October 16, 2018

NOTE: This project has been archived and will no longer be actively maintained.

So, I’ve been working on a little all-in-one web app that has a bunch of tools all in one place. It’s called Niamelle [source], and, so far, it has:

Some of those features are incomplete and still under active development. Anyway, I hope you’ll try it out and let me know what you think!

WARNING: This video contains some fast color changes.

Before I leave, let me just say a bit about why I’ve been making Niamelle.

First, as I’ve mentioned a few times recently, I believe that the internet has become too centralized. Monopolies like Google, Facebook, Twitter, Amazon, etc., own too much of our data. Sometimes, I wonder whether I’ve got my tin foil hat on a little too tightly with respect to these companies ... but then I remember how Facebook and Twitter swung the 2016 election, how Google is willing to censor content on behalf of the Chinese government, and how Jeff Bezos is wealthier than the entire southern hemisphere. (Okay, I might have exaggerated that last one — but not by much.) Furthermore, our data is getting sold and leaked and hacked from these companies all the time because such treasure troves can’t be resisted by hackers — and then the companies don’t notify us of the sale or breach for months or even years. We also don’t have control over the terms of service of these platforms, and are therefore subject to their whims and caprices. It may not be very safe for me to run my own server since I’m not a security expert ... but then it also seems that our data isn’t really safe anywhere else. So, what’s a person to do?

Second and relatedly, I’m not a back-end guru, so I’ve relied on Firebase as my “backendless” solution for too long. It’s worked fine, but I’ve wanted to ditch Google products for a while for all of the above reasons. I finally started working on Direbase, a replacement for Firebase. It’s not perfect yet, but it works pretty well for my purposes so far. Direbase gave me an opportunity to sharpen my back-end skills, and Niamelle gave me an opportunity to really see how well Direbase held up in production (though, of course, since nobody knows me or my projects, I have no idea how well it’ll scale).

Third, it’s a hassle to log into a bunch of websites or apps in order to access all of the tools I want ... so I just decided to put them all in one place! I’ve had my Notes app for a long time, of course, but it’s text-only; I’ve been wanting more functionality for a while now, and this is my answer to that desire.

Fourth and finally, I wanted the challenge. I already have pretty good Vue skills, I think, but I’ve wanted to continue to sharpen them.

So, that’s it! Again, I hope that you’ll try it out and give me some feedback on it!