I’ve done some minor researching into this idea of mine, that really became a thing when I started making my blog super lightweight. And I really want to carry that over into whatever this project becomes.
Whatever I do, will of course be personally oriented, and it will be packed full of decisions that wouldn’t work best for most people. But it’s a personal project first, and if it becomes more flexible and open in the future, that’s just a bonus.
What To Track
With Google Analytics, you get a whole bunch of stats. This can be really handy for someone trying to deeply understand interactions with a website, but it’s a bit over the top for the menial use I want out of it. There’s also the added fact that you’re tracking your users — it’s not a big deal, but I’d rather not invade people’s privacy.
There are very minimal metrics that I want to capture, and that is page views, referrer websites, and possibly number of sessions - although I don’t care about this too much. But regarding the first two, this can be completed by simply telling something the page that’s been loaded, and what referred it. Luckily for me, it’s all in the HTML DOM and I think I’ll be able to do this super minimally.
The way’s this basic data could be used is also rather interesting to me, as when the message is received (by a server, or whatever), a date can be applied. Which means the data can be sorted by the date, collated into individual pages, and some pretty cool graphs could be made from it.
How to do it
For the sake of the front-end implementation, I plan this to be a simple PUT request, which will send the (as mentioned above) data to whatever server that is in control of the analytics. From there, it will require no more work from the client.
For the back-end, the speed, and “heaviness” of the implementation isn’t super important for me at the beginning stage. Because initially it will only serve myself, so it’s not a big load that will be put on it. But my first idea is to use a cloud server on Digital Ocean, to host a Swift server app! Built using Perfect, because I had a great experience with it when I experimented with a text formatting API. There’s also the fact that I am mainly a Swift developer, and is more likely to get finished if I make use of that.
As with all my other projects, I’ll be pretty vocal with the progress, and try to share as much as possible. This will be done mainly on Twitter, where you can follow me at @chrishannah, and if you want to know something I haven’t shared yet, just ask!
It’s been a while since I actually wrote something, and that’s mainly because of my university work that’s been piling up (I finish this June!), and also because I’ve been developing a few mini projects with Swift. The latter is what I’m going to be writing about today.
Basically, over the past few weeks I’ve been getting back into using the command line more. Why is a hard question, but mainly because I’m a nerd, and it’s pretty fun!
I personally, have Hyper set up with the
hyper-ayu theme, and my favourite monospaced font, SF Mono.
This is getting a bit too meta, so I’ll bring it back on topic.
So I’ve actually developed four command line applications in the past two weeks, and they’ve all been build using Xcode/Swift1. The apps themselves are unix executable files, that can just be double-clicked and ran, but on each project I include more helpful installation/usage information.
(Not to be mistaken with my macOS app, Qwiki)
This is the first one I made, and it was probably the easiest of them all. That’s because the majority of the code I could just reuse from my already released app, Qwiki! This app, cwiki , is just a super minimal version of that app.
You just type
cwiki followed by a search query, and it will print out the most relevant matches. It does however, only print out a basic description of the articles.
Check out cwiki on GitHub.
So after the first project, I was a bit more intrigued, I decided to make a more interactive app. slink is purely a URL shortener that uses the Goo.gl API, but this lets you shorten, and also expand (Goo.gl) shortened links.
The slightly more complex functionality than before, led me to work out how options are managed in command line apps. So if you want to shorten or expand a link, just use either
--expand. I also made a mini usage guide, that you can print out using
Check out slink on GitHub.
The third project was a bit similar to the first two, in that it made use of a few different options to return different data, but it also presented it like cwiki.
It’s a basic interface for Hacker News, and by making use of the various options, you can retrieve the new, top, and best lists.
Check out hacker on GitHub.
Okay this one is really simple, it makes use of Brett Terpstra’s TitleCase API, which formats a given string of text to the AP Title Case style. I actually find these types of tools perfect when writing a blog post, as usually the title is formatted incorrectly.
The API was probably the easiest one I’ve ever used. But then again, there was only one parameter, no options, and one return type.
Check out TitleCase on GitHub.
Now I guess everyone knows what I’ve been up to, so I can get back to slaving away over university work, and making some random projects!
P.S. I actually have some other really great news that I’m going to share here soon, but I’m just waiting on it being finalised a bit more.