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Deckr Status report – October 2023

Hello everyone!

It’s been quiet here at Deckr headquarter over the last few weeks and I wanted to update everyone to what’s been going on.

Building Deckr was a monumental task. I’ve been working on it non stop 7 days a week for months on end and finally reached what I consider is a good first version. This is the build you are running now. It was an enjoyable, fast paced coding experience, but in the end I got a bad case of burnout that had to be addressed.

I’m starting to feel a lot better now after a few weeks of staying off the computer and watching a lot of movies and documentaries and generally being a bum around the house.

For the curious, this is what I had to build to launch Deckr. I’m a solo programmer and this amount of work would normally be a team of 4 or more coders, but I enjoy big challenges.

1. Desktop app for 3 platforms. The app itself wasn’t so difficult, but making installers for Linux, macOS and Windows was a major pain in the a$$. Additionally auto updating on 3 platforms wasn’t trivial. I’m using the Sparkle framework for macOS and Windows and Flatpak for Linux. Deckr is not on any app stores because I support the open internet, not censored app stores.

2. Browser extensions for Firefox and Chrome. I’ve never written a browser extension before and this was more difficult that it first appeared. I also wrote the extensions using Dart that compiles into JavaScript which is great, but it did add more complexity to the task. No JavaScript was used anywhere for Deckr, it’s all Dart/Flutter which makes it easier to update, maintain and debug.

3. Front end “web app”. This is the main UI you see in the New Tab of your browser. Tons of features and lots of code, design work and testing made this a large task for even a team of developers.

4. Deckr.surf website. The web site is written in Flutter and was designed and coded from scratch. Making it look nice and functional is never simple. But I think it looks OK now considering I’m not much of a designer. Since it’s written in Flutter I can make it even cooler in the future. It’s a true web app that is more powerful than a standard HTML site.

5. Purchase system. The purchase system is hosted on WordPress using some standard plugins, but there’s also a lot of custom code and APIs added to fully function. The app uses this server to purchase and verify license keys.

6. Deckr backend. The backend is hosted on back4app.com. I knew nothing about back4app, but luckily it’s well designed and wasn’t too big of a hassle. But it still took weeks of trial and error and lots of testing to get it working.

7. AI Chatbot libraries. I had to compile and package up the AI chat libraries on macOS, Windows and Linux which took some time to get working.

I get anxiety just writing this out. I really pushed myself to the absolute limits and I hope it shows.

The next steps are now a matter of polishing, improving and adding on to this powerful base of code that I’ve written.

Our plan it to be guided from here on out by user feedback and suggestions, so if you have great ideas, please tell us about it by emailing deckr@cocoatech.com. We’d love to hear what you think.

We also plan on having pols on our Discord channel, so be sure to check that out.

I’m feeling better now and am ready for the next round of burnout inducing hardcore coding sessions. If you like Deckr now, just wait until you see version 2. We are ready to take things to the next level with features requested by our users.

Please support the development of Deckr by purchasing a license key. It’s only $19.95.

Have fun, and thanks for trying Deckr,

– The Deckr team

Discord: https://discord.gg/HtgR6fRYsk

Email: deckr@cocoatech.com