Winding down for the evening. Progress turned out to be different than I expected. I went into this thinking I would code the whole thing first and then work on the UX. After I set up the server and started to dive in, I realized I didn’t know enough about exactly what I wanted to do in order to start any sort of real development work. So instead I went the route of building a proof-of-concept page that helped me start to suss out the types of data I’m going to want to capture and also start to get a feel for how I might want to display it and how it might need to be linked together.
It doesn’t look like much, but it was all very useful in figuring out exactly what work has to be done this week.
This exercise made me realize that I really could do the whole thing manually for a while until it just didn’t scale anymore. Initially I’d planned to build a CMS to help me populate the pages, but I think I just may push that idea to the side for now in favor of just building some manual pages to make sure it all works together. I don’t see the content updating very often, so maybe static pages might be the way to go.
Then again there are some very redundant bits of code in there already that I wouldn’t mind having neater/cleaner. It’s an interesting balance between building it to survive the apocalypse and building it to survive ~100 entries or fewer (especially in the beginning). We’ll see.
There are some more dynamic parts I want to include, like user accounts and perhaps suggested content and user-contributed content, but I think I need to spend a little more time on the manual process of adding things in order to really decide where and how that could help.
Anyway, not a bad first few hours. I see some serious copy-writing ahead of me which I didn’t factor into my one-week time box, but if I go this more manual route, it shouldn’t too much of an issue.
Tomorrow’s mission: Build out 1-2 more pages so I can get a better idea for what’s missing and start to standardize the content. Also clean up the redundant code and explore whether I can get away with not putting the main content in the database and reserving that for user accounts.
I think by the end of tomorrow I may be able to have a rudimentary version of the site up and running and from there I can work on improvements and the CMS if I decide to go that route. Unless the weather is nice, in which case I may lose a few hours to drone explorations!