Payments with PayPal IPN and Meteor

First of all, if you need to do payment with Meteor, I’d highly recommend using Stripe or Braintree. Their API is much simpler, better UX, everything … so why am I using PayPal?

Well Stripe is not in my country, and Braintree beta rejected our application because it’s a dating website!!!! *face palm*

Anyways, without much other choice, I went with the PayPal basic payment HTML form, submit to pay on their site, and return data with IPN (Instant Payment Notifications). It’s friggin stone-age technology but heck it still works.

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image drag and drop upload to Amazon S3 with Meteor

Image upload is one of those pretty daunting things for beginner programmer (myself before I finish this). Luckily good folks that use meteor has already done the bulk of the work for us.

However, it’s still no simple feat to put it all together. I used the dropzone.js package for the drag-and-drop client-side image handling, then use CollectionFS to handle storing image record in database and upload to Amazon S3 as well.

There’s also a great package someone wrote to compress and correct orientation, saved my life! : ccorcos:clientside-image-manipulation.

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Push notifications are working on development mode

After taking care of May’s HK Christians event, patching up some loose ends on the registration flow, the second week of May is starting to get pretty quiet.

Fortunately I also have my HKC admin help start to learn programming and help me with some coding stuff as well. In return I’m teaching him the coding stuff I know. Pretty good deal for both of us.

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Moving forward slower than I hope…

yeah so turned out getting the apps all done by end of april is way too ambitious.

It’s been a week and half since I had any progress on the mobile apps part. Turned out hosting the first HK Christians event on the new app was more work than I thought:

  • building, testing new event reg system
  • iterating after real people using it
  • getting my admin help up to speed on everything (thank god I have someone, helping me 5-10hrs/wk)
  • cleaning up old contact list, setting up admin backend system on the app, so my admin help can easily notify users about event, and track notification statuses

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mac OS update issue

sigh another unproductive day as I wrestle with weird tech shit … this time is the mac.

Apparently my Xcode needed to be upgraded to a version which only the latest OSX El Capitan supports, so o wells upgrade OS, no big deal, 1-2 hours max right? WRONG.

I’m not sure if it’s because I selected some ‘yes, please encrypt my hard drive’ option … but once the new OS booted up, it just shows a grey stop sign. HOLY SHIT.

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My Next Steps – for April to June 2016

Here I am, practically finished with HK Christians, which basically consumed 80% of my working hours in the past 3-4 months. Event registration with payment, membership subscription and recurring payment, all with PayPal’s ancient-holy-crap HTML form and IPN.

Now that I don’t need to be bogged down by development for HK Christians, I’ll be spending the time with following in the next three months:

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Modulus Hosting back to okay…?

Well after two days of face-palming and some slow-as-hell site period, the last 24 hours seems to be pretty okay … speed back to normal. Deployment is still showing error messages, but it’s bearable I guess, and their support emailed me and said would help me look into it.

I was totally going to try using self-serve hosting on Digital Ocean, which I’m slightly dreading because I’m really clueless about server stuff. There seems to be decent documentation and also a nice tool call Meteor Up to help.

Anyways though I guess if the site speed is normal, I’ll deal with the deployment error thing, and not switch for now. If and when that deployment error goes away, then I’d be VERY happy with modulus!