Hey folks! This is my first blog post ever, so I am very excited as well as a little nervous about it.
It's like that old feeling when I was trying to learn programming, trying to build cool things but most of the time unitentionally breaking stuff. And honestly? I kinda like it.
We just released Caligator. It's an open-source calculator and unit converter that's powerful and super easy to use. We also released it on ProductHunt today and the response we've been getting so far has made me super happy! It made me want to write about our journey making Caligator.
So why did I title this post the way I did?
You all might be wondering, how did you help build Caligator when this might very well be the first time you are hearing its name.
Let me explain.
In true spirit of open source and community-driven development, I can confidently say that Caligator was not built by just me, Sarthak, or Krishna. It was built by the community at large, the same community that has been supporting Team XenoX for so long. Many of our recent members have come from Dev.to actually, and it's so amazing!
When we started, we just had a bare idea of what Caligator was supposed to be, but character by character, semi by semi, and line by line, we were able to build and release Caligator.
We knew that Caligator was going to be open-source and cross-platform, so we used Electron and web technologies which have added benefit of not needing to build native apps for Windows, Linux and Mac separately. This also allowed us to have a visually consistent, cross-platform app while also allowing beginners to contribute as it's just web technology.
Some of the basic features we wanted in our first release were
- Simple and complex calculations
- Ratios and percentages
We had basic overview so we just started and bootstrapped a simple Electron project.
After our initial open source projects at Team XenoX getting success, we had ton of eager people who wanted to contribute, and soon everyone was excited about something they wanted to change and make better or even implement from scratch.
We used the project board available on Github itself to track progress of each feature: what needs to be done and what is completed.
There were the usual shenanigans of someone or the other forgetting to pull or push the latest code before adding something important, and then dealing with the aftermath of breaking shit. But in the end, it was an awesome experience. I had fun collaborating, discussing what would be a better approach to solve a problem, deciding what part who's gonna work on, setting priorities, fixing issues, and testing. I found myself thoroughly enjoying each part of process.
There's tons of stuff still to do. We want to implement a lot of new features and make existing ones better.
Here's some of the stuff we have planned:
- Font size preferences 🆎
- Export options 💾
- Click to copy 📄
- More themes 🎨
If you want to see a particular feature you'd like to see in Caligator, why wait? Just go ahead and build them yourself. I'm linking the repo below. Fork it, add stuff, and send your pull request! 😉
An open source kickass cross platform Calculator with power of alligator
- Currency conversion
- Weight and length conversion
- Temperature conversion
- Percentage and ratio calculation
- Disable autoplay for videos
- Silent auto-updates
macOS 10.10+, Linux, and Windows 7+ are supported (64-bit only for now).
The AppImage needs to be made executable after download.
- Export Options
- Font size preferences
- Click to copy
Built with Electron.
$ npm install && npm start
$ npm run release
Then edit the automatically created GitHub Releases draft and publish.
And hey, why stop there? If you're passionate about open-source, why not join us at Team XenoX and make the world a better place with the power of open-source development? It doesn't matter how much or how little experience you have. We welcome everyone with open arms. 😄
Just go to XenoX Multiverse and start contributing!
That's it for my first post. Whew!
Thanks for reading, and if you like Caligator, please share it with your friends! Ciao!