Opening up the Development Process

Monday, March 2nd, 2015
By Daniel Cooper

One of our long term goals, and something we’re going to be focusing on during 2015, is having a better relationship with developers using our platform. This is going to take many forms.

Documentation

Already this year we’ve substantially improved our liquid documentation based on the feedback from our design partners. Originally our documentation was written in a guide, almost bloggy, style. This was great for new developers but the feedback we got from people who have done a few themes with us is that they wanted the documentation to serve as more of a reference. So, we re-wrote major chunks of it and added a search function.

Take a look: http://developer.homeflow.co.uk.

Change logs

Part of our pitch to prospective clients is that they’ll be joining an evolving and always improving platform – and that they’ll always have the latest and greatest in estate agent website software behind them. We’ve not been great at communicating those changes to our design partners or our clients. As part of our plan to fix this we’ve created http://changelogs.homeflow.co.uk/. Here we’ve set up an app that connects to our Github issue tracker and, in real time, pulls back a selection of recently closed tickets.

Being a design partner with Homeflow requires trust at both ends and we hope is is a good first step in demystifying the behind the scenes development.

Homeflow LINT

We’re two years into our design partnership program and a lot has changed in the way we deliver websites. New functions exposed in the liquid superseed old functions. Old recommended ways of doing things have been replaced by new, more flexible methods. We know from past experience using other people’s APIs that the process of keeping projects up to date is both tedious and time consuming. That’s why we’ve created Homeflow LINT. As a theme developer you’ll be able to run the LINT program, either locally or in the cloud, and we’ll scan your theme for:

  1. Usage of old methods, which while still supported are not recommended
  2. Lack of use of performance improving features like asset bundles
  3. Use of methods which are not required

We hope that LINT will help everyone keep themes performant, beautiful and technical debt free.

Check it out here: http://lint.homeflow.co.uk/

We want to hear from you

We’d love to know what you think about the above and if you’ve got any suggestions on how we can make your life easier, email us at developers@homeflow.co.uk, and we’ll try and help.