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Search - "how to not do mobile design"
We're using a ticket system at work that a local company wrote specifically for IT-support companies. It's missing so many (to us) essential features that they flat out ignored the feature requests for. I started dissecting their front-end code to find ways to get the site to do what we want and find a lot of ugly code.
So i dig farther and farthee adding all the features we want into a userscript with a beat little 'custom namespace' i make pretty good progress until i find a site that does asynchronous loading of its subpages all of a sudden. They never do that anywhere else. Injecting code into the overcomolicated jQuery mess that they call code is impossible to me, so i track changes via a mutationObserver (awesome stuff for userscripts, never heard of it before) and get that running too.
The userscript got such a volume of functions in such a short time that my boss even used it to demonstrate to them what we want and asked them why they couldn't do it in a reasonable timeframe.
All in all I'm pretty proud if the script, but i hate that software companies that write such a mess of code in different coding styles all over the place even get a foot into the door.
And that's just the code part: They very veeeery often just break stuff in updates that then require multiple hotfixes throughout the day after we complain about it. These errors even go so far to break functionality completely or just throw 500s in our face. It really gives you the impression that they are not testing that thing at all.
And the worst: They actively encourage their trainees to write as much code as possible to get paid more than their contract says, so of course they just break stuff all the time to write as much as possible.
Where did i get that information you ask? They state it on ther fucking career page!
We also have reverse proxy in front of that page that manages the HTTPS encryption and Let's Encrypt renewal. Guess what: They internally check if the certificate on the machine is valid and the system refuses to work if it isn't. How do you upload a certificate to the system you asked? You don't! You have to mail it to them for them to SSH into the system and install it manually. When will that be possible you ask? SOON™.
At least after a while i got them to just disable the 'feature'.
While we are at 'features' (sorry for the bad structure): They have this genius 'smart redirect' feature that is supposed to throw you right back where you were once you're done editing something. Brilliant idea, how do they do it? Using a callback libk like everyone else? Noooo. A serverside database entry that only gets correctly updated half of the time. So while multitasking in multiple tabs because the performance of that thing almost forces you to makes it a whole lot worse you are not protected from it if you don't. Example: you did work on ticket A and save that. You get redirected to ticket B you worked on this morning even though its fucking 5 o' clock in the evening. So of course you get confused over wherever you selected the right ticket to begin with. So you have to check that almost everytime.
Alright, rant over.
Let's see if i beed to make another one after their big 'all feature requests on hold, UI redesign, everything will be fixed and much better'-update.5
Welcome back to practiseSafeHex's new life as a manager.
Episode 2: Why automate when you can spend all day doing it by hand
This is a particularly special episode for me, as these problems are taking up so much of my time with non-sensical bullshit, that i'm delayed with everything else. Some badly require tooling or new products. Some are just unnecessary processes or annoyances that should not need to be handled by another human. So lets jump right in, in no particular order:
- Jira ... nuff said? not quite because somehow some blue moon, planets aligning, act of god style set of circumstances lined up to allow this team to somehow make Jira worse. On one hand we have a gigantic Jira project containing 7 separate sub teams, a million different labels / epics and 4.2 million possible assignees, all making sure the loading page takes as long as possible to open. But the new country we've added support for in the app gets a separate project. So we have product, backend, mobile, design, management etc on one, and mobile-country2 on another. This delightfully means a lot of duplication and copy pasting from one to the other, for literally no reason what so ever.
- Everything on Jira is found through a label. Every time something happens, a new one is created. So I need to check for "iOS", "Android", "iOS-country2", "Android-country2", "mobile-<feature>", "mobile-<feature>-issues", "mobile-<feature>-prod-issues", "mobile-<feature>-existing-issues" and "<project>-July31" ... why July31? Because some fucking moron decided to do a round of testing, and tag all the issues with the current date (despite the fact Jira does that anyway), which somehow still gets used from time to time because nobody pays attention to what they are doing. This means creating and modifying filters on a daily basis ... after spending time trying to figure out what its not in the first one.
- One of my favourite morning rituals I like to call "Jira dumpster diving". This involves me removing all the filters and reading all the tickets. Why would I do such a thing? oh remember the 9000 labels I mentioned earlier? right well its very likely that they actually won't use any of them ... or the wrong ones ... or assign to the wrong person, so I have to go find them and fix them. If I don't, i'll get yelled at, because clearly it's my fault.
- Moving on from Jira. As some of you might have seen in your companies, if you use things like TestFlight, HockeyApp, AppCenter, BuddyBuild etc. that when you release a new app version for testing, each version comes with an automated change-log, listing ticket numbers addressed ...... yeah we don't do that. No we use this shitty service, which is effectively an FTP server and a webpage, that only allows you to host the new versions. Sending out those emails is all manual ... distribution groups?? ... whats that?
- Moving back to Jira. Can't even automate the changelog with a script, because I can't even make sense of the tickets, in order to translate that to a script.
- Moving on from Jira. Me and one of the remote testers play this great game I like to call "tag team ticketing". It's so much fun. Right heres how to play, you'll need a QA and a PM.
*QA creates a ticket, and puts nothing of any use inside it, and assigns to the PM.
*PM fires it back asking for clarification.
*QA adds in what he feels is clarification (hes wrong) and assigns it back to the PM.
*PM sends detailed instructions, with examples as to what is needed and assigns it back.
*QA adds 1 of the 3 things required and assigns it back.
*PM assigns it back saying the one thing added is from the wrong day, and reminds him about the other 2 items.
*QA adds some random piece of unrelated info to the ticket instead, forgetting about the 3 things and assigns it back.
and you just continue doing this for the whole dev / release cycle hahaha. Oh you guys have no idea how much fun it is, seriously give it a go, you'll thank me later ... or kill yourselves, each to their own.
- Moving back to Jira. I decided to take an action of creating a new project for my team (the mobile team) and set it up the way we want and just ignore everything going on around us. Use proper automation, and a kanban board. Maybe only give product a slack bot interface that won't allow them to create a ticket without what we need etc. Spent 25 minutes looking for the "create new project" button before finding the link which says I need to open a ticket with support and wait ... 5 ... fucking ... long ... painful ... unnecessary ... business days.
... Heres hoping my head continues to not have a bullet hole in it by then.
Id love to talk more, but those filters ain't gonna fix themselves. So we'll have to leave it here for today. Tune in again for another episode soon.
And remember to always practiseSafeHex16
What is worse than clients? Yeah, you know it now, the answer is coworkers.
But worst than coworkers, there is another category, which is the “exes” (coworkers).
Let’s talk about Jay (fictional name).
This guy is a spaghetti developer who managed to create a CMS in 1998, which is a fucking bug nest. You can’t do anything without having to write code here and there, and the user is not autonomous. Every fucking module has to be rewritten for every website, it’s slow, it freezes, it’s inconsistent structurally talking, not secured (ok we’re talking about 90’s ) and i don’t know how the fuck he managed to sell it to clients and to convince my boss to sell it and finance its development until 3-4 years ago.
I’ve been working on this masterpile of shit and also learnt to summon daemons to make this shit work, but still, writing PHP from scratch would be a pleasant task compared to work with it to be honest.
Anyway, last year my boss asked me to rewrite all the css of our website and I was fine with it, as long as I had The design files available. And this was ok, we work with a designer and she even bought me a Sketch license to open her files. (I have to mention nice people too sometimes).
This SCMS (Shitty CMS) works with less files to be compiled in css and should update automatically, then in the proper CMS windows you should be able to assign styles and shit. And I didn’t talk about the structure. There were at least 400 css classes for 5 pages...
However 2/3 times this shit couldn’t assign any horse fuck to anything, and stuff even broke. I try to adjust an animation, a slider in another page breaks. The developer was like “you don’t know shit” but still, the cockroaches fucker took 3 days per issue, and sometimes it stayed unsolved.
After weeks of thinking about this (we started “building” the new website in 2015...) he finally discontinued this piece of contemporary art and also started to make clients move to something up to date.
Peace was brought to me... until today.
A client calls and sees that an image slideshow doesn’t work properly on mobile.
Talked about this to my boss, and now he doesn’t want to make them switch and I will have to try to port this to something more modern. Time allocated : 4 hours.
I tried to explain him the fucking hell it is, but still, he wants me to fucking develop a slideshow on this human atrocity.
I’m going to cry and summon a demon to exchange my soul wig I don’t know whatever fucking skill I will need to achieve this.22
So, I was gonna rant about how it can be difficult to design event-based Microservices.
I was gonna say some shit about gateways APIs and some other stuff about data aggregation and keeping things idempotent.
I was going to do all this but then as I was stretching out the old ranting fingers I decided to draw a diagram to maybe go along with the rant.
Now I’m not here to really rant about all that Jazz...
I’m here to give you all a first class opportunity to tear apart my architecture!
A few things to note:
Using a gateway API (Kong) to separate the mobile from the desktop.
This traffic is directed through to an in intermediate API. This way the same microservices can provide different data, and even functionality for each device.
Most Microservices currently built in golang.
All services are event based, and all data is built on-the-fly by events generated and handled by each Microservices.
RabbitMQ used as a message broker.
And finally, it is hosted in Google Cloud Platform.
The currently hosted form is built with Microservices but this will be the update version of things.
So, feel free to rip it apart or add anything you think should change.
Also, feel free to tell me to fuck right off if that’s your cup of tea as well.
I'm a hardware guy. If I do software, it's bare-metal (almost always). I need to fully understand my build system and tweak it exactly to my needs. I'm the sorta guy that needs memory alignment and bitwise operations on a daily basis. I'm always cautious about processor cycles, memory allocation, and power consumption. I think twice if I really need to use a float there and I consider exactly what cost the abstraction layers I build come at.
I had done some web design and development, but that was back in the day when you knew all the workarounds for IE 5-7 by heart and when people were disappointed there wasn't going to be a XHTML 2.0. I didn't build anything large until recently.
Since that time, a lot has happened. Web development has evolved in a way I didn't really fancy, to say the least. Client-side rendering for everything the server could easily do? Of course. Wasting precious energy on mobile devices because it works well enough? Naturally. Solving the simplest problems with a gigantic mess of dependencies you don't even bother to inspect? Well, how else are you going to handle all your sensitive data?
I was going to compare this to the Arduino culture of using modules you don't understand in code you don't understand. But then again, you don't see consumer products or customer-specific electronics powered by an Arduino (at least not that I'm aware of).
I'm just not fit for that shooting-drills-at-walls methodology for getting holes. I'm not against neither easy nor pretty-to-look-at solutions, but it just comes across as wasteful for me nowadays.
So, after my hiatus from web development, I've now been in a sort of internet platform project for a few months. I'm now directly confronted with all that you guys love and hate, frontend frameworks and Node for the backend and whatever. I deliberately didn't voice my opinion when the stack was chosen, because I didn't want to interfere with the modern ways and instead get some experience out of it (and I am).
And now, I'm slowly starting to feel like it was OKAY to work like this.11
So far all designers I worked with do the following:
1. Use "creativity" to come up with stuff that the system does not allow implementing, for example: Changing clock color in mobile statusbar to Blue!
2. Use "creativity" to come up with a heavily customized calendar for a windows software which requires building the control from scratch, but they explain their creativity by saying: Can't you use CSS?
3. Provide iOS only design which follows android guidelines and refuse to provide android styles for at least pages that to be handled differently on each platform, for example, we had a checkout page in an app, and they wanted the same style for both WITHOUT building custom control for it, they said: Can't you use the android custom control inside iOS
4. They design for a website and send same mockups for me to implement on mobile apps, the problem is a web page runs on a big screen when the mobile app doesn't have room for half the stuff they designed but they must look exactly the same as website !!
5. They send entire PSD with no color codes and say: You can extract icons, and colors from psd ... When they should provide them as per our request which is: SVG for Android and PDF for iOS with the color codes, but no, they are lazy!
6. They ask the team to create a page in the app which is almost production ready just so that they test different font sizes and see how it will look on the phone
7. Same as #6 for images that contain text
The list goes on, but those are by the far the ones that made me one step away from resigning, some of them made me resign...6
My German bank really needs some better mobile devs. I just tried to do a bank transfer. For some reason, it strips away all letters out of a previously saved IBAN number, and only gives you a keypad for input, so you can't even change it back -.-16
Ok I know there have been a lot of similar rants to this one, but now I have to write one by myself!
Fuck freelancer.com or whatever that shit is called. I once started using it when I was in school because I thought it was a convenient way to earn money on the side without fixed work times, so I could adjust to how much time I have. But soon I realized that wouldn't happen. It is easy for me to make a website, I have written some css templates from scratch and can apply them, but when will these cocksucking assholes learn that $25 for a website is not only a joke, but a fucking insult? Or a logo for 4? In his video on fiverr, pewdiepie has a point on the thing where he said that you can shit out a logo in 2min and make an easy 4 to 5 bucks, but I like doing things more properly and I bet those fuckers will give you shit for not designing the perfect logo. I once accepted a job where I ended up busting my ass 3 days log for $100 and I thought that was the normal mess at the beginning, before you have former customers rate your profile, but I got perfect ratings and still didn't get or even find any proper jobs. Most are complete shit, like write a fucking book for me or design a fucking Website or pull a logo out of your ass, but some projects are just rediculous. I once saw a project where they wanted some engineer to do the layout for the pipes in a huge processing plant. Yeah, because engineers are so poor and unemployed, even when they are entrepreneurs they dont go to those shity sites. Since I am actually qualified for such a job, I applied just to see if I could land a job that is actually not shitty, but of course it turned out the person had no idea what he was talking about. It is basically a platform where people can pay you in exposure. And the absolutely fucking worst thing about it is that they get away with it. There are always a ton of people, mostly from countries where cost of life is significantly lower, who flood the freelance market with cheap, presumably horrible logos, mobile apps, websites, texts and apparently pipeline layouts. I haven't found a similar platform but where there are only high quality biddings. But that is something that I would love to use.
Sorry for long rant, no potato.1
I believe it is really useful because all of the elements of discipline and perseverance that are required to be effective in the workforce will be tested in one way or another by a higher learning institution. Getting my degree made me little more tolerant of other people and the idea of working with others, it also exposed me to a lot of topics that I was otherwise uninterested and ended up loving. For example, prior to going into uni I was a firm believer that I could and was going to learn all regarding web dev by maaaaaself without the need of a school. I wasn't wrong. And most of you wouldn't be wrong. Buuuuuut what I didn't know is how interesting compiler design was, how systems level development was etc etc. School exposed me to many topics that would have taken me time to get to them otherwise and not just on CS, but on many other fields.
I honestly believe that deciding to NOT go to school and perpetuating the idea that school is not needed in the field of software development ultimately harms our field by making it look like a trade.
Pffft you don't need to pay Johnny his $50dllrs an hour rate! They don't need school to learn that shit! Anyone can do it give him 9.50 and call it a day!<------- that is shit i have heard before.
I also believe that it is funny that people tend to believe that the idea of self learning will put you above and beyond a graduate as if the notion of self learning was sort of a mutually exclusive deal. I mean, congrats on learning about if statements man! I had to spend time out of class self learning discrete math and relearning everything regarding calculus and literally every math topic under the sun(my CS degree was very math oriented) while simultaneously applying those concepts in mathematica, r, python ,Java and cpp as well as making sure our shit lil OS emulation(in C why thank you) worked! Oh and what's that? We have that for next week?
Mind you, I did this while I was already being employed as a web and mobile developer.
Which btw, make sure you don't go to a shit school. ;) it does help in regards to learning the goood shit.7
Imagine a web way ahead of our time where its size goes beyond our imagination...
This is my first rant, and I'll cut to the chase! I don't like how web currently stands. Here's what makes me angry the most altough I know there's a myriad of solutions or workarounds:
- A gazillion credentials/accounts/services in your lifetime.
- Everyone tries to reinvent the wheel.
- There's no single source of truth.
- Why the fuck there's so much design in a vision that started as a network of documents? Why is it that we need to spend time and energy to absorb the page design before we can read what we are after?
- What's up with the JS front end frameworks?! MB's of code I need to download on every page I visit and the worse is the evaluation/parsing of it. Talk about acessibility and the energy bills. I don't freaking need a SPA just give a 20-50ms page load and I'm good to go!
- I understand that there's a whole market based on it but do we really need all that developer tools and services?
- Where's our privacy by the way? Why the fuck do I need ads? Can't I have a clue about what I wan't to buy?
Sticking with this points for now... Got plenty more to discuss though.
What I would like to see:
A unique account where i can subscribe services/forums/whatever. No credentials. Credentials should be on your hardware or OS. Desktop Browser and mobile versions sync everything seemlesly. Something like OpenID.
Each person has his account and a profile associated where I share only what I want with whom I want when I want to.
Sharing stuff individually with someone is easy and secure.
There's no more email system like we know. Email should be just email like it started to be. Why the hell are we allowing companies to send us so much freaking "look at me now, we are awesome", "hey hey buy from me".. Here's an idea, only humans should send emails. Any new email address that sends you an email automatically requests your "permission" to communicate with you. Like a friend request.
Oh by the way did I tell you that static mail is too old for us? What we need is dynamic email. Editing documents on the fly, together, realtime, on the freaking email. Better than mail, slack and google docs combined.
In order for that to work reasonably well, the individual "letter" communication would have to be revamped in a new modern approach.
What about the single source of truth I talked about? Well heres what we should do. Wikipedia (community) and Larry Page (concept) gave us tremendous help. We just need to do better now.
Take the spirit of wikipedia and the discoverability that a good search engine provides us and amp that to a bigger scale. A global encyclopedia about everything known to mankind. Content could be curated from us all just like a true a network.
In this new web, new browser or whatever needed to make this happen I could save whatever I want, notes, files, pictures... and have it as I left it from device to device.
Oh please make web simple again, not easy just simple and bigger.
I'm not old by the way and I don't see a problem with being older btw.
Those are just my stupid rants and ideas. They are worth nothing. What I know for sure is that I'll do something about or fail trying to.12
Recommendation for mobile css queries?
I want to use one or two queries. Not more. And I find lists of way too many.
Is there a guide that covers like.. two? Two additional widths you should design? How do you do responsive webdesign?6
I have no specific story to tell (for now. Will post ke if i remember one) but i have had tons of CS teachers that are shit. From ones who don't know shit to ones who are so bad as a human being i am sure thrte are hundreds of people out there to kill them. I have had multiple teachers where all they did was read out a book and we'd have o site everything they read. Whole fucking semester. And not just one person or once. M-U-L-T-I-P-L-E TIMES AND TEACHERS. then I ve had ones who would rejection my code even if it's better, is right, can andle more edge cases, most likely magnitfrs of times faster and isn an eye sore with just effig if-else on op of if-else nested within if-else with many for loops. Then there are those who want you to do just what they want and expect you to not have a life of your own. Those who blatantly abuse their powers. Those who couldn't care less. Those who are not that bad a teacher but their attitude and style just makes you want to leave. There's one currently who wants a group of 4 people in second year to develop a full blown industry level application in mere 3 weeks. AND WE ARE HAVING OUR THEORY PAPRRS INBETWEEN FOR 2 EFFING WEEKS. So that's just like a month. Fortunately I have a group that's good enough that I can have them do the testing and filling up the documentation (did I mention that he needs full documentatiin for software plus a report on how our development process) and have them work on presentation (yup. We need to present this thing) all for just 50 marks. 1 uni credit. Our system still gives 80% weightage to pure theory. Plus the practical part is somewhat theory too.
Our HOD wants us *insists*forces** to stay back at college and work on projects (which is nice but what he ments is use the shitty outdated books from early 2000s to study something). Now I'd be happy to stay back if college provided decent internet (I am not asking for gigabit speeds. Even 1-2Mbps would work) and place to sit. But nope, our college non-teaching staff is eager to send us out of their department and by extention college building. There is literally nowhere you can sit. Plus yup, there is no internet and nowhere for you to plug your laptop in. That's a moot point anyway because they don't want you to use your laptop in college library or anywhere anyways. Plus you don't get much of mobile data too because of the building design. Those work only near windows. Why would I be at college if I can get a 50+Mbps down, area to sit, snacks, port to charge all at home. And you'd say we should talk with him about this – well it's not his issue is all he has to say.
Well, such is life in Indian colleges. And my college/uni is one of the better ones.1