A new feature, a new technology, and personal updates

In this update, we will cover:

  1. The implementation of a new feature
  2. Research and switch to new technologies
  3. Some personal changes that have affected our productivity

New feature: disabling listings

The feature we implemented allows us to disable listings in the app in case we needed to make updates or a designer wants to pull their pattern. Currently this feature is only accessible for admins (Rommel and Liza) for visibility on the mobile app, but we will be able to incorporate this feature on the designer portal as well. This will allow designers to have full control over when their listings are published and live when the designer portal is up and running. Note that this is different from a designer deleting their account. They could already do that, but that would completely delete all their data vs just disabling a single listing.

New technologies

Rommel looked into modern react web frameworks. He specifically wanted to compare client-side and server-side frameworks. Our current website is using plain ReactJS which is a client-side framework. For the server-side frameworks, he looked at NextJS and Astro. We ultimately decided to build the designer portal using NextJS.

The reasons we went with NextJS are the following:  

  1. Speed. Our new site loads in 100 milliseconds compared to the ReactJS site that took half a second. Ultimately, this will translate to a much smoother and faster experience for our users, especially as we continue to grow and add more designers and patterns to the platform.
  2. Better SEO. Search engines can more easily index server-side rendered data, which improves our search engine rankings. This will help improve our marketing and lead to more views, sales, users, and designers for our marketplace.
  3. Accessibility. Server-side rendering can improve accessibility by ensuring that content is available to all users, regardless of whether or not they have JavaScript enabled in their browser. This can be important for users with disabilities who rely on assistive technologies to access web content.
    4. More mature. Astro looks incredibly promising, but it's too new for us. NextJS is more tried and tested, it's easier to find resources for, etc.

In addition, Rommel purchased a new laptop with a M1 chip and has to move all his development over from his old Intel chip laptop. Because of the differences in CPU architecture, it's not as straight forward as just moving files from one machine to another. This is currently a work in progress.

Let's get personal

Lastly, April was a big month in our personal lives. We normally don't divulge personal details, but because we are a husband and wife team they are inextricably linked (for better or for worse). I have transitioned into a new role with a different company which has been a huge stress reliever. However, the process of searching for new jobs, applying and interviewing took a lot of time which otherwise would have been spent on this project.

We also experienced a very big loss with the passing of Rommel's mother at the end of April. We have been mourning her loss and have both taken time to grieve and take things day by day. We are slowly picking up the pieces and getting back to ourselves, but have taken a step back from Fiber Club for the last few weeks.

As always, thank you for your support. We hope you understand our sudden need for a break and can excuse our belated April update. Seeing as no progress has been made and we are unsure of when exactly we will get back into the full swing of things, I will likely not have another update for you until July. Until we speak again, take care and connect with your loved ones when you're able. <3

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