April 20, 2021

Technology Choices [31/365]

I started Requeme thinking that server-side rendering would be the best way to go for me. I wanted to use the web the way it was intended at first, through simple HTML pages.

I am now reviewing this decision. Having an API on top of which I can put multiple different interfaces (like web, CLI and mobile) makes a lot of sense, and it seems like I would have to maintain the two independently if I were to serve HTML directly.

The HTML side is championed by Basecamp and Hey. Those applications were created with this method and are quite reactive using extra Javascript libraries.

On the other hand, I can use Elm to create a robust frontend, and forgo Javascript completely.

Do I need the reactivity ? Not necessarily, but that makes the application feel more modern. That’s a little win.

What do the users need ? I do not have any yet, so I’m cannot be sure. As a future user, I want the ability to create forms, define the associated template, make sure that it works with dummy values. That is the core. Then, I want it to integrate with other software like Jira to export the templated form to. Also, I want to have a CLI interface which allows me to run the commands directly without having to type them myself.

Yes, separating backend from frontend would probably make a lot of sense here then. That means reworking quite a lot of what I did already, but that’s the work. I will try to get it back to the same level it is now quickly so that I can make more progress on the core capabilities.

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