An Update! What I'm Working On Now

working onupdatescurrent projects

Mon Aug 22 2022

So, I'm starting a new theme here which I hope will lead to blogging more regularly - "what I'm working on now". You see, I've had a block to writing and publishing blog posts, because what I really aspire to do is produce thorough, well-researched, edited and presented articles about specific projects I build or lessons learned in the process. But that is daunting; that is a substantial standard.

This new theme should really help grease the wheels of my writing, so to speak. It's a lower bar, more informal, and more inviting for regular, shorter posts. I do, in fact, have a lot going on, and a lot to write about that's worth sharing (IMHO).

So, without further ado, several of the things I have been, am or will be working on shortly:

1. New resume & projects section on website

Well, I'm finally continuing work on my portfolio site here - and adding my portfolio! Previously I only had three items featured, one of them currently still just a landing page (with a universe behind it...). Now I've got a fair bit of the content organized for most of the projects I want to share here (16 at current count! 😲) and some basic layout and styling to present it (here on my projects page).

My resume is not done; but I have crafted what I consider a decent one-pager, available for viewing, printing, or .pdf download. I intend to go further, making another version of the one-pager including more projects and with less personal details; and I intend to make a multi-page version as well, for those interested in having more in one document.

For the moment, my next priority here will be improving the presentation and fleshing out the actual content of my full list of projects. From that I will be able to derive and distill what I need for a more compact resume.

2. Task/project management: it's been awhile

... and it's gettin' serious. Yeah. I've been investing a fair bit of time in the past 2-3 months, and increasingly in the past 2 weeks, getting setup and organized in project management apps. I deliberately gave up trying to stay on top of project-managing my life several years ago due to pressures of my personal life - health issues and single parenting - so it's refreshing to start to get organized again. This is an area I've had a long-running interest in, and I've scoured the space for outstanding options now and then over the years since at least 2003. I've used most of the major apps out there at some point, even if only to try out the UI and a few features.

I did another big review of the space in June, and settled on an awesome little indie project called AmazingMarvin. This is really a gem of an app, AND a very special, engaged, loyal community. And the features - ! SO MANY features, and some really innovation here. Seriously, this app is a contender with many much larger, better-known projects; if you're into productivity and innovative software, check it out!

However, after a couple of months of trying it out (and paying for a year upfront), I'm still exploring other options... I'll keep using it, but I'm not yet fully satisfied. This is why I long ago decided I needed to build my own knowledge-and-action-management app, or "life management" as I like to think of it; for which my current working title is Metabrain. But until I have that built, the search continues...

So I've been using the legendary ClickUp the past few weeks, hitting some limits on the free plan, close to pulling the trigger on an upgrade a few times - but it's pricey, especially for the Business tier, which unlocks the Timeline and Mindmap views, which are something I'd really like to work with (especially Timeline).

I just opened a trial account on yet another new app yesterday after a relaxing Sunday exploring various application niches; this one is called Flowlu, and I don't recall ever looking at it before. It looks very promising; both for my needs, but especially for my father and his business, which really could use more organization and a knowledge base. He's getting on in years, and his expertise is his greatest asset; the business exists largely in his head, and I hope we can find a tool that he'll actually use so he can put himself in a position to finally retire (or at least, retire that business as he's long wanted to do).

3. Planning several project rebuilds

As part of my resume & portfolio work, I've been looking back on which projects I've made that I really care about; and wanting to get them deployed, for those that are not, so I have demos. And as you know, if you're a developer, when a project has been languishing for several years (even several months sometimes) things tend to break... so many dependencies! So, I've got my work cut out for my simply to get some of these projects functional again, and then deployed in a sensible way. And it's not just dependencies - frankly, my code is a mess. I've learned a lot over the years, and a long way to go yet, but looking back at a project from 3-4 years ago and boyeee can I ever see the value of well-organized projects, components, code and comments!

But then, on top of that, I'm not satisfied with any of them. Nothing is complete; some more than others, but everything could use features, both major and minor. And since I decided to focus my efforts on building Svelte in 2019, and since Sapper was deprecated in favor of Sveltekit, I'd like to rebuild these apps (and those in VueJS and Gridsome, and React if I still have any) from the ground up (with a generous dose of copy-paste) in Sveltekit - or perhaps even another framework; I've set an intention to explore Astro, since the enthusiastic review by the legendary

We'll see how far I get; I'm not going to rebuild everything to the exclusion of new projects and learning. But hopefully at some point before year end I can at least get all of my favorite projects running and deployed.

4. Node-red & visual app development

This is a bit of a surprise for me; I didn't expect to go here. I had other intentions for my next priorities. But on reflection, it just makes sense.

My great meandering software review yesterday was prompted by a question I've been seeking an answer to for years: How to plan apps visually? I've tried many variations on that question and come up with remarkably little; the best guide so far has been my intuition, and the best tools have been LucidChart and FlyingLogic - which would really be anything that did a good job of dragging, linking and arranging custom nodes.

But I have a vision far beyond this, for a visual tool that I believe could seriously facilitate frontend & fullstack develpoment - frankly, the word "revolutionize" might even be appropriate (pardon the hype). It's a tool I've seen the need for, for several years, and I've had a domain and (not very good! Eek, I should really redesign that...) landing page up for over a year and a half now, dedicated to it, at

So, having had Node-red on my radar for several years as the closest thing to what I'm looking to create, I'm going to give it a spin and see what it can do. In the process, I'm hoping to clarify my vision for the UI, workflow and features of my Flowcode Development, and apply them to the aforementioned rebuilds.

Wrapping up

I didn't make time to

That's it for now. I mean, I could say a lot more. Seriously. But, I'd better get back to work - there's a lot to do!