Hitting the front page on Hacker News


Today Jsonmatic hit the front page on Hacker News.

I didn't expect it to be honest. I read the site since long time ago but I never participate, because I'm kind of scared of saying something out of place.

As a non-native English speaker, I need to think twice about what to write, so most of the times I just let it go:

"I'll post another day," I think.

I don't know why I decided to show Jsonmatic yesterday. On one side, I was curious to see the reaction after ~80 hours of building the first version of the app. On the other side, I was afraid of the brutal internet honesty.

Yesterday I went to sleep with the post having only 3 points and 0 comments. I was thinking that it would disappear and nobody will ever notice it. But today in the morning, I was surprised, it was in position number 8, and the post was flooded with comments, critics, suggestions, and improvements.

98 comments in total, 120 points, and 61 GitHub stars later, here I'm, writing this article with a smile on my face. I'm happy overall.


  • Data harvesting. I installed fingerprintjs to check how many users visit the site (instead of installing Google Analytics). No second intentions here, I just wanted to know if people were using the app. As people thought that the app was trying to harvest data from the users, I removed the dependency and deployed the app without any analytics. People hate data harvesting (me too), but I promise I didn't want to use any user data. If it was my intention, why I would open-source the code?

  • Alternative tools. More tools are doing the same (some with UI and some without). I'm ok with that. I created something that fitted our needs when I was at my previous job (I didn't find anything close). Many people worked with Excel and made custom formulas to transform data into JSON; I tried to simulate that but simplifying the process with an intuitive UI. Moreover, there are additional features like multiple JSON property replace, merge and delete. It's not only a CSV to JSON transform app. There is more on there.

  • Security. There is a good point made by osullip: businesses don't trust this kind of tools because it can compromise files/data. They are not sure that someone will soak up data. This is interesting; I need to think of some way to make the website or app trustworthy. How can I convince the user that the app will run only in the browser?

This week I'll think on more features to build based on Hacker News comments. I may create a CLI tool or add an option to transform the JSON into an array format. Let's have some fun.

Hi, I'm Erik, an engineer from Barcelona. If you like the post or have any comments, say hi.