Code Day

Incredibly productive day today – tackling a very significant re-write of my Augur iPhone app. It’s a pretty significant change, and I’m really excited at how quickly things have come along.

A lot of the heavy lifting was happening on the client side of things, originally. And as a result, this required users to log in with their Twitter accounts – a pretty big pain point.

With my approach now, I’m taking a lot of that initial work (searching, parsing) and letting that take place on the server. Instead of bundling it with the app, I’m using a Node server on Heroku, and also storing some database content via MongoDB.

The big benefit of this change (in addition to performance, and all that jazz) is that for the next version of the app – users won’t need to log in to their Twitter accounts at all. In fact, you won’t even need a Twitter account for the thing to work. Since all the searching and storage is happening at the server level, the app will start to run as soon as it can grab content. No logins, no mess.

I’m still not sure how to make the final “content” available. I’m not seeing an easy way to retrieve content from Mongo, so for now I’m writing out a JSON file to an Amazon S3 bucket.

The fact that I’ve been able to bop around to these various environments, and to also be using primarily a text editor and the command line is… really kind of cool. I’m saying this in less of a “look at how awesome I am” way, and more of a “Wow, I didn’t realize I could use these tools” kind of way.

I know what I worked on this weekend, and the challenges and roadblocks I encountered. But when I summarize the tasks I’ve completed, and the environments I’ve worked in… seeing that all written out, it’s neat. I seem to know more than I think I do.

Augur: iPhone App That Uses Twitter to Tell the Future

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