Rebuilding List

September 13, 2021

As a frequent-user of eBay, List has become an essential part of my buying experience. It felt great to not only build something for myself, but also recieve all the great feedback since its initial launch.

That being said, there were a number of parts about List that had begun to feel a bit stale. Personal projects like these are always a great way to try new things, but when a project lacks the attention it deserves, it can make updates a bit harder to manage as time goes on. I decided to rebuild List from the ground-up, and am excited to share some of the decisions behind-the-scenes:

Framework

With absolutely no shade thrown, create-react-app just wasn't part of my day-to-day. Next.js continues to be a solid foundation for a variety of applications; this website being one of them, and List being a natural fit as well. Even though List currently uses a client-side lookup via localStorage for data, all of the other built-ins were too good to pass up.

As always, List is hosted on Vercel - which continues to be a great option for my applications.

Data-fetching

With axios powering the previous version, it wasn't until I gave SWR a shot that I realized all of what I was missing: built-in cache and request deduplication, TS support, revalidation on focus, seamless polling, and more. I really did have several, "oh, I don't need to think about this", moments throughout; which made me love this library even more.

Global store

Although this one did remain consistent from the last version, I took advantage of a zustand feature I somehow overlooked the first time - by enabling their persist middleware to provide even better integration with localStorage than what I was doing manually before.

Styling

I've written a bit about why I've really enjoyed using Tailwind in my revamp post, and rebuilding List provided another opportunity to let it shine. List now has dark mode, an even smaller bundle-size, and smart-components that allow me to handle any variation I need.

API

While the other items in the list were "technically" perfectly-fine as-is, the catalyst to this project was a notification from eBay that they were deprecating an API I depended on for this project. Luckily, @hendt/ebay-api is a fantastic, TS-ready solution that made authorizing and fetching data, a breeze.

Focused featureset

There's been features I initially added into List, that later felt more appopriate to live on their own. One of them was analyzing sold data - which later become Sold.

In this version, I decided to focus on making the search experience even more powerful, by introducing Collections - which is the ability to group searches under a common-theme. For my usecase, separating out Football, Basketball, and Dragon Ball Z listings was previously a bit messy. Now, I can separate out these searches more easily.

More on the way

Doing this rebuild has spurred a ton of additional ideas I have for List; including authentication for persistence across devices and additional search filters. Excited to hear everyone's feedback!