Online harassment is a huge issue, on any scale. People may try to quantify it, or give it a face; but the reality of it is: everyone that uses the Internet has once felt brought down by it’s power. The only real remedy to this difficulty is talking to someone not involved. This is why we made Lighthouse, to aid the people most in need of help; to be a beacon of light for them.
What it does
Our app provides victims of harassment an opportunity to learn and converse with others that have had similar experiences as them. It is an opportunity to talk, relate, aid, and reinforce. Users can do this all through an anonymous alias and a secure log-in. If users feel threatened or
How we built it
We built our app using Android Studio with the aid of a Firebase database to store our user and system information. We all decided to try out branching separate directories in order to free ourselves from the pull request tug-of-war. This did not end well, as it took more than 3 hours to reintegrate our separate screens and fix our versions/ dependencies.
Challenges we ran into
Throughout our development process, we ran into the huge bottleneck; trying to get our Firebase to work with the app. Because of the nature of Firebase APIs and how our app is supposed to function, which it has been relatively easy for us to write data into the server, it has been extremely hard for us to fetch data from the server. We spent almost 7 hours on this one critical issue, and with a huge amount of online research and with the help of Garret from MLH, we are finally able to figure out a way to accomplish the goal of reading data.
Accomplishments that we're proud of
All four of us in the group are all high schoolers, and we are all new to Android developing. None of us have ever published an app using android studio and only two of us have experience coding in Java. However, we were able to come together and help each other using android studio.
What we learned
One of the hardest parts of our project, was the implementation of fire base in our project. However, we all had to use this database for storing users and our app would fail without this implementation. Just learning how to write files took us 7 hours. Then learning to read files took 15 hours.
What's next for Lighthouse
Us developers of lighthouse truly believe the idea is a great one. We hope to continue to build and learn from this project and possibly publish it when available.