Saturday, September 3, 2011

After a Month of Development

It has been about a month since I came up with my new Stealthy Startup idea and we've gotten so much done already. Never mind the fact that I'm working and coding like a mad man. The integration of the whole infrastructure is complete and I'm coding up application features as quickly as I can. This is a huge project and will take a lot of effort to do it right. That said, it really is a lot of fun to develop on this platform and the site is very web 3.0 dynamic.

We've switched around a few JavaScript libraries. We replaced RequireJS with LabJS. The documentation for RequireJS is pretty, but when you really dig into it, it is more like fluff. We got what we wanted out of LabJS though.

For textarea's we've integrated the Markdown editor from Stackoverflow. That was actually quite fun to do. Thanks for making that available.

I spent way too much time on implementing file upload. I started to write my own, but got overwhelmed with the cross browser issues. I ended up using Plupload, which isn't great, but everything else out there is a pile of junk. The lack of good documentation made it a royal pain to integrate Plupload, but once I dug through the source code and figured out how it works, I was able to make it do what I want.

CoffeeScript has been a godsend. The guy who came up with it should get a Nobel prize for brilliance. If you are writing any JavaScript at all, you should immediately stop what you are doing and switch your entire environment to CS. I'm writing a metric ton of CS and I just can't even begin to explain how much easier my life has been.

There is a lot of libraries for dealing with html forms in a MVC way, but in the end, I've found that they require as much code as just writing it yourself. CoffeeScript's scoping and class system makes it easy to contain the logic.

Using Github is also great. I've got two private repo's setup now and it is so nice to be able to get emails and diff's without having to setup and manage my own server. Plain and simple: Fuck Subversion. I know those are harsh words, but as others have said, setting CVS as your goal to beat was a really bad idea. They are almost done with version 1.7 and basic merging is still a pile of shit. Everything is always going to be a catchup game to git, so you might as well just use git. I'm still in trial mode with Tower and this is definitely an application worth paying for.

I know everyone is complaining about Google App Engine suddenly costing them more than $0. The reality of the situation is that nothing else compares to GAE. You know what is worth an unlimited amount of money? Not having to do IT. I'm an expert sysadmin and I never want to be woken up in the middle of the night ever again because some server is acting badly. I'm more than happy to pay for the privilege of having that be someone else's problem. I really don't care if you can set something up on Linode or AWS for less money. It just isn't worth the headache when one of your $10/month micro instances decides to randomly disappear.

I still can't tell you what I'm working on, but we should have something to show soon.