Jan Monschke

Weeknotes 6/2021

#somewhere · #ping · #darknet diaries · #music
February 07, 2021

Side Projects

Somewhere

The project is nearing its end soon so the students are in scrum mode. The Babelsberg orchestra finished recording the background music and it sounds absolutely amazing. The digital soundtrack was already great. Hearing it played by an actual orchestra is just on another level 🤩.

For me it means I’m preparing the landing page so it works well on all kinds of devices. In the beginning we mainly wanted to support iPads and desktop browsers. Now that we saw that I have some extra time, I can add support for mobile phones as well. 📲

My favorite approach to building the responsive behaviour is to start of with a simple box version of the website. Each box represents one of the main content sections, is labeled with a descriptive name and has a unique background color. Then I add the code that makes the boxes behave correctly on different devices.

By limiting myself to only boxes in this first step, I can focus on the responsive behaviour and not get caught up in small imperfections in the actual content. It also makes the site render very fast. 🏎

My main tool to test the responsive behaviour is the Responsive Design Mode in Firefox. When I’m happy with the result, I put it on codepen and check out how the layout behaves on my mobile phone. Check out the box version that I built last week below. You can use the scale buttons to see different breakpoints:

Ping

It was a week of reading up on technologies again for Ping. The product needs a file upload. We are using Firebase, so I read through the documentation of Firebase Cloud Storage to see if it fits our use case. So far it looks like it will suffice. It’s probably a bit too powerful for what we need 😄. I was pleased to find out that the API also supports merging of files (aka object composition) in a single operation. No need to download files to a server, concatenate them and then upload them again.

In addition to reading on file storage, I also managed to implement parts of the core recording logic. A recording in a session can now be controlled by a host and all clients will happily record locally when told so. So far there is only the option to download the recorded file to your computer. No upload yet, but that is already a great achievement 🎉.

I will go into the details on what Ping actually is about in the near future. But for the time being, you’ll have to live with these teasing updates 😅

Entertainment

My favorite podcast at the moment is Darknet Diaries. Their newest episode “jet-setters” features an interview with the hacker known as "Alex" who wrote this amazing report on how they found Tony Abbott’s passport number on Instagram. I remember literally laughing out loud when I read the story last year. It was great to hear more about what was going on behind-the-scenes and how “Alex” felt during the process. If podcasts are not your thing, I highly recommend still reading the article!

Song of the week

This week it’s one of those songs again that puts me right into flow and makes me dance at my desk. It has strong synthwave vibes, so if that’s your cuppa tea, give it a listen. I’m a big fan of Todd Terrje and I’m sure he’ll pop up in this section a couple more times 😎