I returned to work at Big Cartel on Monday, diving straight into prepping the theme refactor for release Tuesday evening. The last 1% of a project always takes a disproportionate amount of effort to wrap (and Matt’s good at breaking stuff). The actual deployment took about half the amount of time we expected, but after we were back online and had started the task that migrates the accounts to the new model, we ran into some unexpected difficulties with a few accounts. Matt and I worked until about 3.30 am to track down the issues (mostly stemming from some older inactive accounts that failed various data validations that had been introduced years after the accounts were last accessed). I then spent the following (late) morning verifying the fixes we had introduced the night before and then re-running the migration task (which, at last, ran without incident).
Refactoring our theme model is the single largest change we’ve made to Big Cartel since I started at Indie. Changing this much code on a feature as fundamental as store customization is rather daunting, but it was needed. Thanks to Lee and Matt for helping me knock out that last 1%. This next week, I’ll finally be getting back to work on our next big customer-facing feature (which inspired this refactoring in the first place).
Work continues on When Comes as well. I’m learning that with iOS I have to cheat to get the effects I want. For example, when using CATiledLayer with a high-resolution image, you have to create a low-resolution version of the image for the background to cover the loading of the tiles. Core Animation’s compositing makes it look seamless, whereas without the background image you see each tile pop onto the screen sequentially as it’s loaded.
As for the book itself, Ben has finished up editing the images for press and is learning his way around InDesign.