Tech doesn't exist? Roll your own...

Tech doesn't exist? Roll your own...

Frustrated at not being able to find the system you want? Just build it!

For example, I wanted a simple CMS that used Markdown instead of an HTML-exploding WYSIWSYG nightmare so I built pullnote.com.

2 reasons I'm blogging about this:

  • IF you're building something and you just need an ultra-simple editable area, you're free to use pullnote
  • To show that you CAN just build your own infrastructure - Pullnote took me just over a month.

Self-build Tech Stack

This kind of self-rolling used to not be possible (or be time-consuming) but in 2024 we can take advantage of multiple labour saving advances:

  • Serverless hosting add your code to a github repo, set up a Netlify/Vercel account and select your repo and that's it. If you've not tried it and are still FTPing code to a VM - GIVE IT A GO. Honestly. Obviously, you can't host persistent stuff (files, databases) but you can ALSO just plug into a cloud database (MongoDB, Supabase, DynamoDB) and upload / retrieve files (from AWS S3 or Google Buckets)
  • SvelteKit HTML/javascript framework that lets you write HTML (rather than hobbled HTML like JSX) and have your back-end code (private database connects, /api/calls, SSR etc) in one app - which you can also deploy on the edge (e.g. via Vercel etc)
  • Tailwind simplifies CSS and takes the pain out of layout to the point where you don't need someone who lives CSS to stop it breaking
  • AI Any of the big LLMs can write a regx better than you, and most can produce labour saving, well documented functions that work without 12 iterations sorting out your typos and mis-thoughts. GPT-4 particularly even understands the context of what you are trying to achieve and makes suggestions. The best (almost free) coding assistant you will ever have. It can't write a whole repo - it's just a tool. Lean into it. Use it.

Each of these knocks 20-30% off traditional build times. Get going!

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