Oh, the places you'll go

9th June 2019

It’s been a while since I wrote here, mostly because I’ve got so much going on that I’ve had to choose between building and talking about what I’ve been building.

So, here is a highlight reel!


Things have been progressing, steadily, on Gitstore. It’s still just me building the main app, but recent additions have made it possible for Shawn and Jason to bring much of the maintainer and repository data to a secondary marketing site.

When you go gitstore.app, you’re looking at the marketing site. We want to build this out to be the “Store” experience, while enjoy.gitstore.app will remain the “Maintainer” experience.

To achieve this, I built a new Webflow client, and set about pushing model events to Webflow. Every time a profile is updated, a repository is activated, or a plan is changed; we send the minimum-viable data to Webflow. Things are about to get a lot better for maintainers who want to present a great shop to their customers…

The Webflow client is open source and free, but I have created a corporate support plan on Gitstore. I want to try this kind of funding, because I believe that the main users of such a library are likely to be companies who already pay for premium Webflow features.

Now, I can move on to improving the first-time experience. Shawn has designed a bit of UI to condense the handful of steps a maintainer needs to take to start selling. I am building it so that it can be embedded (both in our marketing site, and by third-party theme/extension sites).

The idea is that this embeddable “wizard” will take the maintainer from “create an account” to “here’s a link to your live shop” in a matter of minutes.


I have been talking, writing, and tweeting about Pre for years. Recently, the site started tanking. I suspect the Docker config (and recent vulnerabilities) might be responsible.

After performing constant first-aid on it, I decided to rebuild. It’s a really neat bit of tech, which allows custom code and syntax to be written and executed in the browser. I just don’t think anyone else is using it nearly as much as me; and certainly not enough to justify the amount of time I was spending just trying to keep the server up.

So, I created a tiny ParcelJS/ReactJS single-page app to replace it.

I’ve reused a similar “typing” theme, which the previous site had, but I’ve made it a bit faster and non-interactive. You can scroll and copy the example code, but you can no longer type your own code in. I feel that folks who will be interested enough to try and create their own macros (or use the existing ones) are probably capable of running and waiting for the single command-line instruction to get started.

I still need to document 10 macros, but I decided to put the site live in the meantime. A few people were looking at it, thanks to a shout-out at #DPCon2019, and the previous site didn’t have all that much documentation anyway.


Joe Mancuso and I have been co-authoring a book about Masonite, for Apress. We’ve submitted 3 chapters, so far. We’re scheduled to submit the final manuscript by the end of the year, so you can look forward to the new book early next year.

I have loved working with Masonite; and Joe is accommodating, humble, and talented. I think I enjoy “Laravel in Python” more than I enjoy “Laravel in Javascript”. Not because Adonis is bad (it’s great!) but because Python is just different. I’ve been writing Javascript non-stop, for years now. It’s nice to be switching things up.


After the lovely experience I’ve had rebuilding the Pre site, I’ve decided to rebuild this blog using the same setup. That means this blog isn’t gonna be async PHP or use Phpx; but I want to reduce the amount of work involved in blogging.

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