• 18 December 2016Mobile / Responsive update *early* Preview Gallery

    Work continues on the mobile responsive update. Here is a short gallery on imgur. There is still plenty of work to do as you can see but it's getting there!

    The top navigation is rather crude, but I've got to prioritize work. Feedback suggests that it is already more effective and convenient to use than the dropdown navigation. The most significant change of course, being that all the pages are made to fit the screen instead of looking like they are scaled down from desktop.

    I'm super excited about these changes because I am also finally getting up to speed with modern Javascript, and the development tools like Webpack and Babel. The most exciting for me though is Vue. At some point I will have to refactor the Flashcard Review page with Vue and it will make so much more sense.

    A very simple functionality I wanted to add to kanji flashcards, for example, is to be able to add vocabulary. You'd pick something from the example words, and customize flashcards as you go. A simple idea, but if I implemented it the usual way with DOM manipulation , no matter how well you code it with object oriented patterns, event delegation and so on.. you'd still end up as a solo developer spending weeks on it.

    The BEST case scenario in my opinion before modern MV like React / Vue was to use those massive UI frameworks. The problem with those is that it works for you when you already knew from day one what you were doing. When you're making a site like me as a personal project, and you keep adding bits and pieces over the years, and you've been doing this for ten years ( ! ) ... it doesn't work.

    You can't just change a library or framework. You have bits and pieces written 1 year ago, 3 years ago... 7 years ago... I wouldn't be surprised if there are still some left overs from the site inception in 2006. In fact while working on this mobile update, I've ditched rounded buttons that were made with the oldschool "sprite" image technique!

    That's another fantastic thing about Vue. I just plugged it in the SRS page for the Leitner bar chart in one afternoon, replacing the old SVG graph. Since I no longer needed the Raphael library (I use a simple chart with CSS / HTML) .. it doesn't even add to the page load. The isometric bars are gone, but I wouldn't be surprised if you can implement them with fancy CSS tricks.

    I'm also looking for employment and I definitely need to get up to speed with Javascript. I used to love "slicing" html web pages and spending time in Photoshop, but these days I reconnect to my roots as a developer and I much prefer to write front end than arguing about the semantics of HTML 5. ;-)

    I also just love Javascript; I'm not sure why since it gives me plenty of headaches with the silent errors! I think it's the lean syntax and expression of the language. Javascript is just so easy to read, and if you are careful with what you do you can make very elegant things because it's so flexible. And these days it's quite insane to see full 3D games in the browser.