Welp, it’s been about 4 months since I last rapped at ya about a new web app (Bogdle) I was working on, inspired by the Wordle craze (that has since cooled). I’ve done a lot of work on it, and it’s more or less ready, save for some bugfixes and polish.
The only thing is…it kind of spurred on a bit of a Renaissance in personal web development, and my time has been divided among several projects, delaying the release of Bogdle. I’m calling them all NebApps, because they’re sharing a lot of the same structure and styling, hopefully creating a cohesive set of sites.
My history in making personal web apps for various purposes is long and storied. Be it music, drawing, raffling, or text-adventuring, my webhost is full of half-done ideas from yesteryear. Bogdle was a match that re-lit the fire, though. Trying to catch up on the modern way to make a web app by aping Wordle’s VueJS framework in VanillaJS made me go back and look at the projects still not done. I want to update them all and make them worth visiting and using by others. It’s gonna take a while, though.
Once, I decided I wanted a short teaser mix for a new album I was working on. Take a little bit from this song. Take a little bit from the other one. Repeat until you’ve made a minute-long mashup trailer for an hour-long album that’s easily shareable. Sounds cool and useful, right?
Unfortunately, the web version never worked, despite much effort delving into the bowels of raw audio file manipulation. No matter how much trial and error I performed, the result would be the same: hit the go button, create the file, listen to it, and get nothing but silence. Not exactly a win. I was able to get a Windows version to work, but I don’t use Windows except to game these days, so back to the web I go. This time, hopefully, I’ll figure out how to make it work.
You already know what’s up with this! Why are you reading this? Why did I write this?!
My EPIC TEXT ADVENTURE WRITTEN IN RUBY was actually quite a success…if you were me and could get it to run. Packaging it into some kind of self-executable never worked, and so its reach was limited.
Taking what I painstakingly built in Ruby and moving it to the web is a large project, but I’m poking at it here and there.
The funky “pick a thing out of a hat” app that actually got some usage at a conference once continues to work, in general, so not much to do on it. However, like the other apps, I’m trying to modernize the structure and normalize the look and feel, so that’s taking a while.
What started as a fun project to take another programmer’s project and run with it has become a bit more than just the lark it started as. Besides the usual modernization/normalization, I’ve also added a bunch more features beyond the basic “click here to change the background-color of a cell”, including fill, eyedropper, and erase modes, exporting to various file formats, and possibly more in the future.
The new kid on the block in application, but not in theory, SoundLister is a way to just drop a bunch of audio files into a directory, go to a website, start up a playlist, lock your phone, and listen until all the songs were done. Using iTunes or Music.app or whatever is great, but you gotta add the songs to the application and sync them to your phone before you can listen to them, which is much less accessible, especially when you’re a musician who likes to make sketches a lot.
Unfortunately, web apps (or PWAs, in this context) are still not first-class citizens (at least on iOS), and there are things that don’t work as nicely as I’d like (or at all), so while the basic functionality is there, it may fall short of my initial desire.
For the Road
So, that’s a lot of web apps to be working on! When I get frustrated on one app, I move to another one. It’s almost like working on songs on an album. Of course, it means that any one app takes a lot longer to be “done” (pssst…we all know websites are never actually “done”, they’re just “released”, iterated on forever until abandoned), but it keeps it fresh and allows for cross-app knowledge to be spread around.
I’m hoping to be “done” with all of these by 2023. Let’s see if that happens!