robconery.com

What Is Your Yeet Threshold?

7 months ago | Front End
Solving problems is what we do, but sometimes the solution is to burn it all down and start again, learning from your mistakes. How do you make this choice?
***

I'm wrapping up a 2.5 day, 9 hour thrashfest where trying to fix this bug, right here:

I'm working with Nuxt 3, Vue 3 and Vuetify for the Accelerator Walkthrough production I'm putting together and hit this little snag on Friday. It's now Sunday, right before noon PDT, and I finally fixed it.

I'm frustrated, of course. I did learn a few things, which is obviously groovy (and I'll share those)... but overall I think the thing that I exercised the most was my patience.

I tend to pivot, quickly, when shit hits the fan. Especially when dealing with three things as complex as Vue, Nuxt, and Vuetify.

I think this quote from Adam Wathan, creator of Tailwind CSS, nails it:

I have an extremely low tolerance for nonsense and I faced a non-stop parade of nonsense this weekend that forced me to go outside and breath fresh air far more than I wanted to.

Here's what happened...

A Simple Tweak Explodes

I'm wrapping up the section of the walkthrough where we plug in authorization using an API call. Everything had started to click and I was breezing through the backend code stuff, and the final bit was to change the icon in the navigation list when the user logs in and verified as an owner of the given video course:

As you can see, the icons are laying out just fine and everything should work, right? This is when things fell apart and this fun little error showed up, destroying everything:

Everything stopped rendering properly when error triggered. The videos wouldn't load, the logout button stopped working, text didn't show up... painful.

Clicking through for more info led nowhere. No stack trace, nothing. Eventually I tried a different browser (Brave) and saw something weird. Instead of a "TypeError: child is null" error, I saw this:

Clicking through there I was able to set a few breakpoints and see what Vue was up to under the hood:

Vue is trying to remove an element from the DOM that it thinks shouldn't be there. But which one? Reading the child value didn't help at all as I couldn't tell what was being called to begin with.

Eventually I started removing everything, bit by bit, to see if the error would go away.

Cut, Cut, Cut, Cut... Where Is This Coming From!?!

It took me 90 minutes to slowly and methodically slice out every single component in my application, and eventually I got to this:

This is the login modal that I've been using to log people in, which looks like this:

It pops up and, like so many sites out there, you get a code in your email and pop it in place. It looks great, sliding back and forth... but using it in a modal window is, apparently, problematic.

The solution? I have no idea. There is something in the way these windows are loaded into the DOM and removed from the DOM that is blowing up Vue. I didn't write any tricky code here - I used exactly what was on the documentation page. In fact, if you scroll down that page you'll see the exact form I used for this login dialog.

My solution turned out to be creating my own login page and ditching the modal. I could reuse most of the code and didn't need the sliding windows so ... what the hell. Turns out that it worked.

Oh But It Wasn't Done With Me Yet

Creating my own page led to the next error, which was a new one, that happens when you click "Next" after entering your email:

Same deal - click through, no help. Try Brave, see a whole different error report:

This one, however, came with a crucial detail that I missed with Firefox:

Vue doesn't like a type I'm using with... an avatar? On my login page? Oh... right...

This is the little step number indicator in the top left. It doesn't like that I'm sending a number into v-text. So it blew up the application.

Wait a minute... where did this code come from? Oh, right, the Vuetify documention which is quite extensive and apparently full of weirdness:

I know they're doing their best and, if I'm honest, Vuetify has saved me mountains of time over the years. Except when I hit walls like this and end up giving that time back.

I was able to fix this by moving the loginForm.step to the slot, which is stupid, but it fixed the problem.

Serious Q: How Long Do I Keep Beating On This?

I'm so, so close to being done with the UX "heavy lifting" but it's errors like this that stop me for days that kill my motivation. I'm trying to approach this whole walkthrough effort as real as I can make it - which means that I can't be afraid to stop and rebuild if I get cornered.

How long do you wait? There are some great frameworks out there with ready-made templates that I could plug in and move on. I do know that they, just like any framework, come with their own quirks and ramp-up time too. I can't expect to just change and have it all work, but I can expect troubleshooting to be easier the closer I get to pure CSS and HTML.

I really would love your feedback on this. Reply (if you get this via email) or pop a comment - I'd love to hear from you!

Want to learn more about frontend programming?

I wrote an in-depth, real-world tutorial which comes with a book, and over 12 hours of video walkthrough where we build a real application.

  • 200 page eBook
  • 12 hours of video walkthroughs using Vue and Nuxt
  • 2 Case studies focusing on Firebase and Playwright

There's More...

The Subtle Arts of Logging and Testing

I'm a big fan of testing, but I get lazy sometimes and it ends up costing me money, directly.

Test-driven Development In Action

TDD is one of those things that people talk about, argue about, and think is interesting. I'm one of those people, so I asked Brad Wilson to clear it all up for me.

Meet Playwright

Curious about Playwright, the frontend testing framework? Well hang out for the next hour and I'll show it to you!