Last week I polished my latest spare time project so that I could release it into the wild: Codeshelver lets you clean up your GitHub watchlist by tagging repositories you would like to remember. If you are a GitHub fanboy like me you probably know the problem: Almost daily an interesting project appears in your timeline and you want to remember it, because you might need something like that in the future. You hit the watch button and from now on you are notified about every single commit, issue and wiki change of that project- This is great for code you are using on a daily basis but doesn’t make sense for repositories you would just like to remember, because it practically spams your dashboard timeline with things you are not really interested in.
I had the idea for this project on my mind for some time, but didn’t get around to realizing it because I lacked the motivation to build it with the common stack of technologies. A few weeks ago I started to play with nodeJS and tried to come up with something that was beyond the Hello World examples so I stumbled upon ExpressJS, which could be described as the Sinatra of NodeJS. And so I had my use case for trying out some new technologies to which I also added GreaseMonkey and CouchDB to make it more buzzwordy.
All in all it was fairly easy to develop the app as I just had to knit some good libraries together like express, node-couchdb and nodejs-autorestart which I’m currently using to make the deployment a little easier. Talking about deployment: I had some problems figuring out how to do it the best way, everyone seems to be using Ubuntu’s Upstart and Monit for deploying NodeJS apps. I’d prefer a more generic solution, but I haven’t found a really satisfying way yet, so I’m just killing and restarting the processes.
There are some features in the pipeline that I’d like to add once some more people are using the service and I gather more data, which would offer the possibility to evaluate things like trending and interesting repositories. Now that ExpressJS 1.0 is around the corner I’ll migrate the app and will most likely use CoffeeScript for that, because it looks very promising and easy to integrate - it will also give me one more buzzword up my sleeve ;)
Please go ahead and try Codeshelver, let me know what you think and leave comments and feedback here!