How I created the application, but was forced to close due to the law

January 26, 2014 I created the application "MCKO for Android." A cool joke that has gained some popularity. But more on that later.

MCKO (МЦКО) is an electronic diary for Moscow schools. It so happened that he is terrible. It’s just AWESOME, and if you go in from the phone, it generally stops working. For all its ugliness, he is one of the most popular in Moscow. Probably, he was forced to use from above, the state.


Left: this is how the site looks, if you just go in from the phone (the table has moved out). Center: this is what the magazine looks like if you zoom in. Right: this is how the site looks, if you return after approaching back. In short, it was impossible to use.

Application creation

After I was fed up with the site, an idea came to me, but not to create an application? It’s just interesting, am I going in alone from the phone or are there many like me?

There is a thought, there is an implementation. Having rummaged in the code, I found Yandex.Metrica, which, fortunately, was open. Terrible statistics fell to my eyes.


Two million phone visits per month. This is a gigantic number. 2 million were tormented and cried when they visited the site.
I understood. We must act.

First version

Having worked up and worked on the application for 3-4 days, I got the first version. Yes, she had glitches. Sometimes a table with DZ went beyond the screen (if it is large), the design was not so hot, but it was better than MCKO - and most importantly, you did not have to choose a date from which to take into account the estimates. The application knew that today is such a trimester (or a quarter) and showed estimates for the right time.

For implementation, I chose Cordova.

This is the first version. About it was written only on my page in VK and by the end of the day the application was on 13 phones. A week later, there were 102 installations. It was fun.

Update 1

On January 28 (2 days later) an update was released that carried a list of minor improvements.

Quote from the post:

The main purpose of the update is to make the application more convenient, simpler, more enjoyable. Otherwise, work on the usability of the application.
What's new?
1) The application runs smoother;
2) Added loading animation;
3) Added turning over the days in the section (“What was asked?”);
4) The text is scaled to fit the screen;
5) Added support for small screens;
6) Minor corrections.

The only problem is that the design has been tweaking since the first version.

Update 2

On January 31, a new version was released, with chips that no magazine has. This feature is called Grade Tracking. In the settings, you had to choose the point for which you want to finish the trimester, quarter or six months - and then the magic began. The application, given your results, highlighted items. For example, I expect to finish the trimester by 5. I get 5 in biology, 4.7 in algebra, 4.5 in physics, and 4 in history. The

application will suggest focusing on history, on average it will highlight physics. Algebra and biology will offer less attention.

After this update, the number of races per day increased by 2 times.

Create personal statistics

On February 6, I launched my own personal statistics, because I realized that Google provides little information and a little lies.


Perhaps you have already noticed the column "number of schools." Look at the number 151. In the 151st school there was at least 1 person who used my application, and this is not taking into account those who did not indicate this in their data.

Update 3

On February 8, a new mark was conquered. The application was installed on 200 (!) Devices; On the same day, I released a new update. There were no major changes in it. Only a new design and fix a bunch of bugs. However, the design was still lagging.

It's funny, but on March 2, the deputy director of our school assigned me 5 stars. Success.

Update, 4 last

The next version was long in coming. Her exit was March 10th. At that moment there were 600 users. This update is the largest of all and the coolest. Most noticeable - the design has changed. He has become really mobile. Second - the appearance of the DZ display has changed. To hell with tablets that went abroad. Now everything is beautiful.

I also added the section "performance". I thought that you didn’t need to look at the list of ratings, since only the final grade and the ratings for yesterday and today are worried. But since the people asked, I did.

The fourth is caching. Why upload something again when it is already downloaded? Thanks to this, information was saved. And if there is caching, then speed increases, traffic is saved. Previously, the application used 50-100 times less traffic than viewing the log through a browser, but now it’s even scary to imagine a figure.

Fifth, traffic encryption. I worried about what rarely happens in principle, but if we got to work, we’ll do it well. The data that your phone transmits and receives can, in theory, be “eavesdropped”. Since this update, ALL traffic has been encrypted. No rogue can “eavesdrop” on your password or ratings. Using our application has become safer than using the official site.

Sixth, a new data loading algorithm that allows you to quickly load data as much as possible.

Seventh is light weight. Once it dawned on me. People talk about their application at school, and children are such people that if they don’t download right now, they will forget at home. Previously, the application weighed 5.5 MB, and now 340 KB. Thanks to this, it could be downloaded directly through the mobile Internet and not spend a lot of money.


Hosting does not stand up

Over time, the popularity of the application grew. More and more users used it, but more and more often the server crashed, which caused the application to stop working. On April 13, the load became so large that the server could no longer get up. As soon as it rises, it will immediately fall.


The picture shows that I considered this a DDOS, but as it turned out, no. This is an overload. Yes, at that time there were 1200 users, there were 150 thousand requests to the server per day. 125 per capita. Why do they need to know DZ or results so many times? I didn’t know then.

In short, having killed the day, I optimized the server so that it would definitely accept another 1,200 users.

Statistics on the 15th

Death of good

April 22, I closed the application. It turns out that I violated the law on personal data, although I encrypted all traffic and asked people for permission with a tick. If I didn’t close the application, then uncles would come to me and give me a pretty fine. For further work, it was necessary to obtain permission, which was decently worth and was made quite difficult. In short, it was not profitable for me to do this.

After showing users a farewell message, the application was removed from Google search.

UPD1. I went to the office of the ICSC. They do not care. They asked to close it, although I offered to give it for free.

Also popular now: