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Dropserver Progress - January 2024

This is the monthly progress report for Dropserver for January 2024. The previous report is here. The Big Picture Dropserver 0.13 is out! 🎉 This is the release that lets Dropserver install apps from a 3rd party website. If you’ve been reading these progress reports, you know it’s been a long time coming. Getting to a Release Before releasing I had to add a few more features and close up some unfinished work.

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Dropserver Progress - December 2023

This is the monthly progress report for Dropserver for December 2023. The previous report is here. The Big Picture I made a big push to get version 0.13 out the door. While I didn’t succeed at actually cutting the release, the most challenging part is complete and I am now just adding a few more items. I also continued developing thoughts on how to take Dropserver to the next stage. I started work on getting ds-dev to work on the Windows operating system.

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Dropserver Progress - November 2023

This is the monthly progress report for Dropserver for November 2023. The previous report is here. The Big Picture Although my main coding focus was getting Dropserver to install and update an application that is hosted on a third party website I got side-tracked by big thoughts on other topics. These don’t help the release tempo but are crucial for steering Dropserver in the right direction in the long term.

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Dropserver Progress - October 2023

This is the monthly progress report for Dropserver for October 2023. The previous report is here. The Big Picture My focus is on getting Dropserver to install and update an application that is hosted on a third party website. Most of the work is really just thinking about what the endpoints look like on the third party site, and all the different ways a user will proceed through the steps of installing an app and create an appspace, in particular thinking about how unattended upgrades will work.

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Dropserver Progress - September 2023

This is the monthly progress report for Dropserver for September 2023. The previous report is here. The Big Picture I worked on finishing app changelogs and started working on installing apps from a URL. This is all part of “Dropserver App Packaging and Distribution” project. I also spent some time thinking about how to present Dropserver.org, how to make it more easily usable, and whether working on app distribution is the best way to spend my time now.

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Dropserver Progress - August 2023

This is the third progress report for Dropserver. This one will be very short thanks to a much needed vacation during most of the month. See last month’s report The Big Picture After the release of version 0.11 I took some time for exploratory thinking. Upon my return from vacation I went to work on the “distribution” part of “app packaging and distribution”. Exploratory Thinking I18N I collected links to tools and libraries that are used for translating apps with the goal of some day doing the work of making Dropserver localizable.

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Dropserver Progress - July 2023

This is the second progress report for Dropserver. This one will be modest unlike the previous epic. The Big Picture I continued to work on app packaging and managed to tag a release. To celebrate, I immediately went to work fixing some of the things that didn’t make it into the release. Finishing Up App Packaging App Name and Description I had to create validations for app name, and decide how to deal with violations.

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Dropserver Progress - April to June 2023

I am going to try writing monthly updates on the progress of Dropserver development. Regardless of whether I have anything significant to share, I’ll post about the past month’s work. I’ll look at my commits and my notes (I take copious notes, arranged chronologically and in threads, but that’s the subject of a different post) and summarize what I worked on. Since this is the first such post it will cover all the work I’ve done from my last release in mid April until the end of June 2023.

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The State of Sandboxing in Dropserver

One of the bigger challenges of developing Dropserver has been to somehow make it safe to run the user’s application code. In this long-ago post I relayed how I tried a number of different approaches, all of them being too difficult to make work until Deno arrived. Naturally that was not the end of the story. But first… Why Is Sandboxing Important in Dropserver? The goal of Dropserver is to make it possible for regular users to run server-side code of their choosing.

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A Secret Santa App On Dropserver

Inspired by Simon Willison’s post on making a Secret Santa app as a Datasette plugin I decided to write a minimalist Secret Santa app for Dropserver. Dropserver is my attempt at building a platform for hosting my own personal apps. A primary objective of DS is that it should be really easy for a developer, particularly a frontend developer, to write an app that can be hosted by Dropserver. DS accomplishes this by using a JavaScript runtime (Deno) and by providing many of the hard parts of backend apps baked in.

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Olivier Forget

Los Angeles, USA
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Aerospace Engineer turned sofware developer and bootstrappin' entrepreneur.