Archives / 2020
  • 100 weeks of open source software contributions

    Late in 2018, I got into a groove updating and improving my very-long-running open source project, POP Forums. It was a huge refactoring project, updating the CSS framework, embracing Dapper for object mapping from the database, rewriting the admin area to use Vue.js, adding support for ElasticSearch and Azure Functions... it didn't look new, but the internals were massively different. As that effort went on, leading to a release that following May, I committed to making at least one contribution to OSS per week. Having transitioned into more manager than maker, I wanted to keep some street cred, and frankly I still find the process and the learning to be fun. This week, I've contributed for 100 straight weeks!

  • Amazing custom metrics using Azure Application Insights

    You know that old management saying, that you can't improve what you don't measure? It's annoying because being measured feels personal and uncomfortable, but it's useful in technology because it's totally true. There is a fairly lucrative market around monitoring stuff in the cloud now, because as our systems become more distributed and less monolithic, we do less tracing at the code level and more digestion of interaction data between components.

  • Approaching multi-tenancy with cloud options

    Building multi-tenancy into your app is an interesting (and dare I say fun) problem to solve, because there are a number of ways to approach it. And now that we don't have to spin up closets full of hardware in some basement, there are better options that we didn't have in the dark ages. I'll talk a little bit about the options that I've used, and how I solved the problem this time around with hosted POP Forums.

  • Using Azure DevOps pipelines for cloud-hosted POP Forums

    Last week I did my first production deployment of the cloud-hosted version of POP Forums. I'm really excited to offer a version that others can use without setting it up themselves (I'm really excited about the performance, too!). If you've followed me for any length of time, you know that I've been maintaining POP Forums as an open source project since around 2003. The new cloud-hosted version is about 95% the same code, with a few substitutions in the dependency injection container to facilitate multi-tenancy, especially in the asynchronous Azure Functions to make sure that they're acting on behalf of the right tenant. What I'm excited to share is that it's so easy to use the output of the open source project and get those bits into the commercial product.