September 20, 2013

A Clean Slate For Swarm Development

Helix Swarm

Image: epicture's (more off than on) w/Flickr

Neil Gaiman says of writing:

"Being a writer is a very peculiar sort of a job: it's always you versus a blank sheet of paper (or a blank screen) and quite often the blank piece of paper wins."

I think this is often true for coders as well. For me at least just getting something basic rendering is the break in the dam that lets the rest of the application out of my head. It's a demonstration that you have a basic understanding of the language and framework that you are trying to work with.

Diving into Swarm can similarly be a bit daunting; dropping in some javascript/CSS in is as simple as can be, but if you need to create a custom page where do you start? How do you route messages? How do you render the page? What's a Zend framework?

To help lower the barrier to entry one of our Swarm devs, Geoff Nicol, has written a very simple PHP module that just renders a blank page. I've tossed it in with the rest of the Swarm development examples in the Public Depot. If you're looking to extend Swarm to better suit your special needs and processes pick up the code and jump past a blank page of code to a rendered blank page. Got questions? Hit us up on the forums or catch me on Twitter. We'd also love to hear what you are building, even if you can't share the code.