Attempting to Build Custom Form, No Success… Yet

This week I spent a lot of time trying to create a custom form for my site and thus far have not been able to get the form to function properly. One struggle I keep running into is that I update the code in Sublime, but given that it is not showing on my site, I can’t figure out where the errors are or what the right next step would be to fix the plugin. I’m not in total panic mode (yet) as we still have time to research, update, and problem solve, but after reading numerous articles on the topic I will say it is a bit overwhelming to try to understand what the problem is and how to fix it. I think this is partially because, first, as a newbie to the coding world, I really don’t know what the problem is I just know the content is not working. Second, there are many different solutions to a problem with code so when I find one solution, I use that as a jumping off point, but then find myself reading other solutions and recommendations that muddle my code and make it ineffective.

I’m really glad we are spending next class working on our sites, as I will be a lot more productive once I can get through some of these hurdles and on to the next phase of updating my code.

As for the reading, I thought the first video that compared Application Programming Interface (API) to a restaurant, with the waiter (or the API) serving as a ‘messenger’ was a very easy way to explain the program. The other readings, however, were a bit more in depth and lost me. For example, I wasn’t sure what this article meant when it said that “if your website’s server is making the API request, then your website’s server is the client” – isn’t the client the one interacting with your API? Is an API , for example, a separate, private page that hosts the content we acquire from visitors filling out a public form? Or is it more something that visitors interact with directly? Also, is an API something we should build on our own, or more a term/concept to be familiar with, but not necessarily something we would create?

1 thought on “Attempting to Build Custom Form, No Success… Yet

  1. Greg Linch

    “For example, I wasn’t sure what this article meant when it said that “if your website’s server is making the API request, then your website’s server is the client” – isn’t the client the one interacting with your API?”

    In simple terms, a client in the web development context is anything that’s accessing a server — it could be a web browser or another web server. The key is not what it is (browser, server, etc) but the role it’s playing that gives it that distinction. Thus, a server can be both a server and client — it just depends on the role it’s playing. Happy to discuss this more in class.

    “Is an API , for example, a separate, private page that hosts the content we acquire from visitors filling out a public form? Or is it more something that visitors interact with directly?”

    APIs are primarily used by code — either getting or posting data — and not by people. So an API might be where the data goes after someone submits a form. A familiar example would be social media sites. Those are all powered by (private) APIs and then displayed in different ways (e.g. a website, a mobile app, etc). As a developer, you have access to a public API that gives you public information.

    “Also, is an API something we should build on our own, or more a term/concept to be familiar with, but not necessarily something we would create?”

    Building an API would be outside the scope of this class. Using one is an option, but not required. This falls more into the category of something that’s important to know about in web development.

    Reply

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