Needing the big picture …

So, in an attempt to update my programming skills — I’ve spent most of my career in C/C++, only now really getting into Java — I’ve decided to start doing little projects in HTML/Javascript, which I’ve been poking around with over the past few weekends. And what I’ve noticed is that, for me, the Javascript is generally pretty easy. I built an XML file and loaded it into classes in a couple of hours. No, when I get stuck, it’s always on the HTML stuff: hooking it up to Javascript, adding panels, etc, etc.

And I, of course, didn’t buy a book on HTML because, hey, how hard could it be?

The issue, I think, is that for HTML — and for any UI — it’s pretty hard to just build a bunch of small pieces and stick them together and make it work. For Javascript — or Python, for that matter — it’s relatively easy to start with some small classes and functions, stick them together, and then just Google or search through the book to find an example of what you need to do at this very moment, stitch that in, and move on. With a UI, everything pretty much has to work inside an overall context, and you need that overall, “big picture” definition before you’ll be able to do the small things. Again, in Javascript I can read in my XML file without storing it in a class, and can store it in a class without having that be used anywhere. In short, I can work “bottom-up” if I want to, which means that I can break things down into small tasks that I can assemble into a working program later. But with the UI, if I don’t have the overall structure in place, then nothing will look right, and nothing will work.

(The fact that, like Weyoun, I have no sense of aesthetics doesn’t really help [grin]).

I have a book now, and after skimming through it a bit it looks like it will be able to teach me what I need to know to progress. So all I have to do is actually sit down and do it.

That might be harder than doing the HTML …


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