Posts from 23 December 2014
Week 7 Day 2 - If an event is triggered in the woods, and there's no handler, does it cause a callback?
Today's partner: Mark
A lot to absorb today.
We rounded out the pokedex app, starting from a standardized skeleton again (but this time incorporating a "clean" version of what we accomplished yesterday), and templated the hell out of it, then separated what was once a single
Backbone.Viewinto individual views for each task.
I can't say that it was the most interesting lesson we've had here; I was kind of done with this project yesterday, and refactoring a somewhat broken initial model just wasn't that engaging. I'd rather do it right from the beginning, and actually split out the modules into what should have rightfully been separate files in the first place. Further, since the plural of Pokemon is… Pokemon, it was often difficult to figure out which
renderPokemonmethod we were calling—the one attached to the index, or the one attached to the show route.
That said, we certainly learned a lot about how Views and (eventually) Routers work on the client side, but it felt like we spent most of our time wrestling with callbacks. I thought I understood them pretty well, but when you have a related view (display requires index to be loaded beforehand) figuring out just how much of your render method needs to live in the callback can be challenging.
Nonetheless, we figured it out eventually. It's done and behind us… I'll probably want to read the assigned book cover to cover over the holiday break, just to solidify what we saw, so I don't trip over my feet come Monday.
Speaking of Monday, that's when Jonathan has asked we have our project proposals ready. I won't have as much time as I thought, but since we're required to make a clone of something it'll be easier (and harder) than I thought.
I would still like to make a clone of something that's at least a bit socially conscious, but then I think of Freshman English class and how some of my best essays were the ones I was least invested in. That is to say, when I can think logically about a problem, without letting my passion cloud my vision, it's often easier for me to make something I can admire.
Maybe, though, I've changed since I was 13. I'd like to think so.
Today's partner: Jake
"Stop trying to make
.fetch()happen! It's not going to happen!"
I spent all weekend trying to make heads or tails of backbone, and apparently either it paid off, or today's assignment was easy/well composed enough that it was tractable well within the allotted time.
Today's project was the first half of a 2-day project implementing a single-page webapp - a pokedex. (For the unaware, there's a game called Pokemon, and in the game, every time you see a new Pokemon, it's added to your in-game computer index of Pokemans, aka the pokedex… poke poke poke…). The skeletal structure was set up already when we came in, so we started with a rails server with models and routes setup already, and did nothing more than build out the client-side functionality using backbone.
What started in the morning as a static page without much functionality became, by the end, a templated, asynchronous, pretty cool (as these things go) index of pokemans. We didn't accomplish much, all told, except remove a lot of the opaqueness from Backbone models and collections, but given the overall confusion I was experiencing on Saturday it's very much a relief. Backbone isn't that hard, it seems, once you get a handle on the problem it's designed to solve - removing a lot of the drudgework of making an API-driven client-side single-page web-site. But, like Rails, it really merits a cover-to-cover read-through of the source and documentation to understand what is possible, and what's in good taste/style.
Like I've been saying, there are a lot of things I'm seeing that would be incorporated into an eventual portfolio-level project, and since Backbone is the last thing we have to learn to make our projects, I'm thinking that maybe I'm ready to start sketching out what I'd like to accomplish in the next month and a half, starting as soon as I get to the airport Wednesday… I think there will be, and ought to be, a lot of pen-time, hovering over a notebook and essentially drawing wireframes of… what, exactly? I know there are tons of different things I could implement with the skills we've learned, but it's all so daunting now. All the projects I have in mind so far are a bit too large in scope, or too personal/bespoke to merit the effort.
Hmm. Time to hit people up for ideas.