Building Bridges/Synapses

  • Jul 05, 2012
  • 1 Comment

My brain got an intense workout this week. It felt great to really push myself to think of things in entirely new ways. It took a new challenge for me to realize that I have actually grown comfortable working on the Community development side. I only started learning Ruby at the beginning of June, and though I don’t know if I could create a program from scratch just yet, I have grown pretty comfortable using it. I can look around for what I need and use it in the ways that accomplish what I want. When I think of a problem in the Community side, I don’t get stuck in the thought process like I used to. I can figure out the logic and start working towards my goal on my own, which I could not do at the beginning of last month.

    I suppose it’s appropriate, then, that I begin a new integrated development environment (IDE) at the start of a new month. At the beginning of this week, I opened Eclipse and began coding in it for the first time this summer. I haven’t coded in Java in about a year, so I had to relearn its syntax and semantics, which has turned out to be an ongoing task. I have been spoiled in Netbeans, the Community side IDE, up to this point. I have gotten so accustomed to not needing a compiler that sorting through all the errors in Eclipse has been a bit of a surprise.

    It seems that whenever I think I make progress in my Java code, I have new errors that I wasn’t expecting. But as I’m getting used to the process of fixing my mistakes as I go along, it’s getting easier to manage. I’m starting to see the similarities between Netbeans and Eclipse, between Ruby and Java, between CSS Stylesheets and Mig Layouts. I love the organization of classes and how everything is related to something else, through a set hierarchy. It makes so much sense to me, and more than anything, I love the experience of anything in computing feeling intuitive.

    When using Git Bash in the workspace-lg branch, I find that it’s almost exactly the same as using Git Bash for the community-tagging branch. Another way of saying this is that I finally found an aspect of this work that I picked up immediately! Small things like this give me a boost and help me see that I can do this work, that I do belong in the computing community. I’m learning that nothing is truly intuitive, that I learn things and use them later. I may have forgotten where I learned it, so my knowledge seems inborn, but that does not make it so.
    Realizing that I can’t depend on intuition to guide me shows me that I must, and therefore can, learn absolutely anything. I was born with a brain, not with knowledge. I have the tools to gain information, and this week I have been finding creative ways to apply this understanding to my efforts to bridge the gap between the community and the IDE (Looking Glass) side of things. In learning that every piece of information comes from somewhere, I saw that I need to have a clearly traceable path between the Looking Glass IDE, the SQLiteman database, and the Community website.

    I want a user to be able to create a tag whenever they create a world. They will probably want their friends to see their worlds, and a good way to do this is to have a related tag attached to their world. If a world has a tag attached to it, whenever anyone on the Community site searches that tag in the search bar, the related world will pop up. But in order to have a piece of information travel between the IDE and the Community, I need to build a sort of bridge between them. A  piece of data can’t just magically appear on the Community side; I need to guide it to its proper place first. To do this, I began by thinking of all the ways the Community and IDE are already connected. I tried to look at the examples I could find to see how other people built other bridges, so I could get a better idea of how to build my own.

    With a lot of help from Michelle and Caitlin, I have a new text box on the World Share pane in Looking Glass. At the moment, it just says “my tags,” but hopefully by next week I will make it take user entries and turn them into tags. The work I am doing these two weeks is the heart of my project this summer. At the beginning, I thought it was a far-off goal that I may or may not be capable of completing. But now that I’m in the middle of it, I know that with a balance of hard work and creative thinking I can accomplish any big, mysterious project.



  • caitlin

    caitlin said:

    <p>I don't know, but I can figure it out is a very powerful stance to take when approaching coding issues. Once you dig into things, there are few things that are really that mysterious, but they can certainly appear that way before you understand what is actually going on.</p>

    Posted on Jul 06, 2012

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