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A Sinatra web app that compares you and your friends "Likes" on Facebook.
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Likerfire - The Facebook "Likes" Comparison Engine

Design Choices

I chose to use Sinatra instead of Rails primarily because the user interface requirements were small. In general I tend to lean towards Sinatra when there will be little to no interface requirements and Rails when there will be an extensive UI. In the end I went without a database as well. I started the project with a database, but it only had one table for users and it didn't make much sense to continue using one when I was updating the entire contents of a User object every time a user logged in. I chose to use OmniAuth to do the Facebook OAuth authentication because it was so easy to set up when I tried it out on a Twitter app this past weekend. I also stumbled on the rest-graph gem when looking for some facebook API information and it turned out to be really simple and helpful to use. The file and folder layout of the project is meant to be very similar to the ruby standard gem file and folder layout. I like using that since it should be familiar to ruby developers. I also like to break up the main Sinatra app file into multiple route files based roughly around resources so that they are easier to manage. On thing I did not do that I would usually do is to have a Controller layer that sits between the routes and the models. I generally like to have the route definitions handling the HTTP requests and responses and then have a controller handle marshaling the submitted data with the models. Since this app was so small I left out that layer. Finally, I went ahead and just used TestUnit and Rack-Test for testing. I had a little bit of trouble figuring out how to store variables in the Rack-Test sessions and after googling for some insight I found that there doesn't seem to be an easy solution to that problem. Overall this is a similar pattern to how I would approach any API style app with the addition of an appropriate datastore and probably RSpec to help with easier stubbing/mocking of the tests.

Further Improvement

The most obvious place for improvement of the app is the UI. I left it very sparse because of the directions, but it would be one of the first places I would target for improvement. The second place that would need to be improved is the error handling. I intentionally left out error handling, but if I were to take the app any further that would be high on the list of priorities. Along with error handling would be a more robust set of tests. Right now I'm only checking the success conditions, but adding error handling and then the tests to make sure that is working correctly would be needed. As far as feature improvements it would be interesting to add percentage of compatibility, perhaps a graph of which friends like the same things, the ability to post the results of your comparison back to you and your friends wall, maybe a running total of how many "Likes" you share with all your friends combined, the ability to figure out who your most compatible friend is, etc.

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