Kolabr was created as the final project for a university course by two peers and myself. Despite the fact that we had extremely little time, we were able to create a fully functional application.

The app consists of an interactive kanban board that allows users to create multiple boards and collaborate in real time with other people (changes are synced across all connected clients).

I was responsible for the backend and the real-time functionality. Initially, we used MySQL, not because it was a good fit for our infrastructure but rather because it was required by the course. Later down the line, I migrated the project to MongoDB due to limitations with the former not having a flexible schema. For example, retrieving a board and all its data is a single query in MongoDB, whereas in MySQL, the same operation requires 4 joins chained together and a small script to parse the result.

Real-time functionality is powered by Liveblocks, a service that provides a simple API to handle real-time data synchronization. It was a breeze to work with, even though there’s not a built-in Svelte library, I was able to create custom stores to handle the real-time data with ease. Props to Liveblocks’ Pixel Art Together app for the inspiration.

As for user authentication, we used Lucia for its simplicity and ability to handle multiple providers. Overall, it was a great fit for our needs.

When it comes to the frontend, it was originally built using Bootstrap. However, I’m not a fan of the “Bootstrap look,” so I ended up doing a complete redesign using shadcn/ui with the help of shadcn-svelte, since shadcn/ui is a React library. The result is a clean and modern look that I’m very happy with.

Lastly, I implemented a couple features that were missing from the original requirements, such as adding assignees to tickets, tag customizations, a few animations to make the app feel more alive, and a dark mode.

Yes, this late in the game, and we didn’t have a dark mode. But hey, better late than never, right?