A headshot of Gavin Henderson

Gavin Henderson


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December 30, 2018

Tis the season, for having fun learning about tech again. Seriously though, first semester was a bit grim and I had to spend a lot of time learning in great detail about areas of computing that I'm not interested. On the bright side it made me learn things that I never would have chosen to. In contrast I spent most of December just doing anything that I found interesting or excited.

The first thing this lead me to do was creating a website that hosts 'sketch' designs. I thought of this when I was putting together some designs for my honours project and I was hoping that there would be some tool that I could use to view my sketch files in the browser so that I could share them. I then found sketch-web-view which does this but it doesn't allow you to set your own sketch file to allow for viewing. After inspecting the source code and finding out that a '.sketch' file is simply a zip that inside contains a preview image of the sketch file. With this new information I built a simple build script that would unzip the file and compile it into webpage. Check the source here. The current solution is not elegant and looks terrible but the premise is there. I think the best extension for this project would be to create a webpack loader for sketch files. However, I don't currently see the demand for this so am hesitant to sink time into it. If you have a use case for a webpack loader like this drop me a message!

The next thing I got to start building a production ready web app with a codebase that can scale. For me this is new and exciting, most other web apps I have built have been short projects in my sparetime or hackathons so I don't consider them good enough to be put infront of users. The app that I'm building is a platform allowing people with communication difficulties to express themselves in a profile or a 'passport'. As I am building this for honours project I have a lot of time to give to building this app up which is a new to me. I have learnt a lot but one thing in particular I've learned is that every decision you make in your codebase will stay with you so you need to make them carefully.

Lastly, I have had time to look more into information security. For a class I have to present an information security paper. For this I am presenting a paper on an attack on Androids Pattern Unlock security system. I have really enjoyed reading papers outlining attacks on systems. Ill be sure to post the slides next month.