I finished the #larder #api #docs today! It’s so fiddly to include all the code samples and stuff, but now it’s done. My next steps are to build the UI for developers to create and manage their client apps in Larder, and make sure the oauth “authorise” page is all styled nicely, then that’ll be done.
In other news, I added the #changemap search field autocomplete suggestions to the “add a new suggestion” form last week, so you have to click “no, my suggestion isn’t any of these” if there are matches. And since then we’ve had zero new suggestions. It definitely works, I tried it, but I guess nobody has a new idea that isn’t a duplicate. Success? 🤔
Also sorted through all the suggestions for #exist that we got on #changemap over the past couple of days—only 1/5 was not a duplicate. It’s so frustrating when users ignore the message right on the suggestion form that asks them to search for their idea before suggesting it. It creates a big waste of time for me and doesn’t help anyone. /rant
Also updated the Exist FAQs page, as it was quite out-of-date in a few areas.
- Paid my latest #tax instalment
- Cleared out my inbox (mostly)
- Followed up most of the #changemap tasks for #exist that came in over the past week
- Wrote up the Hello Code monthly report for December and drafted a matching #blog post
- Worked on bug fixes for #exist for #ios, sent a new version to TestFlight, and tried to submit a new version to the App Store but iTunesConnect was broken yet again.
The last few days I’ve been working on a new design for #changemap. I was never quite satisfied with what I had, but I think the new version is quite an improvement. Nearly done. We’re up to about 85 mailing list signups now also.
Once that’s out of the way I’ve decided I’ll make a nice end of year report for #exist users. It doesn’t matter if it doesn’t ship quite on January 1 I don’t think, so I’ll try and get it done over the next few weeks but will be taking it a bit easier also.
Update on #changemap on betalist: around 30 waiting list signups in the first day (which will probably be the biggest). Not too bad given the minimal effort. Mostly smallish SaaS startups, based on some email domain browsing. Hopefully people who understand the value of paying for stuff!
I submitted #changemap to betalist.com a few weeks ago, after @kraahkan’s suggestion, something I’d be leery of ordinarily but decided was worth a try once. I didn’t pay to be fast tracked, but the whole thing didn’t take long and as of tonight it’s listed on the front page. Hoping it leads to lots of waiting list signups! We’ll see.
I think my work on #exist for #android is done, barring any bugs. I’ll keep testing it for the next few days, and also make sure that it works on some older android versions. You can see a screenshot here. I’m pleased with my progress! Although I don’t know if I write android apps “the right way”, I can get things working pretty quickly these days (with liberal use of stackoverflow). I finally understand how all the pieces go together.
I’m thinking some marketing efforts next. @belle has kicked off some #changemap #customerdevelopment which means hopefully soon we’ll know what other potential customers want from it — but until then, I’ll be doing Exist and Larder-related things.
Edited a #client #content article and sent off the invoice, sent out four #customerdevelopment emails to get feedback about #changemap, and followed up with a one-off client to see if they have any more content work for me.
A lot of screwing around this weekend, trying new IDEs because Komodo is now permanently borked. I think I’ve settled on PyCharm — it has a few niggles but has fixed some I had last time, so it’s good enough. And its code intelligence is quite good.
After settling in with PyCharm, I got notifications for #changemap all done. Users who comment or vote will be subscribed to that task by default (but can unsubscribe). That was my last feature for the changemap mvp. Time for it to have a rest.
Had a big chat tonight with @belle about #exist. Once again, we’re thinking of a (gradual) pivot to a more specific angle. I’m finally ready for it. I think this niche will give us well-defined requirements we can actually deliver on.
Added a basic search to #changemap today. Also had a few more people sign up for the waiting list today and the past few days — overall the reaction has been pretty positive, which makes me feel good about my hunch that this was a good idea 😁 I’ve had a few people mention that its use could be a lot broader than just “transparent businesses”, which is exciting.
Just trying to get a few more key features done this week, then back to Exist to get the manual tracking back-end complete, which I have neglected. It’s pretty much there, just needs testing to make sure it’s solid.
I got barely anything done today. Some days are just like that. (Probably won’t get much done tomorrow either, what with following the US election.) Tonight, though, I switched #Exist’s roadmap links over from Trello to #changemap, and did a tweet about it now it’s officially live for our users.
I went back through my git history tonight and it turns out my first #changemap commit was exactly one month ago, October 7. That seems pretty auspicious timing to release it! I got its live server set up this afternoon, and configured Let’s Encrypt for the SSL cert tonight — actually way less complicated than I expected. Very handy.
Thwarted this afternoon by various events but returned triumphant to #changemap development this evening and got our whole Trello board for #Exist imported, votes and comments and all. Did some fiddling with styling to make everything a little nicer to look at, and there may be a few more teeny things left, but it’s pretty much there. Sometime this week we’ll go live. 🤘
Tonight I made progress on importing a Trello board into #changemap using their API. I can currently grab lists, cards, and authors, but I’m hoping that by the end of the weekend I’ll also be able to import comments and votes, so our full Exist roadmap can be imported in its current state.
With real data in there, I can tell the UI doesn’t look quite as nice as I had hoped. I’m going to need to tweak that a bit so it’s easy to scan big lists of tasks.
Blergh, I slept really badly last night and was tired all day. But I rallied in the afternoon and finished off the last bits of user-facing #changemap — signup flow and profile pages. Users sign in via Google, so there’s no need to manage password resets or anything, but we still need to let them verify their info upon first signing up.
Now that’s all done, I’ll be importing Trello data for the #exist roadmap and testing that everything works nicely with real data — and then it might just be (beta) launch time! This whole process has gone quite quickly. The benefits of being a grizzled old developer and working with a stack you know well.
Tonight with some help from Linode I moved the #hellocode server (which has all the small things, like the hellocode.co domain, #littlelogs etc) from its legacy, memory-constrained Tokyo server to a shiny new one in Singapore with 4x the RAM (for the same price). Hopefully won’t have any more issues with out-of-memory errors now.
Today I spent the day on #changemap and got comment and vote adding and deleting done along with nailing down some styling. Inching closer to having it ready for our own use.
Ah, what the hell. I’m outing our next project for the sake of having a tag to track it. There’s not many of us here anyway so it’s not a big deal. So our new idea is called #changemap. It’s a tool for transparent businesses to manage their public product roadmaps and changelogs (yeah, hence the super-clever name). Mostly people seem to use Trello for this task at the moment, but they take suggestions via email, or UserVoice, or GitHub issues, or comments on a specific card — it’s a huge kludge because Trello isn’t made for this purpose. Changemap tries to rectify that by handling new suggestions, turning them into tasks that then move through the system, and the inevitable changelog of everything that gets completed. We’ll be using it for our own products for a while, then open it up to other businesses (that’s right, B2B baby) once it’s solid.
Feeling pretty good about secret project progress this weekend. Still a lot to go, and I’d better get back to real work this week, but it’s inching closer to being usable for Hello Code, at least. 👍
Yesterday I made really good progress on #exist #manualtracking. I can now submit certain events via the API and have them validated (via
jsonschema) and saved to the database. Yeah! I think next I need to finalise all the event types and their schemas. Then I’ll work on the logic that chooses how to turn them into one value per day (eg. sum them, last value, biggest value, etc).
Today I was also very productive, but on my secret new project instead. Productive procrastination baby. I got the db models set up and started rendering a complete view of a “map”. It’s all coming together.
Slept badly and got barely anything done today. Some days are just like that. However, in the evening, on a whim, I bought a domain name for a project idea @belle and I have been throwing around for a while. It’s ridiculously foolish to start building something new when Larder is already the small second product that needs some love, so I probably won’t. But I do enjoy the idea of having it there waiting, fresh and new.
As Kurt Vonnegut said, “everybody wants to build and nobody wants to do maintenance.”