Daily Learning Notes for April 6th, 2017

Just a few notes from working on my mob coding app:


  • Finally started using the Dotenv package to manage local environment variables.

  • Switched to handling GitHub authentication with my own server and learned how to make a new route that makes a POST request from Node and redirects the user back to the homepage with their GitHub access token. Woohoo!

  • Set up production version with Heroku environment variables, no more hard-coded URLs or client ID (for now, just using an AJAX request to get the client ID from the server).

  • Did a second user test, this time virtually, with this fun practice problem from r/DailyProgrammer! Got some good feedback and identified some more bugs.


  • How should I go about generating an “unguessable string” for the state parameter for GitHub authentication?

  • What’s the simplest way to pass a variable from my server to my clients? Do I have to stop using that nifty Express static file server function? Do I need to use a templating system? Is it stupid to use AJAX to request it from the server? (For now, I’m just using an AJAX request.)

  • What’s the simplest way to make a POST request from my NodeJS server? (Answered: Just use http.request method, woohoo!)

Some research on the GitHub API:

  • https://developer.github.com/guides/getting-started/
  • https://developer.github.com/v3/git/commits/#create-a-commit
  • https://mdswanson.com/blog/2011/07/23/digging-around-the-github-api-take-2.html
  • http://github-tools.github.io/github/
  • http://www.nolim1t.co/2017/03/08/uploading-to-github-through-the-API.html
  • https://git-scm.com/book/en/v2/Git-Internals-Git-Objects
  • http://www.levibotelho.com/development/commit-a-file-with-the-github-api

Tangent: What a cool idea for Jekyll blogs! https://github.com/benbalter/jekyllbot

Next steps: (based on user test feedback)

  • Make the code editor take up as much screen real estate as possible!

  • Add some way to choose a programming challenge and load in its instructions!

  • Display programming challenge instructions separately from the code, so players can read it more easily while others are typing.

  • Add some sort of notification system to alert players when it’s their turn.

  • Fix bug where turn changes before the timer is up!

  • Find out why my app crashed or why it kicked out all the clients after a while. Try deploying via Cloud9 instead, see if that makes any difference, and check the logs.