I originally thought of writing this text as an intro for the readme file in the repository of the wowscrappie project, but it became too big to be just an introduction. I wanted to say too much. The readme file is not a great place to distract people from what the repository was all about.
I decided to dedicate a blogpost to it.
I won't be going into much detail of what wowscrappie is. Wowscrappie is quite a niche website/application created for the world of warcraft community, where players can share their user interface configurations with other users.
Before the release of wowscrappie, a lot of people shared their configurations on pastebin. There's nothing wrong with this approach, but a few problems quickly arose. Configurations were scattered all over the place, with little to no context or screenshots. I wanted to solve this problem by simply creating an application which can do all this.
Wowscrappie has grown, and is still organically growing to something more than that. I kindly take requests from other people, converting for example spreadsheets they use into a usable application. It hasn't been a full time project, but I don't want this cool project to die a meaningless death. It has quite a lot of new and returning visitors each day.
0x02 Open Source
From the start on, when I wrote the first code and laid out the first bricks of wowscrappie, it has always been the goal to create it to be fully open source. Somehow, somewhere along the way, I was too focused on creating features. Features that put aside the core of this project.
Instead of open sourcing it, I was stuck with a design that didn't allow us to quickly open up the code to the public, because the builds were dependent on configuration-specific elements, which should never be committed in an open source environment (apikeys, secrets..).
Wowscrappie has always been a project where I could try out new technologies and concepts, which may benefit other developers to see how, why and when such technologies could be used. It has been a playground where I could learn new things that can help my in my further career as software developer.
As I took a minor break from developing new features and letting wowscrappie gradually grow due to visibility in search engines, I wanted to refactor some of the existing code, so I could finally do what has always been the goal from the start on: make wowscrappie open source.
0x03 By and for the community
One of the key concepts of wowscrappie, is the fact that it is has been developed in a way that lets people share their experiences, so other people could benefit from it.
I want to extend this core concept to the code. The entire ecosystem of wowscrappie is now available to anyone. Anyone can now fork this repository, implement features, fix bugs and enhance the entire experience of the application.
0x04 The future
I'll continue to keep wowscrappie up and running. I've got some nice ideas on entirely new features and I have some technologies in mind that I would like to try out. Wowscrappie is and will stay the playground that it is today.
In future blogposts, I'll be explaining the core setup, used technologies, things I bumped into and development progress.
I'll always try to listen to the public to see what they would like to see added, not only configurations, but also features in wowscrappie as an application.