What's New in October at Bloggie

kinopyo
Indoor enthusiast, web developer and former hardcore RTS gamer. #building-bloggie #rails #coffee #reading #writing, find out more at http://kinopyo.com
Oct 8, 2018 660 words
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Hi, this is kinopyo from the Bloggie team 👋 . Today I want to reboot our monthly product update series and show you what happened for the last month.

Normally this kind of reports would showcase the product behavior changes that bring value to the end user and keep the implementation details to themselves, I'd like to take a different approach 🙂 . Since our target users are also engineers, I think how we implement something is also a relevant topic. So be in my mind that I'd also share some of those details, hope you find it valuable too.

Enhanced Markdown Editor by CodeMirror

The biggest improvement is the editor. We brought CodeMirror to our frontend tech stack and revamped the markdown editor based on it. I would describe CodeMirror as an enhanced text editor that suits modern web requirement. The native textarea is like the old PC from the 90s and CodeMirror is the new iPad.

With CodeMirror, now we're able to style the markdown editor, giving headings a bold css and code block a subtle different look, showing underline for links, etc. Redo/undo works out of the box - something quite hard to accomplish with native textarea.

We did our homework and found out lots of famous websites are also using CodeMirror for their web editors, just to name a few - Slack, Github, Codepen, JSFiddle, and more.

This is just the very first step. We're still learning the tool and exploring the possibilities. ⛵

Light theme markdown editor (left)
Light theme markdown editor (left)

New Landing Page for Guest User

We always felt we did a poor job in the homepage to tell the story what is Bloggie. JR, (an Android engineer but now taking a step towards learning design,) drew an awesome character while watching Netflix! We named it "Hamucat," inspired by Japanese Hamtaro.

We iterated the design, copy several times and came up with the landing page. The CTA button links to an editor demo page to let people try it out without registering.

Revised homepage for guest users
Revised homepage for guest users

If you take a close look at the books, we put Ruby and Kotlin there as our two main developers are "majored" in those languages. That's a little easter egg that makes us feel really happy. Guess that's one of the perks of creating something. 😉

Performance: Cut down JavaScript file size

Thanks to Webpack's Tree Shaking mechanism, we improved the way we import Bootstrap JavaScript. As a result, we were able to cut off 28kb from the compiled JavaScript file. It's a small improvement, a low-hanging fruit, glad we fixed it.

Below is the visualization via Webpack Bundle Analyzer.

Before After
before after

Internal: Developer Happiness

I want to have a section to give a sneak peek of how we organize the work.

In our Github repo, we have a label called "Developer Happiness" that we use it to tag tasks that may not bring immediate value to the product, but they help us to make the development easier, encourage us to get better at doing one thing right and good, empower us to take initiatives to solve problems for other developers.

List of pull requests merged with label Developer Happiness
List of pull requests merged with label Developer Happiness

While building Bloggie and improving it is still our main focus, that is still an "undone" business, we also don't want to forget about enjoying the journey. Because it matters how we get there.


Speaking of September, Japan got hit by Typhoon Jebi - strongest storm of 25 years. On that day, without checking any broadcasts, I simply interpreted it as usual rain and was naive enough to only bring a tiny foldable umbrella and went outside. Luckily got home safely. 😳 The high buildings surrounded by heavy fog and thick rains reminded me of Blade Runner. The wind kept knocking the window like a ghost.

Hope things will be cool in Autumn.

That's it for now. Until next time. 👋


Written By

kinopyo

Indoor enthusiast, web developer and former hardcore RTS gamer. #building-bloggie #rails #coffee #reading #writing, find out more at http://kinopyo.com
Published in Staff Blog

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