Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Google's Caffeine at Work

Back in June, Google introduced their newest search index with the capability to update on the go. Essentially this helps your searches find the most recent documents that match your search the best. I wanted to test this out and so I put the title of my latest blog post "Dashcode and Eclipse" into the Google search bar and was quite surprised at what came up. You see, this afternoon, my friend Scott posted an article on his blog, "The Low-Tech World," about my blog, which included a reference to my latest blog post. So when I typed enter on my search, his blog came to the top (see the pic below). I call that some snappy indexing. I just hope that after this post, searching for "The Low-Tech World" will soon show my blog instead of his. That would be a nice return for Large Marge.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Dashcode and Eclipse

Well I've been working on becoming a web programmer for a couple months now. I have created a couple applications that don't really do anything exciting, but the level of app complexity is increasing. I have even added an RSS feed so that there is a way to keep people updated with my javascript adventures. To check out my javascript page, go to: http://homepages.uc.edu/~brooksbl/js/

The thing that really helps with writing code is a syntax program that can help you see if you typed your code correctly or not. I was led to eclipse, an open source platform for writing code, by my friend and programming mentor Joey. I also kept seeing a program known as Dashcode on my Mac and tested it out a few times. Here are some screen shots of the two applications.



It might not look like much, but they are both helpful. The real key is having something that can pinpoint your mistakes, and both have that capability. Dashcode has tons of templates to make some real powerful web applications. You will probably see some of those as I get a grasp on it. I am just glad that I didn't have to pay for either one.

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Ajax of All Trades

The phrase "A jack of all trades, master of none" has been easily applicable to me for years. I've professionally done many different things, and even more as a hobbyist or DIY-er. Recently I've been involved in quite a range of activities. I've been working on remodeling our bathroom (click here for pics). I've been keeping my company's web page up to date. I've been working on my capstone project for my Bachelor's degree (a future post about it will come). I picked up an electric guitar and have been fiddling with it. On top of all these activities, I feel compelled to broaden my skillset further.

I will be graduating from the University of Cincinnati with a bachelors degree in Organizational Leadership and a minor in Business. However, as I look to the future I see the world of software to be taking a role that can't be ignored. I have been a hobbyist programmer since I was in high school, but I have never learned any useful programming languages. Now I am beginning to start into Javascript and Ajax. I've already been able to use my javascript skills to enhance the free quote widget on the right of this page.

To enhance my learning, I found some free resources available to me through w3schools and the University of Cincinnati. I am excited about learning to program web pages, and hope to migrate this blog to my own domain within the next six months. I will use that location to experiment with the programming that I am learning. I've even contemplated taking classes at Cincinnati State Technical College after I graduate from UC. Unfortunately it is too late for me to get a minor in Computer Science from UC, which I would have done if I knew about it three years ago.

Hopefully, all of this will help me to stay a jack of all trades, but instead of a master of none, I hope to be a master of a few. The key areas that I want to master: My understanding of leadership and Ajax.