On To Laravel Project Number Two

On To Laravel Project Number Two

I finished the lists project this morning… and decided not to launch it. My primary goal was to use it to learn Laravel, and I did. Launching it would do nothing but complicate my web site, and give me not only more code to maintain, but also have to maintain incoming content from internet strangers, which is just as likely to be a headache as it is to be entertaining, so I put the code aside and moved on to Project #2.

This project is going to be a significant enhancement to the most popular area of my site — the Perler Bead Pattern Designer. For years, I’ve had a few pages that convert photos into designs and patterns for perler beads and cross stitch. But they were always standalone pages, never having any server-side features. At the time I made them, that was a deliberate choice, to test how far I could push a tool solely in a single browser page. However, now that the page gets a lot of use, I really am limiting what I can do. I find numerous requests from people who don’t want to have to convert photos, but do want a unique pattern, and Facebook in particular is full of people who will take those requests, make the patterns on my site, and then share the results….

So the next project is to share patterns on my site. I’m going to let people create user accounts on my site, and share their patterns with the world. It won’t be required — I’ve never tracked or stored the images people send through my page, and I have no intention of starting. But if people want to push a finished pattern out to this pattern catalog I’m building, they will have the option to do so. I don’t foresee it as being overly complex… just patterns, with the ability to browse by category, tags, and author. Maybe I’ll track them by popularity as well. And there will be a basic user profile for each designer so they can get some credit and link back to their site or wherever they would like.

I’ve already built out the new project for this, and gotten the user account system, roles, and security in place. I’m taking some time to think through the best way to push the pattern data from the static HTML page into the new app — I want to leave the old page as-is, because it has links to it from all over the web. POSTing from there into the app isn’t a problem, but I’d need to handle capturing the data if someone is anonymous and hanging on to it while they create an account, and then completing the POST after the account is in place. And I then need to slice and dice some of the javascript code because quite a bit of the code to actually draw out designs and create PDFs and PNGs from the data will exist on both the old page and the new app — I thought about just saving binary files and making them available for download, but everyone once in a while I do make improvements to the file creation, so letting both apps create them on the fly from the raw pattern data will give everyone the latest files even if they are working with old patterns.

In any case, I wasn’t even expecting to start on this app until next week, so I’m already ahead of schedule. I want to get this catalog launched in October, and so far, that seems completely feasible.

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