Created a Leanpub helper Desktop App

:: LiveCode

By: Andre Alves Garzia

I’ve been having a lot of fun with my new book LiveCode Advanced Application Architecture (available on this site and on Leanpub). To make my life easier, I set aside some hours today to create a little desktop helper application for Leanpub. I wanted an app that could show me some quick information about my sales, allow me to generate new previews and publish new versions of the books.

Leanpub Quickboard running on Windows 10

Leanpub Quickboard running on Windows 10

An important thing for me was to make this a nimble desktop app, which means not using Electron. I am very skilled with LiveCode (also available in a nice GPL version) and used it to build my little app. You can see from the GIF above that it is very easy to use and that the design is not too horrible. It serves its purpose, a little app that allows me to check stuff about my books.

Memory usage is 9.4mb

Memory usage is 9.4mb

From the shot above, we can see how it consumes basically nothing. The source code is quite easy and I can extend it further to add more features from Leanpub API.

function getBookSummary pSlug
   busy
   put getAPIKey() into tAPIKey
   if tAPIKey is false then
      answer error "Please configure this application by going to the 'Preferences' tab"
      exit to top
   end if
   put the merge of "https://leanpub.com/[[pSlug]].json?api_key=[[tAPIKey]]" into tURL
   put url tURL into tResponse
   put jsonimport(tResponse) into tBookSummaryA
   notBusy
   return tBookSummaryA
end getBookSummary

Above is part of the code, the function called getBookSummary. Just to demonstrate how readable and easy LiveCode is. Even people who never seen this language can kinda understand what is going on.

I’ve built this for my own personal use, but I am considering releasing it (if I add the necessary error checking, right now, there is basically none). What do you folks think? Should I make this a FOSS project? Oh, I forgot to tell, this is cross-platform, it runs on Windows 10, macOS and Linux, the Windows version is 13mb uncompressed, so it is also a small app.

There is a lot of power in little nimble desktop apps, we don’t need a SaaS for everything. It took me about 3 hours to build the whole application. Not bad at all.

Comments? Questions? Feedback?

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