Monday, April 13, 2015

What's better than Javascript?

...On the internet - nothing! There have been a few contenders, but I'm pretty sure JS won't be dethroned any time soon (if ever). Sure, there's "Dart", Google's offering of an alternative language for web browsers (mainly Chrome), however, even Dart and Coffescript have their convert/translate to JS features for obvious reasons.

  So, what can make your JS experience better? In my opinion, JQuery! It allows you to simply your JS code and manipulate html and css code at the same time. Codeacademy.com has a fairly good tutorial, with my only complaint being that the error correction scheme will sometimes penalize even if your code has the same functionality as the exercises they describe at the end of the session, so long as it was not the code they were "expecting". Still, I say give it a try! The only thing you have to lose is inexperience.

  As a side note, their tutorial doesn't require expertise in JS just to get started.

Monday, March 30, 2015

Class for Wed. 4/1/2015 will be held at 129F. If you haven't begun working on Javascript please study how to declared and invoke functions as it will be relevant to our next class.

Monday, March 23, 2015

It's time we talked a bit more about Javascript. The Good news is that it doesn't always require webpages. The bad news is that some people may find it intimidating - which it really isn't!

There are a couple of ways of learning at your own pace:

I like the tutorial at webmonkey: http://www.webmonkey.com/2010/02/javascript_tutorial/

Still, if you're a slightly faster learner download the latest version of Mozilla Firefox at feel free to run wild with Scratchpad - the built-in Javascript interpreter in the developer tools section of the options pane. For this route, a good place to start is here:

1. https://developer.mozilla.org/en-US/Learn/Getting_started_with_the_web/JavaScript_basics

and then move on to here:

2. https://developer.mozilla.org/en-US/docs/Web/JavaScript/Guide/Introduction

and move through to the intermediate sections (and if you find it enjoyable - the Advanced section).

A somewhat well- received route has been the javascript tutorial at www.codeacademy.com . It will require that you pay close attention to detail however, since they use very sparse wording.

Finally, w3schools tutorial: http://www.w3schools.com/js/default.asp offers a walkthrough that breaks the language down by subject matter.

So pick one route and be prepared, for our next stop is social networking APIs!

P.S. - Feel free to send me any questions at my email.

Monday, March 16, 2015

Having taken a small look at stylesheets, html5, and Javascript, it's very important to see how web standards have changed in the past 10 years. Hence, this very interesting article about the web development is a good place to start to see how different internet media are integrated into devices that go beyond mere PCs. Take a look and please notice the difference about cross platform compatibility.

http://www.w3.org/Mobile/mobile-web-app-state/

Monday, March 9, 2015

Stylesheets, pfft ... whatever! But what do you mean by CASCADING???

There are multiple ways to use stylesheets. In HTML, we could use the <style> </style> tag.

Alternatively we could use <link ref="agenericlynamed_stylesheet.css"> to refer to an outside file.

Inline stylesheets are another way to go.

But suppose that throughout the course of time, multiple authors did not use the very same means to alter the layout. We may have multiple style rules that appear to conflict. Or perhaps we need to be the one to override the rules written by other programmers. For these reasons and more, CSS adds precedence rules to the types of stylesheets directives used, and thus the specifications "cascade" over one another.

But don't just take my word for it. See for yourself!

Stylesheets in general

The concept of stylesheets largely follows in the tradition of Word Processing Layout Engines (e.g. Word, WordPerfect, etc.). Other forms of computerized stylesheets exist, such XSLT (eXtensible Stylesheets Language for Transformation). In addition stylesheets can be used to enhance the presentation of far more than ordinary HTML. Lastly, there have been several modifications made to the formal stylesheets specification as well as the accompanying expected functionality. Examples of CSS3 extensions include LESS, SASS, and COMPASS.

Monday, 3/9/2015 discussion - Cascading Stylesheets

Some years back when I was first learning HTML, I soon after heard of Cascading Style Sheets (CSS). The rationale for using such a technical markup/ templating tool was as follows:

  1. HTML was only meant to serve as a content authoring language - never         should it have served so many functions that cause it to deviate from that specific goal.

  2. Even if HTML could describe content layout, CSS was simply far better.

Now that some years have past (okay, so we're talking over a decade), both HTML and CSS have changed so as to facilitate the use of each technology as a "power tool" for its specific function. Over the years, the two tools have gone their separate paths, and this path continues to widen. More importantly, the overlap between the two standardized tools is decreasing continuously that they rarely get into each other's way.

Since the time that I first learned both languages (Spring 2001) HTML4.01 was deprecated in favor of HTML5 and CSS was slightly replaced by CSS2 and CSS2.1. Although the CSS upgrades never caught on, CSS3 reengineered the faults of its predecessors and has become the true upgrade to CSS and the rightful successor of all three of its previous iterations.

  As a result, HTML5 has become less descriptive than ever as a layout engine and is truly focused on content creation; whereas CSS3 has picked up the torch when it comes to layout and presentation.