It has been a trying last few weeks, but I have finally rolled out the new SWAN Manager. It ended up being almost a total rewrite, and I walked away with a lesson learned:
- Even on a total rewrite, I should have consistently been checking in my code at “checkpoints”. Instead, I waited until everything was working, then did one single massive checkin. Inevitably I missed stuff, forgot to cleanup stuff, and had to resolve a couple of SVN conflicts where it just didn’t understand what the hell happened.
I have highlighted a few of the more significant changes in screenshots below:
An area I am particularly proud of is the display of the icons the user should see. I take each role name, and do a Net::HTTP fetch on them, checking for a 200 result, and displaying it. This is all handled in a helper.
Here I have an image of the announcement wizard further down on the same page as the image above. The date selected is handled by a Rails plugin called “unobtrusive_date_picker“. It allows some cool tricks like keyboard arrow navigation, and the ability to define starting / ending date ranges, and minute increments in the select box.
Additionally, once the announcement is sent, rather than going to get a cup of coffee while it runs the process (sometimes 10+ minutes), it now backgrounds it in a separate rake task.
All in all, I think that this is a word of difference from the previous SWAN Manager. This is stable, fast , and easy enough now that I feel it is something the campus as a whole can use without concern.Â And it will need to live up to it expectations as well, as we have a few departments already lined up to start using its functionality as soon as we give the green light.
After I pat myself on the back, I suppose its time to get back to working on all those pesky channels…