August 22, 2022

RSS feeds, Private notes, and more

Even though it’s still summer, there have been several improvements since the last update.

Because of the popularity of Visualizer, there are scaling pains. Sometimes pages time out. In order to deal with this, I have to move from Heroku to another provider. Currently, I’m looking at Render, but I’m not completely set on my decision yet. Having little-to-no DevOps knowledge is definitely one of my pains. 😅

To move anywhere, however, I needed to improve several things on the backend. The biggest thing I achieved was completely removing my reliance on chromedriver to make chart screenshots.

In case you weren’t aware - every shot page comes with a tiny little meta image. So that if you paste the link to that page in Discord, Slack, Twitter, or some other tool that supports meta images, a tiny screenshot preview of the chart will appear there. Before this was done by a Rube Goldberg machine kind of process which was extremely error-prone, and taxing on my backend and deploys. Now it happens via Highcharts Export Server and is both much faster and way more reliable.

Speaking of images: as Christoph discovered if you’ve attached an image to a shot, there was no way to remove it. This has now been fixed by adding a simple Remove Image link in the shot edit form. Whoops. 🙈

There were several great ideas via GitHub Feature requests that were also added recently:

RSS feeds

Every public user now comes with an RSS feed of their shots. So you can subscribe via an RSS feed reader and be notified of any new shots they make.

Private Notes

Sometimes you want to write something down next to the shot, but don’t want the public to see that. If you’re a Premium user you’ll now have a new field under Bean notes and Notes called Private notes. Anything you enter here will only be visible to you and no one else.