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Pablo Tejada
Pablo Tejada

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An Image Cropping Web App 8 Years in the Making

Following my previous post on what not to do when you get a good idea for a project, this is a short story of what I end up doing with an idea that I came up with a long time ago. About eight years ago to be exact.

In early 2013, websites were not as sophisticated as they are today. I recall having to google for sites to crop an image and reduce their size because a lot of websites expected you to upload the perfect image. Even for a profile picture. They would offer no way for you to adjust or crop the image once you upload it. For example, if I wanted to upload a profile picture to a forum or a post I had to find tools outside of the website to make an acceptable image.

To put into perspective how long ago this was, React was not even released until later that year. Even cropping an image in the default Windows viewer was not a thing or it was not intuitive. Looking back on it, it was bizarre that websites enforced image size and dimension limits without providing any tools to help users comply with such limits. Is not that image cropping was not a thing at all, is that it was not common for it to be built into the website's image upload functionality.

All of the websites to crop and compress images that I came across at that time did not have a good user experience and were full of ads everywhere. I told myself then that I could do a better job. The idea was to make a single function application where users could upload and crop their images with the simplest UI possible. True to my habits back then I went on to GoDaddy for my domain hunt. I end up buying Order Confirmation

Sadly I never got to build the application. I only got as far as making a "coming soon" page, more than a few variations throughout the years. Every time I migrated to a new web framework or web host I used to design new "coming soon" or "under constructions" pages for all of my parked ideas. I kept the domain for 8 years but never found the time to do the actual work.

Today, I find myself with a new landing page for, and I am committed to completing this personal project of mine. It's been a long time coming and I have done a lot progress so far. I want to see this through even if there is no need for such a tool anymore.

Nowadays, cropping an image is such a trivial task. It is super simple to do from the default Windows image viewer. Whether it is an app on the web or mobile, if it allows you to upload an image, it lets you adjust or crop it before been saved. While image upload limits have not gone away for good, they are more generous today. Size policies are now integrated seamlessly as well. Today automatically optimizing uploaded user images is a must for both storage optimization and deliverability.

What project have you worked on recently that brought you personal gratification even if the world did not notice it? Let me know in the comments.

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Timeless DEV post...

Git Concepts I Wish I Knew Years Ago

The most used technology by developers is not Javascript.

It's not Python or HTML.

It hardly even gets mentioned in interviews or listed as a pre-requisite for jobs.

I'm talking about Git and version control of course.

One does not simply learn git