I have come a long way in the past few days with my form work. I have found several problems in my coding – all very small and easily overlooked. This is normally how coding problems go! I had declared a global var formText, then partially through my code I declared it again. Thus wiping my previously entered data in formText. This is a habit from Java and well… every other language I have encountered. I would have never thought “weakly” type languages would be so much trickier to learn – but they are to me. I now have almost every aspect of the form going but radio. The radio button function appears to be buggy, but once again I find myself staring at coding that looks fine to me. I am now going to move on to this weeks work, hopefully I will have time to look at this code a bit later and perfect it. I have found that looking away from my code for a bit may be time consuming, but I often come back and immediately point out my previous flaws.
The updated form has replaced previous weeks and can be found at the same place.
I hope I am not the only one who fell short this week! I thought I had the form creation “mechanics” thought through extremely well… And I still hold a glimmer of hope that this program is very close to working, just simply a “face palm” mistake away from properly functioning. Feel free to look at my source, I believe I have some very clear and easy to read coding. To the best of my knowledge make button, checkbox, and text written are correctly or very close. But since these are not working it prevents me from attempting the two challenging functions – make radio and make pop up… But even with these you would cycle through the array until length-1 and it would be very similar to the other functions. I look forward to listening to horror stories on Monday and getting some help from some peers/Dr. Brown. Anyways, it is nearing the 11:59 due date and my progress can be found here.
So far with our adventures with creating an interface, everything we have done has been leading up to bootstrap. Now that it has arrive my slate has been somewhat cleared and we are starting over in way. After some reading I dove into the first project, to create a circus side show opening page. When looking at a template to use for this it seemed quite apparent the best choice for a “captivating opening page” would be implementing carousels. Using two different tutorials I was able to implement a very nice “mobile first” type of navigation onto a full screen carousel. Below is a screen of my Bazooka Circus sideshow…
Comparing my week 3 work to some of the Bootstrap templates is slightly embarrassing, so the change to Bootstrap is a welcome one. I wanted to continue to use the awesome navigation bar I found, so I expanded on it a bit and made it a “cleaner” looking bar. I believe it’s more appealing now, but I do need to work on it’s resizing with some of the changes I made. It’s still very functional though and the problem lies in medium size screens. I also kept my original plan alive – to try to achieve a NetFlix style layout. The carousel is actually used for this as well! After looking at some carousel tutorials/examples, I borrowed/edited my way to something I believe I will be sticking with – and this is a huge part of my interface. I have a method of displaying numerous items in a very tidy way. This gives the user the access to lots of info without feeling overwhelmed. I also implemented a drop down login.Below is a screen of my boutique work for the week.
I would say that my interface was crawling along until now – Bootstrap is very powerful. I see how pages made with Bootstrap look similar… but what is wrong with that? The best thing about Bootstrap, in my opinion, is the amount of information out there. From examples, documentation, questions, etc – I found everything quite easily. I am not done with Bootstrap/my interface, this will be an ongoing task to complete the interface with Bootstrap. My project is a boutique and creating a trendy/tidy interface will be a large part of it!
A link to my Portfolio.
A link to my Circus Work.
And finally a link to my Time Worn Boutique.
I have always realized the “limitations” to CSS, but was unaware that these could be lifted. Less has somewhat blown my mind with being able to add variables and take some of these restraints. With a Less style sheet you can cut out some of the redundancies found in a typical cascading style sheet, while giving you more power and control. Very tedious tasks that dramatically change the style of the site are quite simple with Less. I have found rounding corners, creating circles with background-radius, and simply changing the shade of colors to create another complimentary color have been streamlined. I applied many of these to my site and changed the layout completely to a more modern and professional feel.
This is a picture of the basic homepage I styled with less – and my current work found in week 3 of my portfolio. I did this to help myself visualize the site, at this point I can now draw my project ideas and specifics of the website on top of a background of my current page.
This is my current layout plan. I want to page to dynamically show products on the screen similar to a NetFlix layout, but without the feel of being in a program. The arrows on the side indicate the “wheel” type of scrolling I wish to have. I’m not sure how many rows of products will be here just yet, they may be random in nature changing each time you come to the site, or possibly be categorical rows. This would be a server side process of telling the client what to display. Am I finally going to create a dynamic site?!
These are some more specific features to my site… I want to have a search feature – a server side feature allowing the user to display products related to the keyword entered. A good idea here is to have a hash tag type feature that would allow me to give products key words – vintage, worn, Hello Kitty, green, Vera Bradley, etc and allowing MORE results to be displayed.
I also want to be able to process the creation of accounts/database of accounts on the server side. This would allow the user to track items, account info, etc for return business. I believe part of these would be client side for checking some of the input fields to ease up on server use – but I know the majority of this work is server side. One point I remember from previous is that all products placed in the cart will be stored locally client side.
This would be the layout on an actual item once it is clicked. A larger image will be presented, color options/sizes/quantity options will be displayed here – along with a price calculation. The information about the item will be stored server side, but the math for price calculations could be done client side I believe. Thinking further down the road about the database of items has brought forth a question of how to store them/access them. For now I see all things stored in an array like way. Array one could be 6 cells and have info like a string description, double price, string for image, int quantity, etc etc. All of this could be used to present one item and everything about it in a tidy manner while keeping it easy to access and able to create “on the fly”. Maybe I am thinking too far ahead? Either way this week has been great for me and my experience with Less has been quite pleasant and has me looking forward to the even more powerful Bootstrap!
Link to my Portfolio.
Link to my Week 3 Work.
Choosing a site came quite easily. My wife has been creating crafts/jewelry and selling it as a hobby. I recently began assisting her by selling some items via E-bay and things actually sold. I am going to exaggerate this experience and create a full retail “boutique” type of store and who knows?!
My pages include:
Home: I want a very appealing and bold home – possibly very unique – yet still easily navigable.
Products:This page will possibly be split into numerous pages – but the main concept is to have dynamic pages (not static) that allow users to browse and search the products – I would also want a database to keep inventory and information here.
Contact: A general contact/support part for users that will also have form submission for questions.
I want my site to be visually drawing and bring out impulse buying. That is typically how one would buy such boutique item, right? I see a growing trend on some of my favorite sites… Netflix, Kindle/Amazon, my Charter TV app… They look like this:
I have always found this layout to be visually stimulating, simple, and very informative.
For this to be functional it will need to be able to keep a a live inventory to prevent selling more of what is in stock. Being able to dynamically disable the purchase of items as they are sold is a primary concern I see already. I also have the idea of creating a way for my wife to log in to her site to edit inventory/pictures via webpage and eliminate my need to maintain new items. I also need to be able to handle purchases and setup useful utilities for myself/wife that include shipping forms being sent for printing. The site will also need to be DYNAMIC in it’s searches and way of presenting the results.
I have found this week to be rather fun, I sat down with my wife and questioned her about how she would like her boutique site to be. This brings me back to my previous classes where we spoke about doing this as step one in the “real world” aspect of doing this as a career. I found most of this week to be review from my previous web classes, yet at the same time I found myself looking ahead at a larger picture that I am not yet capable of.
My Portfolio page now has a link to my basic design/layout for my week 2 work.
Many former students of this class have told me that the material from the class has become their bread and butter, having gotten jobs either during the class or immediately thereafter.
I realize I still have a bit further to go, but the homepage to this course gives me a glimmer a hope! I would like to be able to land a job that is better suited for my long term goal or working in the field of technology… But just looking forward into this course I already see “Mobile Application Development”… I’m quite excited already!
Here is a link to my portfolio page!
As the semester comes to a close, I look upon what has been given to me through Dr. Brown and the book Nature of Code. To thoroughly assess the skills I have attained, I must look back at what I knew coming into this course this semester. I came in with a general knowledge of coding, able to create small projects that once seemed like an epic feat, but now I am able to look back at those with a small grin. I thought I was a skilled individual at that time, and maybe I was, but I have come far this semester. One thing that lacked from the intro to java was the visual aspect of coding. Messing around with a Finch may be fun, but we found ourselves pushing its limits towards the end. I have heard that numerous languages require quite a bit of skill to become visual, and I wasn’t sure if I would be able to create visual projects at the end…. Well here we are. Pretty much everything has been visual throughout the semester since the start, and it has been very fulfilling for me.
The first week of this class we were brought outside to truly marvel at nature, taught to take in what it is. We found ourselves looking at nature in a different light, in mathematical way. This influence has been within me throughout the semester. Nature isn’t any less magical than it was before, if anything it is more magical. I find myself enjoying the natural beauty around us a bit more thanks to this. Either way, we did walk a thin line between science and dare I say… spirituality.
I now have quite a large tool-kit in coding, with code that can be applied to anything from video games to a program for a company payroll. Not to sound rude, but I expected this from the class. I know Dr. Brown will always provide a great learning environment and gives the feeling of “being ahead” of other classes by pushing us in a new way. That’s why I have stuck with his classes. One thing I did not expect was to be enlightened as an individual. We have debated numerous figures in the science community, from bull-headed mathematicians, to mushroom eating “hippies”. The class has been extremely serious at times and humorous during others, but at all times it has left you thinking. Often people misconceive a person’s rants as factual information due to credentials. I have seen this personally with family members and politicians… ALWAYS QUESTION THE MAN! Just kidding, but I have learned to become more independent with my outlook on life. So WHY AM I HERE TAKING THIS COURSE? I recall this question from the beginning of the semester. Earlier in the semester I would say selfish interests – and those are still present. I still like how this major keeps you on top of technological advancements. I like how we are dependent on technology. I still want to turn this knowledge into profit at some point… but it’s really to be able to share my thoughts and imagination with others. Doing this normally turns into knowing yourself even better. Either way, if I was “naturally” wealthy for some odd reason – I’d still want to be a part of this coding community. Being able to create creatures and worlds is truly fulfilling. On that note – Here is my FINAL PROJECT at last. I’m sure I will be updating this blog as I take the advanced course! Farewell!
The last week in our book, an exciting yet sad time. I have honestly enjoyed the Nature of Code textbook, it has managed to put some somewhat mind blowing areas in perspective for me. This week was neural networks, yes that is right… A form of AI. I really wanted to do something stand alone for this, but implementing this into my program was an obvious choice. I originally planned on keeping my gatherers random, but what else am I to do with this! So I have been working on implementing the neural network example of seeking into my gatherers. I have somewhat failed, and somewhat succeeded. I know – kind of weird, but that is how I would explain what I have accomplished with this thus far. I found myself deep into coding it, too many errors occurring, losing touch with my plan. Restart! I now have the neural network in my gatherers, working, just not doing exactly what I want it to. The good news is I know the problem and simply need more time to fix it. I need to use an iterator to go through each of the targets – which would be my turkey array. I have only implemented this for one side of my “good vs evil” battle, mainly because I wanted to see and compare the differences of having one castle using completely random aka wandering gatherers versus that of a castle using gatherers that use neural networks.
A link to my unfinished code for this week is here
Genetic algorithms! This is another subject that I didn’t expect to be dabbling in during an intermediate class. I am currently working on a mouse maze type of program, it’s just not where I want it to be exactly. Apparently once I have this one going it will “click” for me and it will be easier the next time. I have experienced this “clicking” many times in programming, I remember when calling functions was a challenge… I realize we just accomplishing remedial tasks with GA’s, but they are still tricky. I can’t imagine building one for jet engines!
Dr. Brown brought up some great side points about GA and it has me thinking about life again, typical! There are so many people out there who state that everything can be explained, everything about our existence is simple, anyone who dares to “break the mold” by saying otherwise is uneducated and should be kicked out of the “science” community. Reminds me of Mandlebrot! I believe life is far too complicated to be explained – end of story. I dare say that it really can’t be explained and never will be.