Originally published: 5th November 2012
It’s been a little while since I’ve provided a significant update here but I’ve a couple of significant points I want to make.
First of all, I want to talk about a new cloud-based IDE that I’ve come across called Cloud9. As well as having a clever name, it is the ideal development environment for my project, particularly for the web development aspects.
As someone who uses a variety of computers all in different locations and running different operating systems, a cloud-based environment accessed through a browser is a perfect way of ensuring I can get work done efficiently without having to copy files around all over the place.
One of my favourite features of Cloud9 is its ability to synchronise automatically with my site so that as changes are made I can see them reflected in the live site immediately. This of course does require that I have two versions of the site, one for testing and development work and a live version which only contains completed and fully tested features.
Working alone, I haven’t had a chance to test out the ‘Brogramming’ features yet but according to the site, Cloud9 allows concurrent access to multiple engineers collaborating on the same project, even allowing simultaneous modifications to the same file.
Another great tool that I came across is MockFlow which is a application for developing wireframe designs of user interfaces. It’s really easy to use and I was able to throw together a relatively complex design in only a few minutes.
Both Cloud9 and MockFlow are free to use with a limited feature set, though I haven’t felt like I am using half an application with either product, as is with some trial-versions, so I would seriously recommend both tools.
With regards to my project development work, I have recently submitted my project proposal which is accessible here, and then began working on implementing the version draft of the database so that I can begin testing out different interface features.
A significant amount of time was spent writing a 300 line SQL script to generate the tables and populate them with some test data and even this is by no means the finished article. With this in place though, I have been able to experiment with a secure means of implementing a persistent login without storing either the user’s login name or password in the cookie. It took some work to get it right, but I’m about there now so expect an update soon with test login information so you can check this out for yourself.
Further discussions with the client have lead to a decision being made on the name of the product and I am now in the process of writing a design brief to give to a graphic designer in order to produce a logo and series of icons for the interface. While it is relatively early in the project to be creating these, the remaining time will ensure that there is time for changes to be made if necessary.