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Hero System Mobile - Next


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I'm still determining where I'm going with this post, but I've been diving into the HSM code again, fixing some bugs, and it has me reflecting on the app itself.

 

The app is coming up on its 5th anniversary, which is cool.  Five years is a long time in development years, though, and a lot has changed in the React Native (React Native is a mobile app development framework, which HSM is built on) world in that time.  Things continue to change in that world rapidly.  When I built the app, I followed the suggested best practices at the time, which were then replaced by different best practices. 

 

Time has gone by, and I have built a few apps in that time using React Native.  I follow the current suggested practices and work with up-to-date libraries whenever possible on my new apps.  HSM is a bit long in the tooth and looks cluttered and janky to my eye now.  It was the first app I ever developed, and it is showing its age.

 

I want to table the idea of a ground-up rewrite of the app's user interface.   

 

Nothing changes in terms of how the app generally functions.  You will still be able to load your Hero Designer characters up and use the app as you would today.  I want to upgrade the app's main component library, for example.  Upgrading this library is a breaking change in the HSM codebase (HSM uses v2 of the lib, and v3 is current) and would require a significant re-work.  Upgrading the main component library will also change how the app looks and feels.  Everything from input fields, sliders, dropdowns, and tabs would be affected.  

 

I also think there’s too much clutter in general in the UI.  I want to re-think how some of the UI is presented to the user now.  There’s too much information in the app, and maybe streamlining is in order.

 

Anyways, let me know if you have any thoughts on the subject!  

 

The app is open source, and anyone who wants to help is welcome.

 

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