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Weeknotes 20:4

April 13, 2020

Week of April 5 - 11

Last week, I had switched gears from working on a project I started two weeks ago (Project A) and gave attention to a second project (Project B). Project B is a mapping and data tool displaying whale and ship data for the Santa Barbara Channel, with the goal of helping to prevent fatal ship collisions with whales.

The tool was designed to function as a single-page app (SPA) on the desktop view. I wish that my skills in Vue were a bit deeper or that I had more time to work on the project because this would have been an ideal project to learn how to use Vue to create a single-page app. But because of time constraints, we decided to use jQuery to replace content on the page to create the SPA functionality.

I am really happy with how it turned out. I spent quite a bit of time bullet-proofing it as much as I could. At mid-week, I turned the project over to our other developer. He is going to connect to different data sources and build out a map functionality that shows where whales have been sighted in the Santa Monica Channel. There is also a report card functionality that shows how different companies are complying with voluntary advisories set up to protect the whales in the channel. I am really looking forward to seeing the finished product.

Adventures in Click Events

One issue that I ran into when I worked on the SPA functionality is that several of my ‘click’ events were no longer working. I had an inkling that it was because the elements that the event handlers were attached to were not part of the page when it was loaded but was loaded into the page by jQuery load. I was able to find a solution and then my colleague Ryan took the time to help me better understand the whys behind it.

Back to Project A

Late in the week, I got back to Project A that I had started two weeks ago. I spent a lot of time on Thursday thinking through data entry and how to structure my data. I then built out custom fields for WordPress using Advanced Custom Fields. On Friday, I was able to involve another teammate (also the project manager for the project) in entering the content into WordPress. I was really excited to get this message from him on Slack:

I gave them (the client) a little screenshare preview of the dev progress and your beautiful back-end in particular and they were very excited and think it looks really intuitive to use! Full steam ahead!

Always great to hear that something that you have built is intuitive (especially when that is your goal). I have spent some more time recently crafting the user interface on the backend using the “Tab” field in Advanced Custom Fields. It helps to break up the content into blocks that make the user experience for adding/editing content much better for the client.

Reading (Online)

  • 4 CSS Properties (and One Value) for Most of Your Layout Needs – Great article to demystify CSS Grid a bit for those starting out. I would like to write a similar article with my own thoughts. I also learned a great trick of using grid-auto-flow: column for the navigation. I had not come across this trick before.
  • Together We Flourish, Remotely – Interesting ideas from Viget of how they are dealing with the new realities of being a distributed company.
  • Writing My Accessibility Statement – Interesting idea from Ethan Marcotte, that he got from others. Something I would like to consider for this site.
  • A Guide to Handling Browser Events – I had saved this article recently and decided to read it after my adventures in click events this week.
  • Your Strength Will Fail – Jon Bloom is one of my favorite authors. A good reminder that God brings us to the end of ourselves so we will look to and depend upon Him. Very appropriate to be thinking about in this time of life. My first journal entry during the lockdown was how I felt undone as so many of the idols of my life were exposed but the restrictions that life had now put upon me.

Reading (Books)

  • Range – I am continuing to read through Range. My team will be discussing the book this coming Friday (the 17th). I am hoping to put together a post of my thoughts about the book. I enjoyed reading the first time and just as much the second time around.
  • The Final Days of Jesus – read this one to focus my attention during Holy Week. I got it free from Crossway a couple of weeks ago.
  • The Common Rule – One of the other books I wanted to read in 2020 was Atomic Habits. I have yet to start that book. But I decided to read The Common Rule as it addressed spiritual habits. I really like the thinking that has gone into this book to explain the whys behind the habits. It helps me to see how I can modify the habits to address my specific life situation and the areas that are more a struggle for me.
  • Ember’s Ends – I was really excited to read the final book in the Green Ember series. I am a little over halfway through it.
  • Hail to the Chiefs – My Dad bought me this book that celebrates the Chiefs Super Bowl Championship season. It came in the mail on Tuesday and I thumbed through it late in the week. Look forward to going back and reading through it.

Watching

  • Onward – I watched this with my girls last week. I was not sure if I was going to like it. But it was a really good story. Really glad that Disney+ made it available so soon.
  • Avengers: Infinity War and Avengers: Endgame – watched these over a period of a couple of days each. I always enjoy visiting the MCU.
  • Little Women – I really enjoyed watching this with my family over the weekend.
  • Sunderland, Til I Die Season 2 – I enjoyed watching the second season of this show that follows an English football club as they try to climb back up the ranks of the English system.

RIP Christopher Schmitt

I found out on Friday that Christopher Schmitt, an icon in the Web industry, had died suddenly (not of COVID). I met Christopher once at the Converge Florida conference. I remember talking to him at the after-party. Christopher was more of a person I knew of (from seeing his name mentioned by others I followed on Twitter) than actually knew much about. Though I am not aware of his direct impact, I am sure that I have benefitted from Christopher’s contributions to the Web community.  I am sad to hear of this loss to the Web community. My heart goes out to his family as they walk through these days fo grief.

It is worth reading through the replies to Christopher’s wife, Ari’s post, tributes from many friends to the impact of his life. I also enjoyed reading Greg Storey’s tribute.

Addendum

Dave Rupert posted a tribute to Christopher yesterday that I had not yet seen when I published this post. Definitely worth the read.

Correction: In my original post, I misspelled Christopher’s last name. Apologies Christopher and Ari.

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