Devblog 7: Going into another Directus

It's been a while since the last devblog. It was a busy couple of weeks with the holidays and the Flutter Forward event coming up.

I made a little bit of progress on the project which also involved a rather impactful decision.

But first, let me tell you a bit about the other stuff that happened!

Flutter Forward Festival

The people from Flutter Netherlands, together with Pinch (the company I work for) organized a viewing party for the Flutter Forward Live Stream.

After watching the stream together, we would have a few presentations. I was asked to be one of the presenters which I accepted.

From Mental Model to App Architecture

My presentation was called "From Mental Model to App Architecture". I talked about how I came up with the architecture that I used for the last project I worked on, which struggles I had and what I did to overcome them.
So instead of a technical story, it was more about my developer experience, something I would usually write about on this website.


At the end of the presentation, I also made an introduction to Etos.
Etos is the state management solution I'm working on that is intended to make applying the architecture that I've come up with, easier.

I talked a little bit about this, without calling it by name, in an earlier devblog. I'm using this state management solution in this project, to see if it holds up in the real world.

When I'm satisfied enough, I will write an article about it.

Project Progress

As I said, it was a busy couple of weeks. However, I was able to make some progress. But first I made yet a 'drastic' change...

Bye Bye Firestore, and hello Directus!

In devblog 5 I mentioned I wanted to use Firebase (Firestore) for this project.
After several attempts of trying to model my data in Firestore, I realized that my brain doesn't like the unstructured nature of a NoSQL database.

Whatever I tried, I just was never really satisfied with the outcome. It was holding up the project and I was slowly losing joy.

Then I took a step back, and thought about why I choose Firestore in the first place, and if it was necessary to have a NoSQL database for this project.

I came to realize it was not.

A few years ago I experimented with Directus, I remembered being impressed by it. Directus is a headless CMS that wraps around your SQL database. It also automatically generates an API (REST and GraphQL) for you!

Since the first time I used it, Directus has come a long way. I read the docs and watched videos about it to see if this might be a good fit for me and my project.

It looked very, very, very promising!

So I decided to give it a shot. I created a FREE Directus project in their cloud service. It was set up in no time at all and I could quickly try it out.


Because the free tier of the hosted instance doesn't allow for SSO services I had to make some changes in the authentication. I would no longer use FirebaseAuth for this and thus had to build this myself.

Luckily Directus also generates authentication endpoints that I could use. Unfortunately, I had to do a lot more work than what FirebaseAuth automatically gives you, but it was also a nice experience to learn a bit more about how authentication works under the hood.

What's next?

I think I will first focus on being able to create a draft scavenger hunt.
Hopefully, this will give me a feel for how to model the data in de the database.

There are still a few questions I need to think about, like:

  1. Should it be possible to update a Scavenger Hunt after it has been published?

  2. What is, and is not, allowed to be changed?

But I will take it one step at a time.
First I will focus on creating the drafts.