I’m setting up a new site for the justCheckers project. The only real good reason for my working at all on this project, is simply to build a portfolio. As a software developer, I want to show to others that I can code. And that my code is clean, elegant and professional. I also want to show that I can write my own web applications. So I am writing the justCheckers website as a PHP, MySQL DB enabled application. All using proper XHTML, CSS and a touch of AJAX. The site is a work in progress. I’m not planning to build an entire flexible CMS, rather I plan on building a custom site.
Too busy to blog this long weekend. Still I feel a short update is in order for my readers.
Went out on Friday with the Rudy and Olga, to a nice little place in downtown Toronto called West 7. Open 24 hours, nice Italian cuisine, tea candlelights and jazzy-lounge music; basically you can’t go wrong with a formula like that. And they make a mean bruschia. Almost as good as the one I had in a villa in an olive grove overlooking Terni, Perugia. You may be jealous.
Also I got to play around with somemore overhyped AJAX and WSDL web technology. I still think that the entire over-the-web technology needs to move past the whole document and browser interaction paradigm. The KDE 4 promises to change that with their Plasmoid concepts.
Moving on to Saturday, got to hike in Hockley Valley again. Nothing beats walking through forests and old fields. Ok, mosquitoes always suck. But the smells, sounds and sights of nature relax the soul in ways no urban or suburban landscape can. The sound of water rippling by. The sunshine filtering through the cedar forest, filling the air in a sweet woody smell. The flurry of grasshoppers springing up, avoiding your footsteps as you walk through a sun baked pasture. Reconnecting with Nature is an exhilirating and sootheing experience.
I got to reconnect again with Nature today, by attacking our hedge with a pair of shears. This time there was no love lost between me and nature. Almost crashed into a hornet’s nest. Cutting thick branches also sucks. But the hedge is trimmed now.
Kinda jealous that this semester’s web development course at UofT gets to tinker with some pretty neat Web 2.0 ideas. My own web development course of JSP, CGI-Perl and Servlets with database applications feels dated by comparison. I don’t knew all this Ajax and web services stuff as much as I’d like to. Hmm… Another technology to learn?
Anyways, it is 1:14 now and need my sleep for tomorrow’s workday. Night.
My analysis is this: the current situation is a messy free-for-all. The standards will almost certainly be abused, and you can look to the usual suspects for that one. The toolkits are all over the place. Finally a known fact is that a project without a rigorous specification is going to go off on a tangent. Tangents like these cause what is called in my part of the woods “development hell”.
A case in point is CSS. The W3C has done in my opinion an amazing job of nailing down the idea of what a stylesheet should do, and how. The details are there, and the theory is beautiful. Now lets look at the vendors or what-my-web-browser-really-does side. The specification is rarely ever held to, and thanks to Microsoft’s Vader-like grasp on the browser market is abused terribly. The folks at Netscape and the Mozilla Foundation do a much better job but its not perfect. Just ask any web designer who wrote an aesthetic layout in CSS how many hoops they had to jump through to get it work on the majority of browsers. If we can not get something as simple as CSS right, then I fear other more complex technologies will simply break.
In the end, I think AJAX will benefit a few large companies. Web developers and designers will still groan and will dream of a better, simpler web. Web 2.0 will not finally get everyone on the same page. Then again, I might be completely wrong.