Vincent Ritter

Thoughts

My thoughts, micro blog style. Usually short showing off ideas, screenshots and other things that might be on my mind on the day.

I renamed Hilbert to Status, as I prefer it. Also brought across all the goodness that is in Gluon so that there are great foundations.

Status will be specifically for updown.io and will also introduce push notifications. Will have a small web app supporting the app.

I haven’t spend much time on it except just the design and basic login.

I hope that Family orientated things get better with Apple. For example, the TV app, doesn’t show me purchases from other family members. Can’t stream either. Don’t see rentals. Nothing. Basic stuff. Frustrating. 😞 There’s a huge potential, but they don’t choose to play those basic things.

I just released Gluon build 20190301.4, which adds the ability to switch themes and accents instantly. Give it a go and choose a nice combo. I’m yet to style that section so please bear with me - you’ll be able to accents now though. If you want more accent colours, just let me know.

Also added a double tap to reload the current feed you’re on. Just double tap the tab bar icon and you’ll get a haptic feedback event, followed by a reload/fetch. Thanks to @nitinkhanna for this one.

Today was my daughter’s 5th birthday. Time really flies and it’s amazing how far she has grown up already. It always amazes me. My love for her grows day by day, it’s hard to describe what that feels like. Happy Birthday Amelia ❤️

I’m about to push out a new build for Gluon (20190228.3) . It will include a very early experimental “Appearance” option in Settings. When you change any values, you’ll have to press the “Reload App” button at the bottom. Wait 1 second before pressing that, otherwise the settings will not save.

Themes are Light and Dark - these change the overall skin of the app.

Accents will change link colours and colours in the tab bar and header areas.

I’ll be hopefully completing this tonight, and get it nice looking and reload on the fly (it’s nearly working but took it out for now for this build).

I’m about to start another round of Gluon coding. Probably work on the “Following” screen or start work with adding replies. There are a few plans for Favourites and Discover, but they need to sit in my head a little longer.

If anyone is interested in using a bad project management tool, please just go ahead and give Asana a try. Bad UI, terrible UX and worst... I don't think they know what their product actually is. A client of mine recently switched and I'm getting to the point where I tell the project managers to just email me.

Does anyone have any recommendations on a Sci-Fi book that is modern, easy to read and has a great story?

I don’t generally read many books but I’d love to read more... so, suggestions are welcome. I wouldn’t know where to start.

Gluon was approved for public TestFlight a few hours ago 😃 There are many things on my plate and I'll do my best to ship regular updates. Whilst it doesn't look like much changed... everything has!

There are a few things still missing and I'm hoping to be in a good spot in a week or so. I'll also need to check the Android build and get that ready.

Added the conversation view to Gluon. Just uploading that to TestFlight. I'm thinking of releasing what I have (just for laughs). Unsure if I have to get Apple to approve the 2.0.0 increase first though. If it goes straight through... oh well, then everyone has an updated app 😋

Apple Music should steal a few things from Spotify, for example "Never play this song again"... instead of "Dislike". Once I mark it I expect it to never ever play again... but nope, got to listen to it again and again.

Out of interest, if you use Micro.blog, how do you generally prefer to use Favourites on the platform or in an app? For example, I use them to refer back to someone later on or if I really really like something that I want to refer back to later. Please send me use cases 🥺

What would a great way to write this line shorter?

"Following 486 users you aren't following" - I know it's pretty much on point, just trying to think if that can be made shorter. "Following 486 unique users", "Following 486 other users". They all seem to miss the mark though.

I'm about to start another round of Gluon coding, so feel free to ignore my rapid fire posts. I'll be working on the conversation view and some other tweaks. Maybe I'll even do something totally different. I won't have too much time today as I also need to work on some actual client work 😋

Today’s plan is to add the Conversation view into Gluon. As a stretch goal I’ll also add the currently logged in User Profile view.

I fixed the profile view bug very early AM and added the “Follow/Unfollow” button on a profile. Pretty happy with that.

That would leave the reply functionality and image viewer. I’m hoping I get to that tomorrow.

There is also some work required on my HTML parser... as it’s not working as I want it to - it sometimes just misses part sentences and images.

This means that the next TestFlight should be ready for end of this week.

Fixed a crashing bug when not logged in, kept going with loading data for the profile screen. I do need to make a few changes here, with the way I navigate to another profile (as I load a new Author Profile model, which overrides the last profile I was on - oops).

For the login part of the app I decided to also load everything else but in the background, so that Mentions, Favourites, and Discover are available straight away (within a few seconds anyway). Important, though, is that I don't hold you up initially.

I added more spacing to the feed item, so it doesn't look so condensed. Think it looks good.

Just getting back to work with the Profile screen. I'm using colours inspired from my own site, just to keep it simple. There will be more themes down the line.

Starting to mock up the profile screen. I use the red so I can see the header area nicely. Ignore the posts, they are just the normal feed for now.

There are some technical limitations with grabbing the data first time around. Here is the API call, which grabs 40 posts (although I set a count of 20) - just a bug.

That would be 7 seconds of waiting for seeing any type of profile information and posts. Setting the count to 10 (which returns 20 post items for the user) has a similar response time. That's not super great. I've spoken to Manton about this already and I'm hoping there will be a few updates to this soon.

To mitigate this, on first time load, I'm actually passing the data that I do have, from the post, to the view - this way I can show the avatar, name, username and website address straight away. Then my plan is to fire off two requests, one empty with no posts (count = 0) and one with posts. The count = 0 request usually returns under 2 seconds, which means I can grab the profile data and all other related things that I'll need to show like the following count and, of course, the bio. Then we just need to wait for the posts to come back. Once we have this data, I'm going to keep it in the cache, which means it will load from cache as soon as you come back to the particular profile. This should keep loading time to an absolute minimum.

With it loading from cache I'll do a normal request to the API, with posts, in the background so I can update it if it changes and rewrite anything we have in cache.

And now testing Android quickly. Had a few issues as I'm also playing with swipe-able actions on each cell. Fixed that now, mentions working. The text is grey on Android if you set no colour, kinda weird - but I will tackle that.

Here is a code snippet where I go about grabbing all the Mentions. Not perfect, but nothing ever is. It works and I'm happy with it. For info, the 'Account.currentUserToken' is the currently set/selected user account model. Oh and I don't use "count" just yet - I need to refactor that params stuff.

Size matters! 5MB so far, gives me room to play. And yes, I've been publishing regularly up to the internal TestFlight, just so I can test it and keep an eye on it. Actually found a few fatal "TestFlight only" bugs.

WWDC Wishlist - iMessage "Message Extensions" so you don't have to download some horrible third party app to go about keeping in touch with everyone.

More shadows... needs more TLC though. For login, I'm going through several steps to grab your profile and your main feed before actually going onwards to the feed screen. So you get the illusion it's quick and you don't look at an empty screen.

I'm playing with shadows too, to add a bit of depth to the app (see the bottom loading indicator). I feel most apps just feel really really flat. Going to explore it more as I work on the general UI of it. However, for now it's important the app works.

For my first task, I'll be working on the mentions screen. It's currently empty. Should be relatively quick as it's similar logic to the main feed. I already have Discover and Favourites in there and working nicely.

Trying out a new seating arrangement at the desk. I feel the chair drains my energy a lot and also doesn't give me room to... well... move. Anyone else using a gym ball as their chair? It's still weird and new, so I'm going to have to stick with it for at least a week or two.

I spent nearly all day exclusively on Gluon. It's at 3 days to go until the last TestFlight runs out. I'm feeling somewhat pressured. I'm thinking of shipping of what I have on Thursday evening or Friday morning. It will have lots of features/functionality missing that is in the last build, however I think it's for the greater good in the long run.

I was thinking about this the past few weeks as it dawned on me that I will never have it ready in time with everything I had. Probably not the best thing to take away features/functionality...

After that, I will keep shipping updates as and when they are ready. All my TestFlight slots are full already, so I want to thank everyone for using Gluon! I'll be opening more spaces in a few weeks to give me some space to add a few more features/functionality.

I'll write a blog post about progress in the coming days. This, however, was important to say.

Taking my girls (daughter and wife) on a mini trip over the weekend, starting today. Trying to bring some calm to our lives. Had to stop working before falling into a never ending cycle of burnout... good decision.

I'm thinking of using TypeScript in future, instead of JavaScript. I think it would save a lot of headaches.

17 days to go until the last build of Gluon runs out. No pressure! Hopefully I will have good progress over the weekend. Let's see.

The app already runs at least 3 times faster than the old one, so I'm pretty happy about that. Although I'll have to start adding all the features, that the old build had, back in. Worth it in the long term.

What a week! Monday and Tuesday was really busy getting something live. Then I've been ill since Tuesday until now. Couldn't do anything except stare at my screen and write one or two lines of code. We were all ill this week, so we were probably just passing it to each other.

Now to see how I can catch up for missing 3 working days... so many things on my list, so many things on my mind. Perhaps I'll just take it easy. That's probably the correct approach. Next week is another week to fight.

Sooo... after spending countless hours and one late 05:00 AM headache to get a websocket (Rails Action Cable) to run on a production/staging server with Passanger... it turns out all I had to do is set my allowed domains in the production.rb file:

config.action_cable.allowed_request_origins = ['https://some-domain.test','https://some-other-domain.com']

Any NGNIX experts out there that can point me the correct direction to secure a web socket connection which is being served by a Rails app? The app is already secured under 443 but getting the 'wss://' to work is proving difficult.

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