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EmComm Tools - Beta Release Delay

EmComm Tools - Beta Release Delay

Sep 02, 2021

Good Morning, Hams

While the EmComm Tools project is not going to change much in terms of features for the beta, I found that I need to hit the reset button and refactor the UI (user interface) implementation. As I've stated in the past, I am not a front-end web developer and cobbled together the current user interface using circa 2006 technology (jQuery). While this worked well enough for the simple prototype, it's something that is not maintainable and does not align with current industry trends.

In order to reduce future maintenance overhead and attract future developers, I've decided to make an investment in my technical skills and embrace modern web development methodologies over the next few months. I will be diving into JavaScript (ES6) and React.js so that I can release EmComm Tools as a modern Single Page Application (SPA). This will of course delay the beta release, but as a software professional I know that it's hard to put the genie back in the bottle. There is little benefit in releasing a new software project that has broad reaching support issues out the gate. It will just lead to a lengthy bug list rather than product innovation.

Outside of the user interface pivot, I realized that other aspects of the project require attention for it to be a success. Here's the short list of other items that I need to carve out time to make a beta release a success:

  • Master modern web development

  • Refactor user interface to React

  • Modularize application to support extensions

  • Automate installation

  • Integrate with Build-a-Pi

  • Develop API and user documentation (text and video)

  • Create Google I/O group / online community forum

The prototype was great to prove the concept of a unified, simple-to-use, multi-function communications hub for the amateur radio community, but it also gave the impression that the project is further along than it really is. For this, I apologize.

I hope the community will stick around and patiently wait for an EmComm Tools release. I have no timeline as of yet, but will try to post updates as I tackle important milestones.

Thanks and 73,

"Be strong, be safe and be prepared" -- The Tech Prepper KT1RUN

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