This week’s lesson into API and JSON took some digging to understand, but it was helpful to have analogies. Picturing an Application Programming Interface as a waiter in a restaurant that takes requests and tells a chef (or system) what the customer wants is interesting. I haven’t considered really how we use applications and devices to access databases and make requests, at least on the level of depth that I know now.
I am still working to understand both, but it’s definitely a lot less murky than before this week.
As for my final project, I’m still hashing out which three customizations I want to use, and I’m thinking ill just end up using all seven that I noted as possibilities in my updated post. I actually am also taking some of the photos for the galleries this week, and am excited to have the skeletons of everything placed on my website.
I still have to go back to I believe it was lesson / week seven (?) to relearn the shopping cart customization. My site is hopefully going to utilize both the PHP search option, short comment box and shopping cart as the primary user-interactive functionality.
I’ll also say that this class (and particularly this project) has gotten me more into the habit of checking the code behind websites I think are aesthetically pleasing, clean, user friendly and not too “busy.” I can bring a short list of possible customizations I’ve seen on other sites to class that I would want to explore whether they’d be doable for this project.
The principles behind the agile manifesto reminds me of a graphic design event I participated in last semester where a number of professionals (trained in the university and self-taught) shared their common experiences with clients and expectations. They essentially pointed to these as the three tentpoles for successful projects:
- Clients and developers working daily throughout the process and communicating face-to-face as much as possible (As opposed to just the start and final moments)
- Building projects around motivated individuals. Having an enthusiastic (and understanding) attitude when considering the necessary granular work for a project is going to keep most developers from quitting.
- Working simply and building on working software in small steps while communicating clearly the short term goals that have been met along the way.
That same event was effective in demystifying the magical “in between” the start and finish of projects. Standing with the aforementioned tentpoles as a foundation and communicating what what has been done before, what’s possible and what we could “try,” in the most straightforward, logical way brings every difficult project into a better perspective.
It was also helpful to go through the qualities of the Twenty Seventeen theme. It’s also a great coincidence that we’re on the subject of adding autoplay video/audio to the front page of a website as MySpace recently experienced its massive loss of songs added (generally on the front page). Overall, I am excited to continue adding to my personal website.
This week’s readings on theme development and parent/child themes was good. In the past when I’ve used WordPress themes, they were usually the pre-made ones. I’m really interested in learning more for the most customization ability possible. (As for plugins, I’ve only dabbled in them in the past.)
Having the formats laid out in the post themes section was helpful. I already knew about galleries, quotes, images, video and link options. But the aside function is new to me from a programming/developer perspective. And within the suggested styling section of that same page, I actually think I found what I previously was curious about doing (per my final project idea rundown). It says a chat option is available. I wasn’t sure if this was the same style that customer service friendly pages have (with automated responses queued for simple questions and more specific questions sent directly to on-call staffers). But if it is, I’m definitely interested in pursuing this for added functionality.
I’ll also be revisiting some of I believe week 4’s lessons on scripting zoom-in function for images after the cursor hovers over them. And customizing my navigation bar is something I’m looking forward to, considering I’ve only been able to use the limited settings from pre-made themes in the past.
And it’s finally time to write up my developer profile. I’ve already got the content from my interview and I can finish writing it this week. I was fortunate to have a great subject, who is currently employed with Facebook.