Zac Anger's Blog

No-Server Projects

2015-11-07

Tags: angular, baas, blog, devmtn, editor, firebase, javascript, markdown, people, platform, school

HELLO, and welcome to another episode of Zac's Blogtime with the Blogginess!.

This week and into next week, we (the DM7 cohort in the immersive course at DevMountain) are working on our no-server projects. They are, basically, front-end based projects. Without servers. As you might've guessed from the name.


For my part, I'm working on a Markdown editor. Initially it started as a total ripoff of my favourite (and probably the all-around best) Markdown editor on the web these days, Dillinger. Dillinger is simple and beautiful and basically perfect. Two panes, one with the actual editor component and one with a preview. It has integration with various cloud storage options (Dropbox and the like), which is nifty, and is also 100% open source, so it was very easy to dig into it and see how it all works (except for that thing where there are literally 78 fucking branches, which is just like... wow, people, someone please do some basic maintenance on this repo, would you?).

What differentiates my editor (or will, when it's done), is the integration of jsvi, a really awesome script that brings vi-like keybindings and commands to the boring old <textarea>. As I get more into this, I plan on rewriting the jsvi component, bringing it down in size and scope, and making it not-default. Right now it's not even enabled.

I also plan to write my own version of a Markdown parser. Currently I'm using Marked, which is fantastic and used by just about everything, but I'd like to implement a JS version of Markdown Extra, but rewritten from scratch.

All of that is in the future. right now my app does the basics.

I've also been working on a sort of blog platform using http://angularjs.org, with a https://www.firebase.com/ as a temporary backend. The project for that isn't much more than auth and posting right now, but when combined with the Angular Markdown/vi project, I might have something kind of fun here.

The final future component of all of this will be a desktop app, built on Electron, using the Photon toolkit. Though that's definitely in the future, since it's all written in HTML, CSS, and Javascript, I think I might be able to have something functional up by Wednesday (when the no-server projects are due).

If this works well enough, I'd like to get rid of goddamn Firebase and work on my own back-end. That could easily become my main 'personal project' here, and be more than presentable to potential employers, maybe.

Anyway, these are all just thoughts. I feel completely overwhelmed with knowledge lately, practically drowning in new information. But it's good. I'm learning so so so much, and I know there are people here who know a hell of a lot more than I do, but I'm also solidly in the top 10 in my cohort, or maybe even the top five, so that's encouraging.

Bah, I'll cut this blog post as short as all the rest--it's awfully difficult to type with one hand while managing a phone with the other and also trying to fix myself a tuna sandwich.

I'm really really excited to be here, finally. Things are going well, and I think I'm actually sort of making social contacts, which is extremely important since I'm kinda tryna get myself employed here. If I can keep my friends alive and also manage to get out of the job of playing therapist to everyone for a little bit, I might actually accomplish real things and come out of this as an actual developer. I think I could be really actually quite good, if those things can happen.