settle on a solution, it tends to be stable and rarely needs much change over time.

Authorization, on the contrary, is a whole different story. Concepts like RBAC and ABAC are well-known and widely accepted. However, how to implement them is vaguely defined, leaving developers a lot of room for creativity and mistakes. Authorization is a hard problem because it's often deeply coupled with the unique characteristics of your application, making it hard to have a one-size-fits-all solution.

7 min read
Yiming

Cover Image

SQL databases have been powering the web since their inception. The combination of strict schema, ACID transactions, and strong integrity makes it still the best storage choice for many apps even today. Database systems, albeit sounding unfathomable and dull, have been a highly vibrant domain in the past few years. Lots of talents are devoted to it, open source projects are created one after another, companies have been striving to build profitable businesses, and VCs have been making bets on those who look like the next unicorns.

Under the flourishing surface, the new generation of modern SQL databases is renovating this 50-year-old technology and gradually reshaping how we build web applications - what we do with it, how we manage it, and the way we program against it. This series of articles tries to explore this topic from multiple fronts, including:

Let鈥檚 discuss how DX (developer experience) is becoming increasingly crucial in database designs.

6 min read
Yiming

Cover Image

Prisma is one of the most popular ORMs in the NodeJS world - loved by many for its intuitive data modeling and flexible query APIs. It shines for its concise and powerful syntax for querying relational data, and one great feature of it is to precisely infer the types of query results. Here's an example:

// `todos` is typed as `(Todo & { owner: User })[]`
const todos = await prisma.todo.findMany({
where: { published: true },
include: { owner: true }
});

TanStack Query (previously named react-query) is a widely used frontend data query library that greatly simplifies how we fetch, cache, and bind data when working with APIs. It also has excellent TypeScript support, allowing you to build fully typed data query hooks. Prisma and TanStack Query are frequently used together in a full-stack application.

10 min read
Yiming

Cover Image

Large Language Models have shown the world its incredible versatility. One of its most remarkable powers is to turn fuzzy human language into executable code. This not only helps engineers improve their productivity but also enables non-technical people to achieve what used to require help from developers.

Generating analytical data queries is one of the most popular use cases of LLM-based code generation. What can be cooler for business analysts than to ask a question in plain human language and get a visualization in seconds? Traditionally, only big boys like PowerBI and Google Sheets could offer features like that, but now LLM has democratized AI capabilities and lowered the bar. In this post, I'll demonstrate a simple implementation and will also cover an important but often overlooked topic: access control.

9 min read
Yiming

Cover Image

Next.js 13 ignited the first wave of attention to React Server Components (RSC) around the end of last year. Over time, other frameworks, like Remix and RedwoodJS, have also started to put RSC into their future road maps. However, the entire "moving computation to the server-side" direction of React/Next.js has been highly controversial from the very beginning.

With RSC and the (still experimental) server actions, it should be possible to build a full-stack app without any client-side Javascript code. How well does it really work? I set out to gain first-hand experience by rebuilding my favorite blogging app. Yes, it's a very simple app, but it could serve as a tangible way to understand the new patterns. At least part of it.

4 min read
Jiasheng

Cover Image

Fading of API

I previously wrote a post about the history of APIs:

A Brief History of API: RPC, REST, GraphQL, tRPC

I still believe that GraphQL is the most efficient solution for a big project with separate or multiple front-end and back-end teams. However, after my partner and I left our last company, it was mainly just the two of us working on the full-stack project. Therefore, we prefer to leverage the "integrated" APIs of full-stack frameworks like getServerSideProps, loader, and load functions (I bet at least you know one of them 馃槃). When necessary, we will use tRPC as a complementary. The overall experience is quite neat as you almost forget about API design and implementation.

10 min read
Yiming

Cover Image

For TypeScript lovers, Prisma has been the perfect solution for building database-centric applications for quite a while. But recently, a new challenger has emerged. If you've been closely tracking the ORM space, you've probably heard of Drizzle, a new ORM being popularized by its flexibility, performance and better user experience. In this article, I'll quest for a comparison. Following the "Show, Don't Tell" mantra, I'll achieve it by building the same API twice, with Drizzle and Prisma, respectively.

7 min read
Yiming

Cover Image

SQL databases have been powering the web since their inception. The combination of strict schema, ACID transactions, and strong integrity makes it still the best storage choice for many apps even today. Database systems, albeit sounding unfathomable and dull, have been a highly vibrant domain in the past few years. Lots of talents are devoted to it, open source projects are created one after another, companies have been striving to build profitable businesses, and VCs have been making bets on those who look like the next unicorns.

Under the flourishing surface, the new generation of modern SQL databases is renovating this 50-year-old technology and gradually reshaping how we build web applications - what we do with it, how we manage it, and the way we program against it. This series of articles tries to explore this topic from multiple fronts, including:

Let鈥檚 talk about how we program against the database today.