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40days - Simple isn't easy

40days

I wrote a simple one-page web application called 40days. It shows you what the date is for 40 days in the future. I say “simple” but simple isn’t easy. It never is.

I wrote 40days because my orthodontist would schedule my appointments 40 days apart and it was a hassle for me and secretary to figure out what date that was.

It’s written with coffeescript and scss and is licensed under the MIT LICENSE.

This actually was harder than I thought. I quickly created a crappy-but-works version. But I always forget that polishing code is hard.

My audience was non-technical people who just wanted to enter a number and get it to work. But at the same time, I didn’t want it to do confusing things like let them enter non-numbers. I also wanted features like pressing the up and down arrows to change the number of days.

Plus it needed to look good.

And work reliably.

As always, fighting with the lack of standards in standardized browsers was fun. The JavaScript Event object still sucks in the year 2013. And it still behaves differently for keydown and keypress. I kept trying to put everything in keypress or keydown but that didn’t work because I couldn’t detect arrow keys in keypress events and detecting numeric keys doesn’t work well in keydown events.

Bit by bit JS and event callbacks all came back to me. It has been a while, hasn’t it.

Looking pretty wasn’t too hard. A CSS reset and some simple CSS made it look pretty good.

I wanted things to not bounce around as the number change (it’d be confusing). Originally I thought to try to fit it all on one line holding everything still except the date and wrap if the display couldn’t handle it. But that didn’t work well and reliably, so I wrap it all the time. (If you have an idea on how to do that, tell me!)

Making sure I had a link to my site and GitHub was icing on the cake.

Finally, I cleaned it up, added the README and licenses and uploaded it to Github as a GitHub Page (aka gh-pages).

Anyway, feel free to use it or pick it apart or whatever.

Ciao!

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The personal blog of Christian Höltje.
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