FrontierNav Report: October 2019
I wasn't planning to write a monthly report since I'm already writing weekly ones. But I realised weekly reports are a bit varied and it's nice to have a monthly update just around FrontierNav. This report only covers October. I'll be sharing what I did in November in a future report.
Changes in October
- Optimised Data Tables for smoother scrolling (2019-10-13)
- Added Pop-out Windows (2019-10-21)
- Improved server security. (2019-10-21)
- Introduced Staging Environment for more accurate automated tests (2019-10-29)
- More features around Data Tables.
Pop-out Windows are the biggest feature this month. It's a huge convenience on desktop and saves a lot of clicking around.
They are a bit limited. Windows can't be resized and their content is static. However the ground work has been laid for more advanced features using the "Window Manager", such as...
Currently the Sidebar is tied to the URL. The Main Window, where the Maps and other visualisations are rendered, also relies on the URL.
Previously, FrontierNav only really had one context so sharing a single state, the URL, was never an issue. But the limitations are starting to show as new features start conflicting with existing ones.
For example, on mobile viewports, the Sidebar covers the Main Window. At the same time, closing the Sidebar causes the Main Window to change too; making certain pages inaccessible. I've been working around this by essentially having permutations of state for each page: one for the Sidebar, one for the Main Window, and one for both. This obviously is a major headache to manage.
Ideally, the behaviour of the Sidebar should depend on the context. So having the contexts drive that behaviour makes the most sense. Things like "Show the Sidebar when the user selects a search result", "Show the Sidebar when the user expands a table row", and so on.
Now with a Window Manager implemented, this sort of behaviour should be easier to implemented. The Sidebar pretty much is a Window, except it's docked to the left side rather than freely floating.
I haven't release this change yet, but it's one example of what the "Window Manager" enables.
As always, Data Tables have been increasing in features as-needed. They're not that major to individually list. I've also added more data for Astral Chain such as Enemy Spawns and tidied up existing data from previous games.
There are still certain processes that I need to migrate over. Image upload is probably the more obvious one but it carries a huge security and cost risk compared to everything else. There's also templating to properly render the data in the Sidebar which is currently done in code.
I'm going to also have to start thinking about on-boarding processes to get others to use the data editing tools. Things like documentation, user guides, integrated merge processes and so on. There's a lot to do.
Thanks for reading.