Gimlet v2 - Coming Soon! Really!!
It has been far, Far, FAR too long since we updated this blog – and honestly, it’s my single greatest embarrassment at the moment; life is a comedy, right? Our humblest and sincerest apologies for the radio silence here from Gimlet HQ.
However, that quiet was not for lack of effort on Gimlet v2…
When we first started Gimlet v2 we had a solid design prototype and some grand ideas. We thought we would launch Gimlet v2 as its very own application and keep the old Gimlet v1 around for clients that didn’t need all the new features.
I poured myself into the work and it was going great! I had the BIGGEST CRUSH on it. I simply adored the work. It was a complete re-write of the codebase. New front-end libraries for the UI design, and substantial upgrades to most backend features like authentication, caching, searching, and reporting. WE BUILT IT ALL. We even took this new Gimlet code out for beta testing with some close clients. Feedback was positive. Really, really, positive. We were right there on the threshold and then we stepped back.
Re-writing a successful application is truly a great adventure. It allows you to re-learn the nooks and crannies, all the small but absolutely essential things. And while many times I think of Gimlet and I say to myself “there’s not too much code there”… but OH MY there really is a lot of nuance here. It’s very easy to mistake simplicity and complexity.
When we were almost out the door with Gimlet v2 (the first go around) we started to ask ourselves a lot of very tough questions, and the most important one was: “How hard will it be to run two different Gimlet applications?”.
We re-read the code we wrote and we hesitated. We began to fully realize we’ve essentially doubled the challenge of providing this service. We’ll need to keep two separate application environments running. We’re going to use two different search engines. We’ll need twice the application monitoring, performance monitoring, backups, migrations. For customer support, we’ll need know if Client A is using Gimlet v1 and how to troubleshoot that, and then when Client B might need help with Gimlet v2, that’ll be a whole different thing. Yikes! It should have been obvious, but happiness and momentum can sometimes mask the unmistakable.
As you know, we’re a small, independently owned, business. To be successful, we need less challenges, not more. We looked at the situation and knew we’d need to make Gimlet v1 and Gimlet v2 be the very same application. There is no G1 and G2, there is only Gimlet (sorry for the Yoda-speak).
So, long story short, we’ve done that.
Cheers to the Future!
It took more time than we wanted (or wanted to admit to ourselves), but we are nearly there. Last week, we put the first major block into place on the production server: our new search engine. This will be the backbone of the new Gimlet. In fact, we’re indexing data into it as I write this post.
Someday quite soon, after some important testing, we’ll begin dripping clients into a preview of the new interface. We want to give everyone time with the new and old interfaces, so you’ll be able to toggle back and forth between the two until you are comfortable. And, the big goal is to have everyone migrated over to the new user interface this summer.
The biggest take-away I have from all of our effort over the last year is that I strongly believe we’re a much stronger company now. Everything has been double-checked, double-thought, and double-measured.
We’ve traveled back through all the complexities we solve with Gimlet, and we’ve built a new application base that will allow us to add fun new features with much greater frequency. While that might sound a little too “PR” rah-rah-rah boastful, it’s honestly true. I’m so proud of the work we’ve accomplished.
It’s going to be a great year for Gimlet. We’ll be in touch again VERY soon. We Promise.
Sincerely, Eric for Team Gimlet.