Pig on a Hill Productions


What a week it’s been. So much was planned to get Puck up and running with live score and push notifications, however it’s taken longer than I thought. Not because I couldn’t code it, all the basic code was done and working on my local machine fine. The trouble began when I uploaded it to my server.

Up until now I haven’t really done much backend stuff myself. Dog Bins was my first delve into backend and actually I didn’t do much of it there ether. It’s powered by something called Parse, which is a very powerful and useful backend system that allowed me to quickly make Dog Bins with users and Geolocation data. So when I started Puck, that’s when the fun really began. Puck’s backend is based on Python, which I learned from scratch for it. It’s a really nice language, with some deffinate differences from Obj-C (what iOS is written in) but still very nice. I especially like that it’s named after Monty Python. 😄

So anyway, I’m getting away from the point. I created code in a combination of Python, PHP and MySQL to allow me to send live score updates to Puck. However when I uploaded it to my server, it didn’t work. This was because I had simple shared hosting with GoDaddy. face palm

Now GoDaddy gets a lot of slack for some of its practices, and yes, it deserves a lot of it, but for a first setup, only hosting a website (Wordpress especially) they’re really not bad. However, when you start getting more into backend server stuff, you need more control. My problem was I needed to send data to Apple to tell them to send the push notifications, however I wasn’t allowed on my GoDaddy shared hosting. So I decided to move and get a VPS (virtual private server) with a company called Linode. The upside of getting a VPS is that I can do anything I like with it, the downside is I have to set everything up myself.

I’ve never had a massive experience with Linux when it has a GUI so to now be presented with setting up a whole system, installing apache server, PHP, MySQL, updating to Python 2.7 and all the other things I needed (including a mail server) myself and through the terminal (command line for you oldies) was a little crazy. However frustrated I got with my mail not working, confused I got with different commands or amount of late nights I had, it is now all up and running and I love it. Even this blog (which caused a little bit of a headache to transfer, damn permissions) is now up and running again. And of course the best but is that my live score notification script all works, despite the very steep learning curve. 😄

We are currently in the middle if a break in the hockey season but it starts again on the 18th. So I have 3 more days to fine tune my code and add the UI in the app itself before some testing will begin. Hopefully it won’t be too long after that that I upload v1.1 of Puck with live score notifications to iTunes.

Once that is done v1.2 is hopefully going to add iPad support and some more useful features. Though between that I need to do some more work on Pixel Pals v2.0. 😉 but that’s for another blog.

Goodnight and talk again soon. 😊