Thursday, November 14, 2019

Release 0.3 - Failure, Again...

The old song and dance...

So we've come to another deadline, and again I am running late. I had an issue to work on, with tania-core and it's SQL to CSV conversion. Turns out this was a much larger undertaking than I expected. I might still work on it for Release 0.4, but I'm unsure if I have the knowledge in SQL and Vue to even attempt tania-box. I worked on it this weekend but with little success, and with time running out and pressures from other courses, I had to find another issue quick. To my surprise, I rediscovered an issue I had commented on but had never been assigned to and jumped on it. I am working on WritingSwarm now, which has already been an interesting project and has opened my mind to a completely different world.

WritingSwarm and the Issue

WritingSwarm is a Dapp for writing short stories collaboratively using the Etheresphere Swarm backend. Sounds complicated, and it is, but first what is a Dapp. A Dapp is a distributed app, meaning that it is run on a distributed system. A distributed system is a a network of computers that pass information between them to achieve a common goal. Swarm is a peer-to-peer distributed storage platform and content distribution service. WritingSwarm uses swarm to develop and share short stories. 

The issue involves adding an auto-save feature to the WritingSwarm site, which is built in Angular. I have used Angular before but never Swarm, so it has been an interesting experience to say the least. Basically, the site already has a save feature, but the user is required to press a save button in order to save their work. My task is to add a toggle switch that toggles between "ON" and "OFF" states for the WritingSwarm environment, and in order to do that I need to use Angular Material, which I have not used before.

The Environment

The hardest part of this issue is getting Swarm up and running, because connecting to it is not simple. In order to develop this project, I have to set up a Swarm node, learn Angular Material, and adapt the existing code to provide the auto-save feature. 

In order to get swarm, I had to use go, which I was fortunate enough to have installed when I was trying to get tania-core up and running. I also had to get geth, which stands for go-ethereum, the official go implementation of Ethereum. Ethereum is basically an open source platform for Dapps. So in order to run WritingSwarm, I had to get an account in Ethereum for go, and download swarm to set up my node. Once I logged in, my node was set up and I was able to serve WritingSwarm on my localhost.

So it started running, however when I try to add a file, I keep getting an error message. I sent a message to Kortatu, the owner of the repository and I am waiting to hear back.

UPDATE: Nov 14

I have not heard back from Kortatu, and the more I hear about Swarm the more I dislike using it. I don't really trust it, and was only using it because I was running out of time. Well now I'm stuck and out of time, so my only option is to find something else. It is very late and I don't expect to do well on this, but I need something to hand in on Friday. I have found a new issue on an old project and will be detailing it in another blog post. I hope to have something working by Friday, and for Release 0.4 I will be more proactive on my external pull request, like I was on my internal one.

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