“Can you make that loading screen stay longer?”

Or in other words: When everything that can be wrong with a client is wrong! – The client had already made a couple requests that seemed odd or made no sense in my eyes, but this one really sums up the nature of this client in one word.
I’m currently working on a Phonegap App and the client’s latest request was to add a loading-screen to the app(not for initial loading), so we added a loading-screen.
We didn’t think that one was necessary, but okay…the client wants a loading screen, so he gets one. Don’t get me wrong here, it’s not a splash-screen, it’s really just a loading-screen: a white screen, that says “loading…”
But it didn’t stop there: When he saw the thing implemented his reaction was like: “It dislays for less than a second, that makes the loading-screen seem kind of pointless. Can you make it stay longer?”

Long story short: This is probably the most senseless piece of code I have ever written and most likely will ever have written:

MsgPack vs. JSON: Cut your client-server exchange traffic by 50% with one line of code

As the previouse 2 articles were about optimizing performance and keeping the server cost as low as possible, this article will also cover this area and write about why I’m using MsgPack instead of JSON in ZeroPilot.

In a web-app there is allways data sent between the client and the server – would you believe me if I told you that after otimizing all the server-calls, bundeling them together ect. you can still save up to 40% (and some cases even 60%) of your traffic caused by client-server communication with not more than one line of code?

Continue reading

Minimize server-side-calculations: Example Weekly Tournament

As mentioned in my previous post, as a indie-developer you have to watch your butdget and therefore save with the more expensive things, like servercost – now having a free(or low cost) server-/app-system still won’t give you the freedom to do any amount of calculation you desire. So what your goal should be, is to keep the amount of caluclations and cron-jobs the server has to do to an absolut minimum, and optimize everything – trust me, there is ALLWAYS something you can optimize. I’m going to explain this now on the example of weekly tournaments of my facebook-app ZeroPilot – i know this is a rather extreme example, but non the less shows the point of doing calculations only when they are needed and at best: do them on the client-side.

Continue reading

How to get free production-level hosting for your app


As an indie developer i guess you are pretty familiar with the issue of a limited budget, and as we all know servers for hosting an application can be very expensive and you need quite some knowledge if you want to manage and configure or even cluster a server yourself.

So here I’m going to cover my experiences on the hunt for a good solution for ZeroPilot and what I found is one of the best solutions for this issue in terms of a good cost/benefit ratio.

Continue reading