Before my Trans Am Trail trip last year, I put in serious effort trying to get the mobile friendly version of the site finished and fielded. As it seems to always happen in my life, things intervened and I did not get everything finished that I wanted to. So having run out of time, I installed what I had, left to ride the trail, and made due as well as I could. Unfortunately, there were quite a few show-stopper bugs which rendered the site largely unusable for most people. Facebook logins were broken. For many the normal login dialog didn't work. The forum on some browsers doesn't render correctly. Popups would fail. My cool little editor (that I'm using to type in this message) is also having problems with newer browsers. It's a mess. When I got back I didn't have a clear idea of "what next". The trail was harder than I thought it was going to be and it had taken quite a bit out of me. Unexpectedly, I got caught up for some time doing Good Deeds. A while later a good friend hooked me up with an opportunity to do some very lucrative contracting for some billion dollar company. It would have been interesting work on real enterprise class problems but I confess my heart wasn't in it. When, after a couple months of negotiations, it finally became clear their lawyers and mine couldn't find common ground, I decided to walk. Part of me was really bummed as I was really looking forward to working with my friend again but that was really the only part I was looking forward to. In the back of my mind I've long thought I would eventually have to go back to contracting to shore up the revenue picture, or, God forbid, get a Real Job(tm). But, quite out of character, I started pondering what I actually wanted to do. I slowly came to the understanding I really don't want to go back to that world at all if I can in any way avoid it. If I have to, then obviously I will. But maybe there's another way? During my trip a long shot but very interesting and dare I say exciting opportunity came along for me to do something "for real" with M-BY-MC and all this software I've built. Even while I was going back and forth on contract reviews, I started working on this opportunity as a side project. Literally the minute I turned the billion dollar company down, I went "all in" on this long shot opportunity. Who knows if it'll succeed but I'm going to give it all I have. I should be able to talk about it in a few months if all goes well. I've been getting up before 7 more days than not and working until midnight. I haven't worked like this in years. I suspect I'll be doing this for months to come. I am stepping up my game. Progress is being made and I've fixed a huge number of bugs and added some new features which I'll describe in a follow on post once I have a few more bugs knocked out. The site as it stands right now is in "proof of concept" shape and I need to move it to a solid beta. The user interface will change to be more intuitive and hopefully work better on phones. Quite a number of new features will be added, mostly to the maps. However, in the mean time, I could really use some recurring testing help and some feedback. I've reworked the Facebook login and registration. If you have a moment could I ask you to try to log in and if that works maybe reply to this post? If you're brave you could play with the maps (hit the Maps tab at the top and click New Map and start clicking around.) The maps now even work on an iPhone. If anything doesn't work please shoot me a message and let me know using the contact form https://miles-by-motorcycle.com/contact or on twitter or Facebook. I suspect if all goes well there's going to be more activity around here. Wish me luck.
Another day, another few updates. I've found and fixed a number of bugs. Actually, fixing bugs in my own code is not all that challenging. However, when my code breaks because third party code that I use has issues, it's particularly difficult and time consuming. This bug was actually causing a number of problems for the editor: #9771 (autocomplete sets input/editable div value on end/beginning of menu when focus event cancelled.) – jQuery UI (https://miles-by-motorcycle.com/136/links/9254/-9771--autocomplete-sets-input-editable-div-value-on-end-beginning-of-menu-when-focus-event-cancelled-----------jquery-ui----) So I spent the day crawling through the "jQuery UI" project source code to find and fix this issue, so now the tag and @ mention dropdowns should be much more reliable. Also, I've fixed the dropdown in the tagging/bookmarking dialog so it doesn't destroy itself with long lists of tags. (You can bookmark anything on the site by clicking the bookmark link under it. You'll see how other people have tagged it and you can add your own tags to it.) I also made the bookmark dialog smaller. The advanced search box should now work even if you select some tags or @ mentions. Previously it was closing the window if you selected something from the dropdown. Very annoying. However, you now have to click CANCEL in the box to get it to close.
Over the summer I had written a road report about my last trip to Deal's Gap. In that report, I described a few things I had figured out about how to convey the feel of cornering to someone else. Chris at RevZilla noticed the article and put a link to it on the RevZilla Facebook page with a complimentary introduction. This was a very unexpected surprise. That one act caused 100 new people to like the M-BY-MC Facebook page, our best day up to that point.From this and a bit of reading, I gained a ...Read More
I am feeling the pressure to get all this code I'm writing done ... it's always a question of how much is enough and whether or not a given shortcut I take now, to get something done faster, will cause me great pain in the future. However,I'm still on target to have a first version of the social maps code built and integrated before the end of January. I've made a huge amount of progress on the foundation code that everything else will be built on top of.Once that's done, adding new feat ...Read More
Ian had moved away. Each year he would say, "I'll ship my bike out and we'll do our trip to the Gap again." Each year it wouldn't happen. So, eventually, I decided to guilt him into it by buying a guest bike which we affectionately called "Ian's bike'. I picked up a relatively inexpensive '99 R1100S with less than 10,000 miles on it, but I had made a serious error. I failed to notice that the bike had been badly wrecked and not put back together correctly. It was a stupid out of character m ...Read More