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Saturday, May 2, 2015

Exam season done and... The progress on EvyMap

Onwards with EvyMap (www.evymap.com)! Now that I have been done with my exams for a month, I have invested some time in EvyMap's progress. Throughout that time, I have thought a lot about the way EvyMap should function. This made me make a slight "change of course". The biggest change is the extension of the chat based system to a thread based one.  Therefore, people can create posts on a location and other people can then reply to it.

What that means for the user?
With this system, the usage of EvyMap should feel more natural. You enter a location, get some conversations offered, and you can join, if you want. 

How does this work geographically? 
Your post is going to be shared on the location of your choice. A person doesn't have to be necessary on the same location as your post is in order to see it. It is merely necessary for the other person to be close to your post.
A system has been integrated to adapt to the load on the map. Densely active areas will get the conversations that are more recent and close, while inactive areas will get those further away and less new. 

cool upcoming feature: Spreading of posts! Based on the activity your posts have, they will be able to spread geographically to more locations. 

What has been done further?
  • The design has been greatly adapted.
  • Small description added on the index page.
  • Main page displays well on smaller devices now (phones, etc.).
  • Self-adapting fetching of replies. Ajax calls are adapting their cycles based on activity.
  • Image uploading fixed for profile pictures: images of all proportions are now supported. 
  • The user-search bar is now using trigram matching: greatly improved search.
  • Some more XSS fixes.
  • Move from MySql to Postgresql
  • Code was greatly refactored and a new pipeline for producing Javascript has been made: Grunt is used together with Typescript. Minified Javascript is also produced on the production side -> performance up!
ToDo:
  • Fix more known XSS vulnerabilities.
  • Add bcrypt for password hashing in order to keep the passwords safe.
  • Adapt the post-fetching mechanism to the above load adaption algorithm.
  • Enable manual extension of the search area in time and space. 
  • Automatic user fetching while typing (currently, pressing enter is required).
  • Further adaptation of the reply fetching mechanism is needed.
  • Notifications on replies.
  • Access to made posts through the profile page.
  • Read-access without an account.
  • Delete/edit post/reply.
  • The cool upcoming feature :)

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