GraphQL RealWorld API – TypeScript, JWT, MongoDB, Express and Node.js

Hello, Welcome to my blog!

Following up on my most recent post “RealWorld API – TypeScript, JWT, MongoDB, Express and Node.js”. I have modified the REST API I made into a Graph QL API.

What is GraphQL?

GraphQL is a query language for an API. GraphQL allows front-end applications to have control to specify the data received per request. All the data is available to you when you create a request, which means you can mix and match data per request. Drastically cutting down on the number of calls the front-end application has to make to the API.

My experience using GraphQL

I enjoyed using GraphQL, and I think it allows more flexibly than a REST API. There are many different flavours of GraphQL. I used Apollo Server Express. It was a bit of a steep learning curve, but once I built a few queries, I saw how easy to use it was.

Here is a list of some things that I learned about GraphQL. Examples can be found by viewing my code on git-hub.

  • GraphQL is not a database, It replaces your API router. It can be used with any database.
  • GraphQL uses a single POST route. On that POST route, you will make your Querys using the query language inside the HTTP body.
  • Unless specified, GraphQL will look for queries under the Query type.
  • The keyword mutation is used to tell GraphQL to change from looking at the default Query type to the Mutation Type.
  • It is best to practise to put all data fetching queries under the Query type and all data writing queries under the Mutation Type.
  • Postman works great to test your queries.
  • You need to define your schema using the query language GQL.
  • With Apollo authentication and error handling can be done when you create the Apollo server.


I definitely will use GraphQL for my future projects, and I like how flexible it is and that it is available for many different programming languages.

The code for this project can be found on my Git-Hub.

RealWorld API – TypeScript, JWT, MongoDB, Express and Node.js

Hello, Welcome to my blog!

Recently, I subscribed to a tutorial website called Thikster has tutorials dedicated to making production-ready applications. They have tutorials for many different frameworks. I decide to go through their node.js tutorial.

I also wanted to get more comfortable with typescript, so I changed the tutorial up some by implementing the tutorial using TypeScript. The tutorial is written initially with regular javascript. I had the extra challenge of translating the tutorial to use TypeScript as I went through it. Going through this tutorial was a great experience. I learned some great techniques for building an API with node.js and TypeScript.

Programming with TypeScript was enjoyable. It cleaned up the code allot! Which is always a great thing. Since I have programmed in the past, with C, C++ and C#, I also found working with TypeScript very familiar.

I posted my code for this project on my Github.

The tutorial also covered Postman. Postman is an application that allows you to test your API. I liked it allot, I have lightly used Postman in the past, but this time I used it extensively. I love how you can write test cases in Postman. It was handy at the end of the project to check for any bugs that got missed during the central development time.

In the next couple of weeks, I would like to improve this API some more by using a framework called GraphQl.

I’ll post another blog post when I finish!

If anyone has some improvements I can make to the code, let me know. 🙂

NodeChat Development

Have gotten a bunch of PR’s this past week, since this is the last week of class. Everyone is finishing up their release 4,  which means the project has made some great progress.

We now have the continuous integration system Travis, that helps with managing the app. And, we are working on es-lint and prettier, there is still some configuring to do but it’s almost up and running.

So with all the changes, there was a bit of backtracking I had to fix. One of the PR’s changed how the messages were sent to the screen but they forgot to change some corresponding code, so it ended up breaking the messages altogether so no messages would display correctly on the screen. It was a pretty easy fix, but I am not sure about keeping it. The change puts the JSX for a message into a variable, then we just render that. The problem with that is it doesn’t get updated anymore when state changes. I have to look into it more later, but I might have to go back to making the JSX just before it is rendered.

Here is the PR that fixed the above bug and a few others:

The other bugs include:

  •  package.json – formatting bugs that formed when I did a manual merge.
  • Fixed avatar’s so you can now upload custom avatars. This change required changes to the server aswell, this is the PR that changed the server
  • package-lock.json – There was a problem merging so I just deleted the old version and made a new one.



Finding a JS bug using chrome developer Tools

Another issue was filed in the cube-roll project, Issue #4 which was a problem with the games score not updating. It turned out to be a small fix but I wanted to go through how I found where in the code the bug was.

I first started the game and duplicated the problem.

I then looked through the code and find what I think gets called when I get a point. I found that line 90 of the world.js file is where the logic for updating the score was.

After finding the area of code where I thought the problem could be, I opened the developers tools in chrome and then I navigated to the sources tab. In the sources tab I navigate to the file I want world.js. I can now setup breakpoints, after that I started the game and duplicated the problem again. This time since I setup the breakpoints the game pause on the breakpoint and I could look at the values of the data in the developer tools.

As you can see in Figure 1 this is what happens when you trigger a breakpoint.

A snippet of the chrome developer tool
Figure 1

After doing the above a few times in multiple areas of the code, I located the line of code with the problem. Inside, hud.js there is the function setText() that is called from line 98 of the world.js file.

Inside setText() I found the below typo:

setText(id, text){
    this.elements[id].test=text; // .test should be .text

Now that I found the problem I was able to fix the typo and submit a PR:

Fixed restart bug in Three.js game cube-roll

While I was looking for a game to help develop, I found the game cube-roll on github.

The bug I fixed was issue 1 : cannot restart game, the problem occurred after you play a round, the game will freeze and you were not able to restart it.

This turned out to be a fun project to work on, it was challenging at the start. Since, I have never worked on a game before so I didn’t know what the code was doing. But after looking through the code for a bit, I found out that the game was using Three.js. Three.js is a javascript 3D library I was able to learn a bit more from their docs on what the code was doing.

After learning the code, I found out were the problem was, it turned out most of the code was already their it was just not working correctly. The problem resided in the main function, when the game is over and the user pressed enter, it would cue a .once() command in the main. Originally it just called the main again to restart the game. The problem was the game never got cleared so the old game was still running.

In order to fix the issue I used the following code, it first calls the constructor on the world object hence clearing and restarting the game. I then pass that world object back to main to restart the game. The important factor was I am not ever creating a new world just resting it.

sync function main(connectToServer, world = undefined) {
  renderPause = true;
    world = await new World();
  world.playerControls.once('enterWhenGameOver', async () => {
    await world.constructor();
  if (connectToServer) {
      server = await initServer;
      server.on('clientKeyUp', key => {
  renderPause = false;
  if (!tickingStarted) {
    tick(world, server);

The reason I do not want to loose the world object is because it is being used in the tick() function. The tick function is what refreshes the game it contains a reference to the world object, so that is the reason I needed to keep the same instance of world object when the restarts.

function tick(world, server) {
  requestAnimationFrame(() => tick(world, server));
  if (!renderPause) {
    tickingStarted = true;
    server &&;

Here is a link to my PR:


Continue development of chat app.

Development on the chat app has been going good. Few things I would like to get finalized would be a continued integration system, linting, tests and database.

I think travisCI would be a great addition to the repo. Took a class today that explained how to implement travisCi into a GitHub repo. It looks like it will be pretty easy, might add it this week.

To make travisCI really useful it need’s to be doing more then just running the app as the test. It is capable of running linting software like eslint and actually test that could be created for the app.

I would also like to start research on the best options for incorporating a database into the app. I created a discussion thread here, I would like other people’s opinion in making this choice.

Also, for release 3 I found a external project to contribute to on GitHub. It was interesting, it required me to get into a bit of Ruby which was interesting. Here is the PR made for the code-gov-style project.

Maintaining a GitHub Project

Wow I now have a much better understanding of the life of a project maintenance, after this week.

So, a few classmates have now joined the NodeChat Project, the week started simple by me posting a bunch of issues for everyone to work on. But, once they started to work in the project, they started to post their own issue’s. They ran into thing’s that being the one who wrote most of the code, I didn’t really think about.

For example, the readme file I didn’t need it so it was very outdated and simple. So, I needed to update that so people could more easily start working. Also, I added a contributing file which explain’s a few more thing’s. updated docs.

Another example, was the folder structure was outdated, we were working inside a folder while the root contained the original project before I started working on it, so there were a bunch of files kinda not really doing anything. And we also had the server inside the same git repo. Apparently this is very confusing, another thing that I got used to and learned to ignore, which wasn’t good for new contributors joining the project. We have now gotten ride of all the old code and moved the server into it’s own repo. So now the react app is alone it the main repo, which make a lot more sense for new contributors.

Lot’s of change’s happened over this past week on the OTRChat Project. I have now had a taste of what managing a project looks like and I am only working with 4 people, can’t image large project with 100+ contributor’s. As with everything you start small and work toward something big.


Hacktoberfest – Added user is typing… feature using React and SocketIO

This blog post covers my 5th pull request of Hacktoberfest 2018!!!! For a few days I wasn’t sure if I would be able to reach the 5 PR goal.  I got super busy with another project, which I may put a blog post up about that project sometime. I was able to work hard on Hacktoberfest the past couple day’s and now I am done all 5 PR’s!!!

Back to the topic of this post I’ll put a summary blog post of Hacktoberfest soon.

I add the feature that show’s when a user is typing which was requested in issue #1 of the node chat project.  Here is the link to the pull request.

In order to accomplish this task I used two events on the server side. ‘typing’ and ‘stop typing’.

Server Code
socket.on('typing', function(){
    socket.broadcast.emit('typing', {
      username: socket.username

  socket.on('stop typing', function(){
    socket.broadcast.emit('stop typing', {
      username: socket.username

For the client code I put the two event listener’s inside the componentDidMount().

The event listener for ‘typing’ add’s the user name to a state variable ‘userIsTyping’ which is an array of the user names that are typing.

The event listener for ‘stop typing’ removes the user name from ‘userIsTyping’.

Client Code
componentDidMount() {
  this.state.socket.on('typing', (user) => {
              return users==user.username;
           })) {
          this.setState({userIsTyping: [...this.state.userIsTyping, user.username] });

  this.state.socket.on('stop typing', (user) => {
       this.setState({userIsTyping: this.state.userIsTyping.filter(function(users) {

The function below is used to retrieve the content of the input field. It will emit ‘typing’ if there is anything inside the input field and it will emit ‘stop typing’ when there is nothing inside the input field.

setChatInput(event) {
  if( !== ""){
    this.state.socket.emit('typing', this.state.username);
  } else if( === ""){
    this.state.socket.emit('stop typing', this.state.username);
  this.setState({ });

The end result looks like this:

Hacktoberfest – Bug Fixes and Styling in NodeChat app.

For my 3rd and 4th pull request of Hacktoberfest, I didn’t work on much new technology, like in my previous pull request’s. Instead I thought I would fix a bug that was added during the move from a jQuery site to a React site. And I added some styling to the messages on the NodeChat app.

PR #3 

In the original jQuery site the original creator designed it to display a greeting message when a user logs in. From testing the original site, the greeting message only displayed the first time someone logged in. This is were the React app had a bug, it would always display the greeting message when you enter the chat.

In order to fix this bug I needed to have the idea of a previous user inside the chat page component. I was able to do this by creating a Boolean inside the login page and sending that over to the chat page through props. This allowed my to conditionally show the greeting message.


PR #4

Since the chat app can handle more then just 2 people at a time, I wanted to show who is sending each message. I was already receiving the username of the sender so it wasn’t technically that hard to get the username to display. Their was a bug in receiving the username but it was quick to fix.

The more involved part of this PR was probably all the CSS required to make the messages look nice.

Here’s a picture of the end result:



Hacktoberfest – Adding sound and images to a React app

Hey everyone,

It seems like allot of people like to over complicate adding sound and images in React.  They will often make a whole separate class to control their sound or image files. Which definitely has its place, if your sound or images needs bunch of options then definitely make a class to control it. But if all you want to do is play a sound or add a image to your app, I think its simpler to add it in directly inside the class it relates to.

Note:  I also learned that React doesn’t like when you refer to something by its path inside the code. You have to use a import statement in order to include a file into your react app. In the code below you will see me do this.


Playing Sound in React:

Below is how I figured out how to play sound from my react app in just a few statements.

import mp3_file from './yourFileName.mp3';


<audio src={mp3_file} ref={Sound => { this.Sound = Sound; }}/>
Adding a Image in React:

Below is a simple way of adding a image to your React app.

import myImg from './yourFileName.png';

<img src="{myImg}" />