Note-taking app launched at!

I spent Friday and Saturday launching the first version of the note-taking app I’ve been working on, live now at Woohoo! I’m glad I was able to get it up just before the end of May.

As stated before, there are still quite a few features I’d like to add. But even before I go about adding new features, there are a number of glitches that need fixing. It’s really annoying how some things that work fine in production (when running on my computer) suddenly stop working or glitch out when live on a server.

Deploying the Vue app wasn’t too difficult in and of itself, though I will need to develop a more efficient deployment strategy than just uploading files. The trickiest part for me was getting the API back-end server, which manages requests from the app to the database, to use the more secure “https” protocol. The front end, built with Vue, was easy; you can just set a variable in its config file and *poof* it works. The back-end API, however, needed info about a valid SSL certificate to be recognized as secure. Googling around, just about all the info I could find involved creating a self-signed certificate, which most browsers won’t trust, so that didn’t help me much. I finally figured out how to get the “key” and “cert” files from my server’s certificate. A simple solution, but difficult to find. Also, if you know how to look at your browser’s javascript console, you’ll see that my implementation of firebase, which I’m using for user authentication (hence why you can log in with Google or Facebook without having to create a new account), outputs a warning about my code using a “development build” of the SDK. I couldn’t figure out how to get rid of that. It probably also has a simple solution I just haven’t found yet.

At the moment, I know this note-taking app is nothing amazingly innovative, but it’s been great for learning “the stack” (the layers of tools used to build a web app) and I think continuing work with it (and on it) will be fun. Now that this is up, I’m going to switch my focus back to TuneSage, my in-development music-writing app. I’ll still work on Trovedex to fix the current glitches, add features, and make improvements, but I’d like to launch TuneSage before Christmas and there is a ton of work to do on that.

Happy note-taking!

Monk in Quarantine

Read an article somewhere that said Tony Shalhoub was recovering from COVID and couldn’t help being shocked, shocked! that Mr. Monk would allow such a thing to happen. But I thought this little skit featuring Monk was funny.

They really need to do a TV special or something.

Note-taking app update 5

My note-taking app is almost ready for release! Upon release it will support the following:

  • tag notes and filter by tags
  • embed html
  • create todo lists
  • create timers
  • create info tables
  • insert or embed images (from url or upload)
  • create flashcards (for self-studying, e.g. language learning)

My current todo list before release includes:

  • Design for mobile (make it responsive to browser width)
  • Get links to other notes working
  • Finish basic search functionality
  • Create a “reminders” icon (which only works with the reminders set by the flashcards widget at the moment)
  • Add click & drag to re-order stuff functionality
  • Create a “storage space” check (so limits can be set)
  • Create an “about” landing page / log in page
  • Create a sign-out button
  • Finalize API back-end settings

So quite a bit still to do. Some of that stuff won’t take long, but some stuff may (like designing for mobile, especially since design work tends to be slow and tedious for me; I’m not so great at it). I still hope to launch it before the end of May.

Of course, even after launching there are quite a few features I’d like to add, but I want to launch it first and see if anyone else even finds it at all useful. (I definitely want it for myself though, so I’ll be using it regardless.)

1 Second Everyday : April 2020 & App update 4

1 Second Everyday

Here’s my 1 Second Everyday for last month. Lockdown made for another boring month with mostly programming and cats (though I guess most my months are pretty boring anyway). But I did buy a used 3D projector from eBay which is great. It’s too bad 3D blu-rays (and 3D movies in general) are quickly becoming a thing of the past just as used 3D projectors become actually affordable. Oh well.

Quick note-taking app update 4

I’m just about done the functional programming for the initial release of my note-taking app:

  • Complete functionality of the sub-menu
  • Allow attaching or inserting media (at least images) to notes
  • Sort / search notes by tags
  • Create note with tags pre-filled (like adding a post to a category)
  • Allow some js widgets in notes, at least checkboxes and timers
  • Allow creation of new notes with bracket links (e.g. “[[]]”) as in MediaWiki (standard wiki feature)
  • Open related notes by clicking on these bracket links (without opening a new page)
  • Search and sort notes by content / data / date (only basic queries for now)
  • Create user login / registration system
  • Create user stats page (notes created, storage space available, etc.)
  • Collect user usage stats (for studying how users use the product)
  • Overhaul / finalize designs, make responsive and usable on mobile
  • Write Terms of Service, privacy, cookie use policies
  • Offer subscriptions, launch!

I mostly just have to work on the design and then the final launch preparations! There are plenty of features I’d like to add after launching, of course, but development will probably slow so I can get back to work on TuneSage. Building this note-taking app has been a great experience for learning how to develop a web app using Vue and MongoDB, which I can definitely use while continuing to build TuneSage. (Plus I hope to use this note-taking app for my own note-keeping purposes.)