ItsCarma was a specialized messaging app intended to help car owners in San Francisco by crowdsourcing helpful car-related messages. It allowed anyone to send one of a number of text messages like “Street cleaning today”, “Headlights are on”, or “Window is broken” that could alert a car’s owner to an impending parking ticket or other situation involving their car.
The web-app was platform-independent: Extensive use of HTML, CSS, and SVGs on the front end provided a responsive, platform-independent interface. Furthermore, hand-tuned HTML and CSS, and fonts stored on our own servers facilitated very fast page loads.
Security of data and the safety of our users was always our highest priority. To this end, we employed Twofish encryption of user data, and of course screened all inputs to prevent SQL exploits. In addition, we consciously collected only the absolute minimum data required to provide our service. So our site was difficult to hack, and should a hack have succeeded only minimal data would have been available, and what data was available would have been strongly encrypted anyway.
Our web-app was written with ease of maintenance in mind in Python and Perl, with copious documentation, and using Git version control. We used MySQL on the back end to store user data and certain webpage elements, and interfaced with Twilio and Paypal APIs.
Finally, and importantly, ItsCarma was designed and tested to be ADA compliant.
Unfortunately, ItsCarma launched in March 2020, in the week that San Francisco went into Covid lockdown and SFMTA suspended most of its parking ticketing activity. Unable to continue supporting the costs of ItsCarma, I closed down the website late 2021.