Vincent Ritter

Code Challenge: Scribbles

Over 3 years ago, I had a very similar idea to HEY World, with a simple blogging flow to just write. This was, and is, also partially inspired by spending time on and writing there.

I still want to explore this concept where you just simply write, and publish, with your standard RSS feeds and a public viewing page – with super simple styling to just get your words out there. No themes and nothing fancy.

I find it super useful to try and keep up with creating something that I can just explore without boundaries, whilst keeping things simple, light and fun.

If you've been following me for a while, you know I like creating things, from web to apps, so I want to continue this trend — because I already have enough to do!

So why a code challenge? It's what I name these... and it'll be an MVP (minimum viable product) and I want to challenge myself to go from zero to something in two weeks. 🤷‍♂️😅

The last time I said two weeks it was much longer because I stopped in-between. Ideally I would like to one day launch something really "tiny" within 2 days. In fact, tinylytics was done mainly over one weekend and then I iterated over it for a few weeks — now it's getting updates on a near weekly basis.

So what is "Scribbles"?

Scribbles are exactly that, just scribbles, in other words: long form blog posts and thoughts (no micro posts though) that you may want to share with others via RSS or a public facing page.

The plan right now for the MVP is the following:

  • A simple editor in the web app, for blog text and title input, including inline images.
  • Save your posts either as "public" or "private" – public means it will be available to view by everyone, private will only be for you or a select view members (for example a family) with a special link/RSS feed. You can also save them as drafts.
  • A public page, with your "public" posts and a simple profile on top of your public page.

Some stretch goals (but most likely afterwards):

  • Allow you to email your posts to a special email address, which means you can write your posts in any given email program (with options in the web app on how to handle these).
  • Allow grouped private posts, using tags, which you can separate into different private pages or RSS feeds – may it be "Family" or "Subscribers".

And what about the technology stack?

You know me, I'm a Ruby on Rails guy, so I'll continue this trend, however in addition to that, I would love to explore:

  • Kamal Deploy, allowing me to deploy with ease.
  • Using SQLite as my production database using Litestack.... EXCUSE ME, WTF? Yeah... 😅

I'm a huge, and super happy, user of Hatchbox for all my Ruby based projects (all of them), but I wanted to try this on my own using Kamal, because I always feel afraid of servers.

Where can I find out more and follow along?

Easy peasy... this blog and the RSS feed of course, plus on my profile (which you can follow via Mastodon). There will also be a project specific section on my website here, with a project specific JSON feed. I'm also going to be posting to X, using the #buildinpublic hashtag. It'll be more or less the same micro posts I make here. I know I know — I've made a few friends here, which is nice for me (so a huge thank you for following me there).

Next steps:

I'll probably take the day off now 😅 Nah, I'm just preparing a few things. There is no holding page just yet either, and I think this time around it will be the last thing I do.

There's already login logic and the logo set, so now to get the first interface out and do a few teasers.

Thanks for reading, and hope you enjoy this series ✌️❤️

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