App Academy Diary, Week Seven

Monday 28 October 2013— The governor of Delaware was supposed to visit us today, but he totally stood us up!—supposedly because of a late airplane or something, if you even believe that. Today's assessment (on elementary JavaScript, binding of this, and the module pattern) was really straightforward, but I found the day's project (in collaboration with Irene Ngyuen) on client-side MVC quite challenging at times; I fear that we were only the second-best IreneZach team today. I'm sleeping over at the office again tonight, which seems like a good thing to do twice a week maybe?—when I stay, I can fit in some quality solo hacking time until sleep or distraction takes me, whereas I am not inclined to do so after a train and bike ride home. Case in point: I got a crude form of authentication working in Wires today! So many feels!

Wednesday 30 October 2013— Our focus this week is Backbone.js, a library for doing client-side stuff. I hadn't been sure what to do for my capstone project, but now (perhaps inspired by remembering how I really ought to use feeds instead of manually navigating to my favorite blogs for all the world as if it were 2003) I'm thinking of making an RSS reader and calling it Event Listener. In the evening, I made a small improvement to the Wires template engine, and I started working on an improvement to how objects inherit from the ORM base class, but it's getting late and I'm not done debugging and I wasn't planning on sleeping over tonight, so rather than pushing egregiously broken code to GitHub, I backed up my work as an online paste of a diff obtained by redirecting git stash show -p.

Learning BackboneThursday 31 October 2013 (or, very early Friday)— Speaking of online pastes, today I worked with Vincent Park on another make-a-Backbone-app exercise inspired by GitHub's Gist. It simply cannot be doubted that practice, as always, makes perfect. In the evening I bought a new clipboard at the Target inside the Metreon (as my old clipboard had been broken for some time, and the way in which the broken-off piece makes a great coaster had been small consolation indeed), and I hung out and made a few small improvements to Wires. I received a reminder of the importance of catching only specific exceptions—an except: block in my code was silently catching a type error that was the source of a bug, when really all I wanted was an except KeyError:—it was an easy fix this time, but in a larger project one might not be so lucky! Wires's current "template language" (if you can call it that; I'm just replacing identifiers inside "<%=" and "%>" delimiters with substitutions from a supplied dictionary) doesn't support conditionals the way EJS or ERB do, but it would be awfully nice to at least, say, render logged in as this-and-such depending on whether the user is logged in, but I have a cheap workaround in mind.

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