Inspired by Facebook, made with RoR, React/Redux, and PostgreSQL!
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Phasebook is a single-page, full-stack web application built with Ruby on Rails, React/Redux (featuring Javascript, HTML/CSS) and PostgreSQL.

Features and Implementation

The app contains the following features:

  • User login/creation
  • Creating/editing/deleting posts
  • Commenting
  • Likes
  • Friending
  • Search
  • Newsfeed
  • User show page
  • Chat messenger
  • User information editing
  • Profile picture/Cover page upload
  • Responsive design

User Authentication

The app utilizes a custom-made backend and frontend authentication protocol to allow permissive activities on the app.

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User authentication assigns a session token that is stored on the user's device as a cookie. On the frontend, the current user is bootstrapped to maintain login status of the current user upon refresh or navigating between different pages.

if (window.currentUser) {
  const preloadedState = { session: { currentUser: window.currentUser }};
  store = configureStore(preloadedState);
  delete window.currentUser;
} else {
  store = configureStore();

Post Creation

Users are able to make posts on their main newsfeed page or on their friends' pages. Posts may comprise of text, images, or both. Posts can be made as a self post (status post), or they can be directed at a friend.

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Posts can also be edited or deleted by the owner of the post. Permissives are included on the front and backend to disallow improper edits/deletes by unauthorized users.


Real-time search is featured in the navigation bar, where different users can be found based on input matching any of the users' names. On each input (or delete), a request is sent to the database to return matching results.

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Upon clicking on any of the search results, the page will route to the friend's (or user's) profile page.


The friendship feature has a self-joins table to keep track of who is friends with who, who sent friend requests, and who received friend requests. A user is able to do the following:

  • Accepting a friend request
  • Send a friend request
  • Cancel a friend request
  • Adding a friend
  • Removing a friend

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Curated content is based on friends, as the newsfeed will only display content that belongs to the current user or his/her friends. Also, posting on profile pages where the users are not friends are forbidden.

Likes and Comments

Comments can be made on posts and likes can be done on posts and comments.


A polymorphic association was implemented to ensure that a like only points to one post or one comment.

  belongs_to :like_item, :polymorphic => true

  params.require(:like).permit(:like_item_id, :like_item_type)


A user can interact with their friends via live messaging. This involved having a chat bar that lists all friends that the user can talk wth, and upon clicking on a friend, opens a chat that can be toggled into and out of view, or exited. The chat persists across the main newsfeed page and the individual show page.

if (nextState["openChats"].length > 3) {
for (let j=0; j < nextState.openChats.length; j++) {
  if (nextState.openChats[j].id === action.conversationId) {
    nextState.openChats.splice(j, 1);


Picture Resizing

Phasebook uses a lot of pictures. And pictures uses up a lot of bandwidth and can make rendering the pages take a lot longer due to having to download large picture sizes and then having to resize them on the frontend. Paperclip was used to crop and resize pictures uploaded by users to different category sizes (small, medium, large) and uploads these different instances to AWS so that the correct size of the picture can be rendered.

#User model
has_attached_file :profile_pic,
:styles => {
  :small => "50x50#",
  :medium => "101x101#",
  :large => "170x170#"

#User view
json.extract!(user, :id, :email, :first_name, :last_name,
:education, :current_city, :hometown, :relationship, :introduction)
json.set! :cover_page, asset_path(user.cover_page.url(:large))
json.set! :profile_pic_small, asset_path(user.profile_pic.url(:small))
json.set! :profile_pic_medium, asset_path(user.profile_pic.url(:medium))
json.set! :profile_pic_large, asset_path(user.profile_pic.url(:large))

Responsive Design

CSS is used to prioritize what is displayed on the screen based on viewport resolution.

/* CSS */

@media only screen and (max-width: 590px) {
  /* ... */


Other Features

The current user can also do the following to customize their page:

  • Upload a profile picture
    • User can customize their profile picture by uploading a picture of their choice via Paperclip
  • Upload a cover page
    • User can also show personality by uploading a picture of their choice for their cover page
  • Edit personal user information including:
    • Introduction
    • Hometown
    • Current City
    • Relationship
    • Education

Future Works

Phasebook has a long way to go to. In the future, I plan to work/implement the following:

  • Continued bug-fixes and refactoring

  • Replies to comments (comments on comments) and replies to replies

  • Pictures

    • Users having a collection of pictures. Clicking on picture, profile picture, or cover page would resize to fit the browser window for deeper viewing.
  • Miscellaneous interactivity/detailing that makes an app a social app:

    • Birthdays
    • Trending events
    • Story ticker feed
    • Being able to view friend list and friends' friend lists
    • About section for more detail about a user