So I havn't touched this blog for a long while and for most of the time I've not really had a good reason to really give you in why I've not been posting.
So since starting Uni I've attempted to take alot more serious approach to it, like in a previous post. I've been working for days on this assignment that I've just completed, this it still feels incomplete. In short we were given an assignment which was to make a clone of instagram, yeah pretty simple, but to make things worse he give us code to fix and build on. This did nothing but cause confusion and annoyance cause no one really understood what each part did. So most of the time was spent debugged and trying to find where issues where resulting. I love programming web based programs so I did find it enjoyable to code. But after 2 weeks and having written a basic readme document describing what i've done. I feel like I've ethier:
- Not done enough
- Went overkill and implemented wrong things
- Did the whole assignment wrong
- Did too much
- Focused too much on the server side and left client side not looking great
Now don't get me wrong the lecturer is amazing and I like what he does, but for the lectures we had him, he didn't really teach us anything that we are doing in this assignment, though I guess its a way of getting us to learn ourselves. But part of the assignment was to make it restful. And one of the main things that pop in our head is JSON, hey we should use JSON in our application. But we are graded on our java and jsp so that means using POJO's. POJO's are okay though when it comes to trying to think how to display the information client-side in jsp. It felt like a mine field.
As you know in JSON you use JS to parse it and you can insert the results directly into a div. However with POJO you take a rougher approach where you are basically writting a java program which spits out html randomly. Its Messy, if something didn't work everything broke, now you do get error messages but things. Another thing is you want to route uri's to methods or files, but in Java it felt alot busier, you have many methods but the easier eclipse way is to use web.xml to map uri's to a servet to which the servlet will handle each type of post. As far as we knew this was the way that he wanted us to do it. So the difficulty there was, well when your stuck you google it. Googling Java Restful what to you get?
Everything but what you really want to do, I mean I would love to use Jax-RS it looks great and it really fits the fact that we want to make it restful, but it is so different from what he gave us.
Well I guess the best way to view this after having played around with restful with NodeJS, its alot lower level in that you have to manually program most of the functionality.
But I've completed the web application after way too many hours, and now I just hope that all my effort has landed me a good mark.
Another part of the assignment was to commit to github as you were developing the application, which I felt was an amazing idea, we should really always be using this when developing things, really awesome for when you need to look back at the file before you edited it. But for most of the class no one has really used it before, so there was alot of question over it. And I guess i took the best approach. So forks are public and everyone forked his code as instructed, what does this mean? Everything can see everyones codes and commits...
So for creating my own rep and making it private I felt alot more safer knowing my original ideas would not be taken.
Actually one thing which we should have been given access to ages ago but didn't until tonight, the deadline. Server information for uploading and deploying the application, now since i was finished early i was hoping to get it on to get example data up and going. But as most good things it always goes wrong. So the server went down. After 5 minutes of playing around, now after testing the application on my server i now know that i was not the cause. but to think that he was going to get 50+ people to deploy running java based applications on what i hope is a server capable of doing it must of been a dream. So I've done the lazy approve and just deployed it on my server with tonnes of test data.
So a part of me feels really proud about how its turned out. Though we don't get graded on how good the css is just if it shows the information thats what matters. So when it comes to things visually i've tried to make it only possible with some jsp and java.
So the index page which i have attempted to give a twitter feel with a tumblr style user posts appearing, this is done basicaly by getting a random post and getting only the image. really simple but made the index seem awesomer.
But as you log into the site and see the main content you see where things are not nice, I tried to make things visually appealing but sticking to the assignment i kept it rough, images are restricted to 500px width (WAY TO SMALLL!) iamge text formatted is everywhere and things are not even styled, its a bad example and i feel i could have done more to make the presentation alot better. If we were being graded on the presentation i would have gone full responsive design and everything. I would really have enjoyed that even though I prefer doing server side stuff. But I'm not going into every aspect of the application since theres so many things I would redo and improve. I think one of the main problems I've had with this assignment is that my experiance with Java is not great, its still a fairly new language to me.
But in short I kinda love this. I really enjoyed programming every part of it and having been able to create a deadly simple messages side, I want to do more. But with just over a month until my exams I can't just play around with it more. Infact i'm worried that i won't be able to play around with much else since assignments now are quite packed in and I'm going to be really busy with doing assingments and studying.
So to end this long post I really wish they gave us twitter to clone, then i would have been able to do tonnes of stuff.