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How I’ve built 100+ open-source apps with automation tools

sm0ke profile image Sm0ke Updated on ・5 min read

Hello Coders,

I am a freelance developer and I've generated more than 100 apps in different languages and architectures, using automation developer tools, HTML parsing, and simple UI-Ready boilerplate code enhanced with basic modules (authentication, database, tooling).

The free ones are published on Github under MIT License (free, unlimited copies allowed) and I will mention a few here, in this article.

Thank you! Content provided by AppSeed - App Generator.

About the automation process

I decided to build an automation workflow, based on my freelancing experience from the last two years, mostly based on the feedback and clients requirements:

  • The clients constantly require a variety of designs to choose from
  • Apps should be delivered in modern technologies (this makes my life easier, but is not true in all cases)
  • Legacy apps migration to newer technologies using low budgets.

To solve all those problems and challenges I've built a semi-automated workflow:

  • Extract components for various template engines (Jinja2, PUG, Blade) from flat HTML files using an HTML parser written in Python / BS4
  • Inject the processed design into existing boilerplate code: Django / Flask Admin Dashboards, Static Sites, Jamstack, simple Flask Web Apps
  • Execute automatically a minimum set of tests using Puppeteer and Selenium.

Latest Django Product - Datta Able

Admin Dashboard generated by the AppSeed platform in Django Framework on top of Datta Able, a modern Bootstrap 4 dashboard template. The Django codebase is provided with authentication, database, ORM, and deployment scripts.

Django Dashboard Datta Able - Open-Source Admin Panel Coded in Django.

Latest Flask Product - Volt Bootstrap 5

Design Themesberg, coded by AppSeed

Open-Source Flask Dashboard coded with basic modules, database, ORM, and deployment scripts on top of Volt (free version), a modern Bootstrap dashboard design.

Volt is a free and open-source Bootstrap 5 Admin Dashboard featuring over 100 components, 11 example pages, and 3 customized plugins. Volt does not require jQuery as a dependency meaning that every library and script is jQuery-free.

Flask Dashboard Volt - Template project provided by AppSeed.

Flask Dashboards

All admin dashboards are coded in Flask Microframework with SQLite database, authentication ORM, and deployment scripts for Docker, HEROKU

Flask Dashboard Argon - Open-Source Admin Dashboard

Django Dashboards

Simple Django starters enhanced with basic modules, authentication and deployment scripts.

Django Atlantis Dark - Open-Source Admin Panel.

Static Sites

Free & Commercial, prototyped on top of Eleventy (11ty) and Panini SSG. Tooling: Webpack, Sass/SCSS, Babel, Light-server, PostCSS, CSSnano.

Eleventy Html5Up Dopetrope - Gif animated intro.

Flask Apps

Free web apps built on top of well-known UI Kits, equipped with authentication, SQLite database, ORM, and a clean code-base.

Flask Pixel PRO - premium UI Kit migrated to Flask.

Full-Stack Web Apps

Web apps built-in two-tier architecture where the UI is decoupled from the backend.

Other (Generated) Apps and Boilerplates

  • Full-Stack - two tier architecture with Vue, React frontend - MIT License
  • Nodejs, Laravel and Flask boilerplate code - MIT License

Next steps

  • Enhance the HTML parser to convert legacy HTML design to Vue, React, Angular themes
  • Generate themes for modern frameworks (GatsbyJS, Gridsome, HUGO) starting from a Bootstrap based design
  • Design migrations from legacy CSS frameworks (Bootstrap) to Bulma and Tailwind.
  • Add more boilerplates to be used in the pipeline: Django, Fastify .. you name it.

Thank you! Btw, my (nick) name is Sm0ke and I'm pretty active also on Twitter.

Discussion (9)

Editor guide
geofflangenderfer profile image
Geoff Langenderfer

So you've automated parts of legacy app migration? That's pretty cool.

sm0ke profile image
Sm0ke Author

Is not fully automated but I hope to improve the process until the end of the year to cut entirely the manual work.
The progress depends on many factors.

Thank you for your interest.

nazimboudeffa profile image
Nazim Boudeffa • Edited

Great work, we are working on a project like this to generate nodejs apps, but searching in you repositories we can see that the source code of the generator is not opensource even if you're using opensource softwares
How can we take a look at the code ?

subscribe for more

sm0ke profile image
Sm0ke Author • Edited

Hello Nazim,
The service uses two modules embedded into the platform, not open-sourced, mostly for the commercial value.

To give you an insight, I've spent more than 1y to develop the core of the platform. Even is not obvious at first look, it was a huge amount of R&D work and continuous prototyping. If you want, you may read more on this article:
App Generator - The Modern Way

Thank you for your kind words.
Yours, .. <('_')> ..

dnsnetworks profile image

Are you interested in a side contract ? Please connect with me on LinkedIn.
ShawnEbbs from @dnsnetworks

sm0ke profile image
Sm0ke Author

Hello Shawn,
Yes, we can have a chat. See u there.
Thank you!

kempsterrrr profile image
Will Kempster

This is very cool

I'm hoping get some solid Jamstack boilerplates together for myself soon so will be in really useful.

4mitch profile image

Did you see your post was translated in Habr? :)

sm0ke profile image
Sm0ke Author

thank you for the notice!