Compass Project Version 1.0 Complete

Along with source code, GitHub code repositories have an “Issues” section for tracking problems. I’ve logged the outstanding problems and their workarounds for my Compass project. Since fixing them are outside of my control, I am going to declare version 1.0 complete. Now to wrap up before moving on to something else.

The primary goal of this project was to practice working with Angular framework, and that goal is a success. I knew going in that Angular wouldn’t be the best tool for the job: its architecture was designed to handle much larger and more complex web apps than my Compass. But I wanted a chance to practice Angular with something small, and Compass succeeded at that.

An entirely expected consequence of my initial decision is a web app far larger than it needs to be. I knew from earlier experiments a bare-bones Angular app doing nothing more than <body><h1>Hello World</h1></body> start at over 200 kilobytes. I wasn’t too impressed by that, but as a practical matter I accept this is not considered huge in today’s web world. I found an online tool which lists download sizes for the given URL, and most of the sites I visit weigh in at several megabytes. Even the legendarily lightweight Google home page downloads over 300 kilobytes. Judged in that context, 200 kilobytes of overhead are unlikely to be a dealbreaker by themselves. Not even in space-constrained situations, thanks to the fact it compresses very well.

Since it’s such a small app, I didn’t touch upon very much beyond Angular core. I created just two components, one (compass-needle) inside the other (capability-check) so there was no routing at all. (It is literally a ‘single-page application’). I created two services who distributed information via RxJS, but I didn’t need to deal with server communication over a network. It’s good to start small to get over beginner hurdles. My next Angular practice project can be more complex to expand my exploration frontier.

Unrelated to Angular, one thing I knew I needed to practice — and I got lots of it here — was CSS layout. This was the first project where I used media queries to react to portrait vs. landscape orientations, and it was great practice towards more responsive layouts in future projects. I know people can do great things with CSS, but I don’t count myself among them. I foresee a lot more hair-pulling in the future as I struggle to declare CSS rules to create what I have in my mind, but that’s the journey I know I need to take.

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