First week of building Letterhive | DevDiary

Sent on June 14th, 2022

Hope you are doing great.

I've told in the last email that I've started to work on Letterhive, which is an SEO friendly archive (or a website) for any newsletter. I want to talk about how the development went till now.

No links to share this time too, but you can expect it soon.

Setting up the project

I wanted to setup everything with Cloudflare Workers. But almost all the dependencies were being updated at that time and the Prisma Client wasn't completely ready to work with workers environment.

Update: Now they seem to have a package, @prisma/client/edge, for the edge computes like CF Workers.

I had to configure data proxy and that was hectic to work locally. The struggle was real. I spent more than a day trying to make this work. Fiddled with multiple template repos to see what works, what I want, etc.

The setup was stopping me from writing code that handles to the main logic of the app. The logic is the most interesting part while working on side projects.

The setup was adding friction for me to have fun building the app.

I took a step back.

I decided to go with something that already works so I could get started with writing the code ASAP.

I cloned Indie Stack, which is from folks behind Remix framework, and got started with the logic. It has all the good stuff - Remix (Obviously), Tailwind, Prisma w/ Postgres, Fly deployments, email password auth, etc. That's what I need. I will switch the auth with email magic links soon as I like it more that having users to remember their passwords.

Up and running 🚀


What to build first

As the app is new, there are lot of things to be built. Few are absolute necessary and few are nice to have. I sat down and worked on listing all the things I need to do, and prioritized them.

Now I know what to spend time on initially and what moves the needle.

I want to get away with minimum code required to show it to people.

I will use Letterhive for this newsletter, so the initial tasks are geared towards making it work for me. And also, to setup a demo project with the app. A demo archive where visitors can forward their newsletter's email to the Letterhive's address and they will be able look at the email, as a post, in the demo archive.

That should be cool.

After I have the bare minimums ready, I plan to work on the landing page and do some marketing. I can talk more on that in the coming emails.

Staying on priorities

This is hard.

Not every task that is important is interesting or fun to do. And sometimes you feel like doing the fun things instead of doing what's important.

I do the fun stuff. 😅

My primary goal with building these things on the side is having fun. So why not.

One thing that helped me and my distracted brain (which can't help but think about everything other than task at hand) is maintaining a board in Notion where I jot down things and not loose ideas and thoughts.

Phew, that was long.

It's great if you have made it this far. I have more stuff to write about which I'll do in the following emails.

If you have enjoyed this, let me know by replying to this email. I'd love your feedback.

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