• Week 330

    6 May 2019

    Highrigg continued: a series of meetings with partners, an excellent lunchtime lecture and discussion, and more programming.

    After a day spent wiring the backend I started putting together last week with the front-end, I ended up with a shell of an application, and at least one screen with real live data. Which was the time to hit the pause button. Why? Well, I was beginning to tip over from learning (about the project) and into production, and it’s not quite the right time for that yet. What I was learning was that it was probably not a one-person job, and it’d go a lot faster with a more experienced React engineer focusing on the client implementation. I was also learning what pace of work would be like on it, and already gaining some confirmation that the architecture I’d settled on was sensible. I was also exposing some of the requirements not captured in our initial documents - for instance, approaches to live updates and data push - that only became more obvious as I began implementing. So that’s something to turn into specification in Week 331.

    In the rest of the week, I spent some time exploring updating this website. I’m aware that there’s a long backlog of projects to write-up (especially Selworthy), and I’d like to make it easier to do that. At the same time, I also think I could probably move to something like a static site generator, if only I could find one I could settle on. That’s some work, but would then mean that all my content exists as files, and is relatively easy to port to other platforms in future.

    I settled on Hugo. I’ve used it on another project, it’s remarkably fast, and whilst its compiled nature means a lot of implementation comes down to template tricks… it also means it’s not the ‘piece of string’ that Javascript-based engines can be. A solid day and a bit of coding got me to an end-to-end implementation of this site, with all the blogposts up and running, and most of the work done to start importing project pages. When they’re done, it’ll be time to consider making the switch, and also seeing how easy it is to write up new projects. But I’m hoping it’ll be reasonably straightforward. Also: pleasant to work on a new, greenfield project.