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durdn is here talking about tech stuff. or so he says.

Tools for rapid prototyping: a webapp in 1 week

First things first.  My new webapp tuttivisti is live! This post is about how it came to be. In just one week. One person team. Crazy working hours.

So I was there immediately after receiving the news that YC did not select my team for this round. I thought I would feel depressed. I thought that the put down would ruin my mood. Well it didn't!

I actually felt a jolt of energy. For some reason I felt a bit as if I had been freed. Can't really explain why but my motivation and excitement bounced back up. So what did I do with all this creative energy? Well my partner for diffract.me (the other project I am preparing to launch) had to go for a few days back home and we hadn't planned our next iteration yet.

So I decided to dive into something new, short and sweet. Yep, I started coding. Again. From scratch. I sat on the shoulders of giants. For this 1 week challenge I picked some of the most productive tools I know (and these will be topic for a future post):

I'd love to communicate properly the productivity boost that the set of frameworks above can give a developer. No more spending endless hours trying to create a decent CSS/HTML layout.

Bluetrip (and by saying Bluetrip I mean also the great Blueprint and Tripoli from which Bluetrip has been created) makes it trivial to put the stuff exactly where you want it on the screen. Cross-browser. No hassle.

Pinax. Ah, the joy. No more coding for the nth time a registration module. No messing with authentication emails. No rewriting another openid library. No more. It's all there. Ready to use. Greatly structured. Amazing stuff. This is a game changer in my opinion.

Jquery. Well it needs no introduction. Jquery is a work of genius. For me it changed coding in Javascript from a painful experience into a pleasurable one. I love Javascript again.

Now will tuttivisti fly? I sure hope so, but the truth is that it does not matter. What I am saying to myself is: If I can build something like this in 1 week the question is not "will I ever manage to build a webapp that gains some traction?" but "How many attempts will it take? Is 5 going to be enough? 10?". Maybe. :D I have a lot more to say but will cut it short.

I am at the end of a very very long and demanding coding spree.

Update: The past weekend a new version of tuttivisti has gone live, my 2nd week of work on the project, which incorporated much of the feedback I received, but a lot of work is still needed. So feedback is welcome, and - yes I know - I need a graphic designer.

9 November 2008

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