A light purple rocket lifting off from the ground in a plume of smokeA light purple rocket lifting off from the ground in a plume of smoke


Tentative Liftoff

Illustrated drawing of Amadeus Maxmimilian StadlerIllustrated drawing of Amadeus Maxmimilian Stadler

Amadeus Stadler

October 10, 2021

The time has come, the deadline nears. This is the first devlog written from the hosted live-version of Mattrbld and by the time it is published, you will finally be able to try the project for yourself. I had hoped to reach this point much sooner and have the docs finished by the time, but unfortunately life didn’t allow me to follow through with these plans.

For those who haven’t kept up with all sixteen of these devlogs, Mattrbld is my BA thesis project for my Bachelor of Arts in communication design. I will have to hand in that thesis on October 14th, which is four days from when I publish this article and as such marks a milestone for this project. It also means that I will no longer be able to dedicate most of my time to the project, which is why these devlogs will no longer be published in a fortnightly rhythm, but rather when there is new progress to be reported on. I’m also planning on publishing some more general blog posts and articles on specific details or tutorials for common use-cases of Mattrbld in the future, so expect some more diverse content.

That being said, Mattrbld is so much more than just a university project for me—both in good and bad aspects. I truly believe that it can make the content management experience a lot more pleasant for a lot of people and as such I am definitely planning on keeping up development and maintenance in the future.

The version that you can try out today is fully functional, but untested in a lot of environments. There will be bugs and unexpected oddities, hence why you will see this release marked as an alpha. Also, some features are not fully implemented yet, so make sure to check out the limitations before jumping in headfirst.

I have been using Mattrbld for this website and my personal blog without any issues for months now, however, so it is definitely usable for personal websites in my opinion. Go ahead and give it a try. 😉

What’s New

With this introduction out of the way, here’s what changed in the past two weeks.

Improved Unknown Fields Styling

When Mattrbld isn’t able to infer the type of a repeating field in a Rows or Columns field, for example because the content was created outside of Mattrbld, it gets labelled as an “Unknown Field”. Content editors can then manually specify which field it is supposed to be based on its content.

Such unknown fields had an abundance of unnecessary whitespace under their header, which is now removed, making them look more in line with other fields.

Container Field Fixes

The recently introduced visual Container fields were causing some issues with existing content when repeating fields had their type changed to one that contained a Container field. These issues should now be fixed.

Adjustments to Input Components

In an effort to mitigate Chrome’s over-eagerness to auto-fill completely unrelated input fields with usernames saved for Mattrbld in the browser’s password manager, I adjusted the input components. Unfortunately, this issue seems to persist in certain cases and will need to be investigated further.

Optional Analytics Integration

If an Umami analytics script and site-ID are passed as environment variables during build time, Mattrbld will then report successful project imports and page views of the home-screen to that Umami instance. This happens without tracking any personally identifiable information and respects the users’ “Do not track” preference in their browsers.

The hosted instance’s privacy policy contains more information on the subject and why information is being collected at all. Since you should be able to host your own instance in the future, this integration is completely optional, so you could have an instance that does not make use of analytics at all.

PWA Features

Mattrbld is now a fully fledged PWA and installable as an app on your devices. It should also work just fine offline, although you obviously won’t be able to sync any changes until your connection is restored.

Hosted Alpha is Available

An alpha version of Mattrbld and a built-in CORS proxy server are now available. This can be considered the official Mattrbld instance, but please keep in mind that the built-in proxy server is for small-scale, private projects only. If you are planning to use Mattrbld on a larger, or even commercial scale, please host your own. If the built-in proxy uses up too much bandwidth, it will have to be disabled, which would be a loss for everyone.

Future Development

As I’ve mentioned in the introduction, this is the last devlog to be published in the fortnightly rhythm. Future devlogs will be published when there are changes to be reported on, but there may be other content on the blog, such as technical articles and tutorials.

Due to the uncertain nature of my future and my personal health, development will slow down considerably for the foreseeable future, but I will do my best to complete the technical documentation as much as possible. I’m also still planning on releasing Mattrbld as an open source project eventually, but unfortunately there’s currently no roadmap for that.

At this point I’d like to thank everyone who supported me throughout this project and you, for keeping up with the latest news and reading these devlogs. It’s been a long journey and although it wasn’t worth the price it cost me, I am still proud of what I could create. That being said, the journey is far from being over and I’m excited to see where Mattrbld will end up once I have had the chance to properly recover.

In this sense, have fun trying out and using Mattrbld and I’d love to hear your thoughts about it over on Twitter!