I feel like I just let my blog sit here, most of the time. I really have nothing interesting to write about, and sometimes that makes me sad. Really I use this site because I like owning my screen name, and for some online storage for things I find amusing, but mostly the screen name thing. Maybe I should talk about web development, but I’m no expert and haven’t had any really “original” ideas myself. I’ve merged plenty of things together in my time, written a few custom jQuery plug-ins, created personal style sheet libraries and resets, but nothing that is mind blowing or unique. I’m your average web developer.
One thing I am doing right now is working with my wife’s uncle to develop and publish a children’s book on tablet devices. Mostly we are targeting iPads, but I haven’t left Android out in the cold. Even though the art is targeted towards the iPad resolutions & ratio, since I’m developing it in Adobe Flash/AIR I’ve been working to ensure I can export out an Android version at the same time and publish to the widest market possible. The book, by the way, is called Little Missy Messy, and you can see a preview here: http://littlemissymessy.com/preview.html. It’s only a video version of some of the pages, the real one will be all shiny and animated with page turns and buttons. Why buttons, you ask? Trust me, you asked. It’s for children and the one thing they really love to do is leave their hands and fingers on the screen. By making them use buttons to turn the screen, they won’t accidentally swipe to the next page. So yeah, there’s that.
I’m also working (for 2 years now) on something called SnapChat (you can check out the big blue under development page at SnapChat.org). What is it, you ask again? The goal is to create a fast, easy, and optionally-anonymous chat system that runs right in the browser, open to anyone who has the link. Sounds like something that’s been done before, and it has, but not in such a simple manner. The goal here is to make it fast to start up a chat and share it to whoever you like. It all started back days ago when I was working tech support. I was trying to troubleshoot a system with a customer, but our only method of communication was email. I didn’t have a phone, and I didn’t want to give him my personal IM address, even assuming he used the same services. I wished for an easy chat system that didn’t require any input other than my name, and I could have sent him the URL. Once the troubleshooting was done (after what felt like an eternity), I poked around, came up with the name SnapChat, and registered it. That was 2, maybe nearly 3 years ago now, and the site still hasn’t launched. I’m a perfectionist when it comes to my own projects, and while I’ve made leaps since day 1, I’m always tearing it down and starting it over. I think the only thing I’ve developed on it that hasn’t changed severely is the PHP-based socket server class I wrote. It runs the daemon the spins off new rooms on demand, which are in turn powered by the very same class. It works well, and the API is pretty solid. What is holding me up is the client itself. I want to have a client that looks nice and runs well, and I’m pretty close. Right now it runs over an HTTP API, not exactly optimal, but I am putting together a flash-based socket connector to load onto the page when possible to make the connection more instant, the whole point of using sockets in the first place. I looked into using Socket.IO at one point as they’ve built almost everything already, but this is also a learning experience for me. Since it’s a personal project there isn’t any pressure to get it launched ASAP, so why use someone else’s work when I can understand the concepts for my own? If I had a nice solid week or two I could probably finish it up into a nice beta stage and launch it, so here’s hoping I win the lottery or something.
Anyway, I’ve been rambling for a while now, time to hit the spell check and then publish this wonderful piece of work.