Tasksapp beta goes live

It’s been a very busy last few weeks! I’ve finished my last contract and have been working full time on getting tasksapp to a point where it can be used daily by me and (hopefully) a dedicated army of beta testers. There have been a few challenges, which I have to say have been an absolute delight to work through – some highlights:

  • Getting stuck into JQuery to get more of a single-page feel. All of the adding, editing and deleting of content is done dynamically to save reloading the pages all the time, and all the actions and projects you can set up are draggable to re-order (more on that in a bit)
  • Deciding on the data structures and managing database changes across development and live. I’ve re-architected the whole thing into a more sane approach and have used the Laravel migrations and some custom data updates to keep things in sync as the live application has evolved.
  • Being a ‘devops guy’ for the live environment. I’ve set up many a Linux server in my time, but this is the first time I’ve had to be really structured with proper deployment scripts as I’ve now got other users needs (and data!) to work around.
  • Responsive design for the UI across devices. I’ve specced out a lot of UI wireframes to work with responsive design but this is the first time I’ve implemented the whole thing myself. I initially started put with it all in Bootstrap but I stripped that out so I could work on it from the ground up myself – was definitely a longer way round, but I’ve learned a lot by doing it and feel very happy that I can be quick on this using a framework in future.

Overall, it’s been a huge learning curve, but I’ve got a much clearer picture of how Laravel works for a larger app, how to build and structure more complex Javascript for the front end, how to design and implement the front-end for responsiveness, and also how to use webpack to package it all up and get it out in a way that the browser can make sense of.

This is all live now, and you can register for an account at the live site to try it all out. There’s some help on the site, but I’ll be putting up a video in the next day or so to introduce it more and help people get started. If you do have a go, please head to the admin page and leave me some feedback to tell me what you think!

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