Project alpha: Passbook - 90% complete, finally

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Wow, it seems like not so long ago that I dreamed of having this project done within a week. Now, almost two months later, it is still ongoing. The project is now functionally complete and that is why I am posting about it. I personally would use it now, although I will not until I move it away from the development only URL and on to a live URL. Once that is done I look forward to moving away from Google Notebook as my main password keeper.

Spending a few hours a day on the project has not been easy. With an eight hour work day, family, friends, and spouses to manage it is not simply a matter of just sitting down and working. Juggling everything have been a great learning experience for me and although I did not achieve what I originally wanted I do believe that by setting myself up for failure, in a limited sense, has been helpful in making me achieve far more than I otherwise would've.

The site really is only 90% functionally complete. I still need to write a lot of copy and do a lot of screen shots so that other people can understand my vision for the program, which is to be the easiest to use password keeper online. That is why I have added a lot of AJAX candy to make actions such as saving, editing, etc. as fast as possible. My goal is to be able to enter a new account within about 30 seconds of me logging in. With my limited testing I believe I have achieved that.

I key decision for me with regards to the completion of this project was whether to allow myself to feature creep on the project. While I have been "editing", to copy a commonly used phrase on Project Runway, a lot I have allowed two features through that I felt were important enough to launch with. They are: SSL support and export functionality. My decision to implement those features are purely based on the fact that I would not sign up to a password keeping service unless I knew they supported SSL (although I do not always use Google Notebook with SSL enabled; but they are Google and they have already established a high level of trust with me), as well as allowing me to leave without thinking twice about it.

Therefore I have implemented SSL, with my own signed certificate as there is no budget for a paid one, and will implement CSV export this week. Although I am unsure how successful the project will be I am really quite glad to just be able to scratch my own itch. That is what I believe development should be about. Projects of passion whose success or failure is inconsequential because it fulfills a need you feel is not adequately being met by whatever is on the market now.

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