FUTURED Development — v0.1

Tyler Lastovich
Jul 24, 2018 · 3 min read

A look behind the curtain in building a unique web writing platform

FUTURED is an ultra-modern, long-form online publication covering the topics of future tech, health and society.

Over the last week a significant development effort has pushed FUTURED closer to reality. We worked on a little of everything including UI bits, APIs, and servers.

FUTURED is primarily a fully custom Vue.js site. Everything will be designed to seem very modern and clean, while also highlighting a strong design language. Every story will have a unique theme, which requires building template components that can respond dynamically to changes in data (colors, images, layering, fonts, etc, etc). Stories will be tightly coupled to their style and all of this information will be stored in a database. We already have a basic working structure for this and will have ongoing development in this area for the foreseeable future.

Stories cannot be easily written or edited in HTML, so we added the capability for Vue to convert markdown format into HTML at runtime. This allows us to store content in straight .md in our database and still have it render nicely for the web. Pages will be pre-rendered before serving them to end users (via CDN) to avoid having our servers toil away translating. Markdown also makes it easy add an online editor for our writers to use.

We hope to maintain a light-touch when it comes to requiring a complicated server structure. A simple connection into a database to collect user and story metrics, along with data storage. All actions will be managed through a GraphQL API.

Blockchain work

The reason for this projects accelerated time-table is largely to fit within the window of the Simple Token (OST) developer alpha III program. OST lets anyone create a ‘token’ that can be used like a cryptocurrency, transacting between the company and users. FUTURED will use the token FTRD as a means for readers to directly give funds to the writers of stories, or to help keep the site up by direct donation/subscription. Users will also be able to suggest topics to cover next, and include an incentive bounty on that topic for the writer that publishes content about it. The main challenge that any views-based website faces today is in getting initial traction. This is why we are planning to incentivize both sharing and reading our content.

Our use of tokens will be displayed through two pages, the users account page and a donate/tip funnel page. Work on these pages is scheduled to begin this week. We will also work on authentication systems and continue general front end development.

Since we are using a GraphQL server to wrap all our backend services, we naturally added OST as well. Figuring this work would also be very useful for others, we packaged up a simple server that included all of the vanilla resolvers for OST that we had written. This open-source project may be one of the fastest ways to get started using blockchain tech. Just clone, install, and boom, you can make super-simple graphql calls from the front end of your choosing. It is definitely in beta form at the moment, but all 20 OST APIs are supported.

FUTURED

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