Dev Tools

Best Git source control platform?

Who is the best Git hosting platform? We compare the top three, which all offer free tiers, with links below.

GitHub vs GitLab vs Bitbucket?

  • GitLab
    • Completely open source platform
      • This means you could host it yourself including the CI/CD
      • Reduces reliance on “Big Tech”
    • Superior CI/CD
  • Bitbucket
    • Integrated with Jira
    • Bitbucket Pipelines for CI/CD
    • Self Hosting
      • Bitbucket Server is available
      • Not open source
      • License fee costs money
  • GitHub
    • Probably the most widely used for open source projects
    • Now owned by Microsoft (Big Tech?)
    • No Self Hosting
      • The underlying tech is not open source

Which is best?

For us, GitLab checks the most boxes, and is the safest choice for the long term, especially because its underlying platform is open source. This means you won’t be boxed in and locked to a single vendor!

Dev Tools

Better, More Open Social Media

We’ve been thinking a lot lately about how social media should be more decentralized, owned by it’s own content creators, have better privacy, not have politically biased censorship, and be more secure.


So far here are some of the best social media network alternatives that we’ve come across:

Facebook and Twitter Alternatives

Since Facebook is known for a large amount of privacy and security issues, let’s look at some alternatives below.

Friends plugin for WordPress

Friends is a free plugin for the open source WordPress, which is already the worlds most popular blogging platform. The Friends plugin leverages a lot of existing open web technologies for social media purposes. It is great for those wanting to own their own content, and have some posts be open to everyone, but still be able to have some posts kept private for only close friends and family.

It does require the free WordPress to run, for which cheap and fast web hosting can easily be found. This carries with it the advantage that you can host it on your own domain name, which means that you can have 100% control over it, which is something not offered by most other alternatives.


Mastodon is another open social media platform, which is a great alternative to both Facebook and Twitter. Mastodon is different in that it doesn’t require you to run a server, but instead allows you to choose from a variety of “instances” and apps. Mastodon has a number of free third party apps that support it’s platform. It is robust enough that even Trump is making his own social media platform based on Mastodon code.

This doesn’t offer quite as much control though though, as the Friends plugin with WordPress, since it you can’t really run it as your own blog. But, you if you already have a WordPress site you can install some plugins that allow you to connect to Mastodon.


Gettr bills itself as a brand new social media platform founded on the principles of free speech, independent thought and rejecting political censorship and “cancel culture.” This platform has become more and more popular lately as Twitter has removed medical doctors like Dr Robert Malone (one of the inventors of mRNA vaccine technology), from their platform over not supporting their vaccine narrative. While it might be better (bettr?) in the way of having more freedom of speech, the technology doesn’t seem to inherently have a decentralized nature.

WhatsApp Alternatives

Since WhatsApp is now owned by FaceBook (which as we mentioned has privacy, security and censorship problems), so let’s look at some alternatives. Two of the biggest are Telegram and Signal.

Signal app

Signal app is reportedly trusted by many privacy advocates, including Edward Snowden and Elon Musk, who has been known to avoid Facebook owned apps like WhatsApp.

Telegram app

Telegram app has become very popular as a messaging app, has has some more customization available, but isn’t quite as secure.

Best Secure Chat?

Which is best? Take a look at Tom’s Guide review to see the strong and weak points of each, but they surmise in their bottom line that “if security is your priority, Signal is the obvious pick.”

Other Alternatives?

Any other strong social network alternatives you think we missed? Tell us below in the comments which is your favorite alternative.

Native App Development Web App Development

Create Android App from a Your Website

Google has a new tool called Bubblewrap that helps you create an Android app from your PWA via Trusted Web Activities (TWA).

Microsoft also has a tool called PWA Builder, which helps you build PWAs.

Here is an article about the benefits of making a native app with a PWA.

JavaScript Libraries Web App Development

New PWA Auth component

I recently read about this web component, called pwa-auth, and it sounds very interesting… looks like it might be the fastest way to implement a fast sign in for users with the new Credential Managment API supported by modern browsers.

I’m not sure how it stacks up agains other WordPress options for Oauth login, but I might have to give it a try.

JavaScript Libraries IDE Native App Development Web App Development

Ultimate Best Web and Native App Tech Stack

What is the ultimate app development technology stack? Of all the tools we’ve found, the following gives the most flexibility. But first let’s give some of our judging requirements.


  1. Ease of setup
  2. Low maintenance
  3. Cost (for hosting, and additional development)
  4. Flexibility
  5. Scalability
  6. Portability (able to use on other hosts, and not be locked in)
  7. Extensibility (Modularity and open source with standards)
  8. SEO (so people can find your site)
  9. Reusability (able to use for other purposes)
  10. Automatable
  11. Community (documentation and people to answer questions)

The Stack

Here are our top choices for the ultimate technology stacks, that bring the most benefits and flexibility for the least amount of cost:

Have some other tech stack suggestions? Please drop a comment below.


Best Visual Studio Code Extensions

The following are some of our favorite extensions for Visual Studio Code:

  • Beautify or Prettier – Beautify javascript, JSON, CSS, Sass, and HTML in Visual Studio Code.
  • Cordova Tools – Debug on a mobile emulator or a physical mobile device from directly inside of VS Code. The setup for this can be a little tricky.
  • GitLense – Very handy for being able to see Git history without leaving the code.
  • Angular Language Service – dynamic code hints for Angular templates.
  • Angular Snippets – adds snippets for Angular for TypeScript and HTML.
  • Back and Forth – great way to add a back button to your code editor (similar to Xcode), so you can get back to the last file you were looking at.
  • Bracket Pair Colorizier – make your bracket pairs easier to see!
  • Material Icon Theme – style your icons like Material Design.
  • Nx Console – essential for working with Nx monorepo projects.
  • Debugger for Chrome – debug your JavaScript code in the Chrome browser, or any other target that supports the Chrome Debugger protocol.
  • Rest Client – allows you to send HTTP request and view the response in Visual Studio Code directly.
  • Live Server – launch a local development server with live reload feature for static & dynamic pages.
  • Peacock – subtly change the workspace color of your workspace. Ideal when you have multiple VS Code instances and you want to quickly identify which is which.

Have some more favorites we didn’t mention? Please drop them in the comments below.

JavaScript Libraries

React vs. Stencil

I read this great post on Stencil, which asks “Is Stencil a better React?” They point out that Stencil runs more performant than React, and has a very similar syntax!

Another part that I really like is that Stencil uses TypeScript, which makes for a bit more efficient syntax.

So back to the original question: is Stencil a better React? Yes, I think it is! I plan to be using Stencil more on new projects!


Hello from Stack Interface!

Welcome to the Stack Interface blog. We’ll be posting a lot more here coding, development tools, and cross platform technologies for making apps!