Uhhh… exams? Nah I’ve over it!!!! Let’s do some web stuff

So it’s our final exam week and I only have 1 exam on Tuesday which I don’t really care since I’m graduating. Sounds irresponsible but I’ve been waiting for this chance to come my whole college life!! Yeah to all you underclassmen haterz I’m DONE! 😛

Anyway I did go to see Ironman 2 and it WAS GOOD!!! It was funny and witty and of course the gadgets are cool. One thing I would comment is that I shouldn’t have watched all the trailers and read all the news cause those are spoilers!!! They put out all the best scenes in the trailers so the movie would have been 1000x better had I not watched those!! If you haven’t watch Ironman 1, watch it ASAP, then watch Ironman 2!! HIGHLY RECOMMENDED STILL

That aside, I’m actually really deciding between being a Web Developer and a Software Engineer. Web Developer is more “hip” and dynamic IMO. Software Engineer is more sorta low-level, which is something I do enjoy but Web Developer delivers a nice blend between front-end and sometimes back-end. Our MetaDB project is pretty back-end heavy so I sorta apply a lot of those SE principles on the front-end. I think it makes things a bit more organized but not very intuitive.

Web Development really splits out into 3 main components:

  1. Structure: That’s the HTML, XHTML codes. They define what content will be on the site but most of the time not how it looks
  2. Presentation: That’s Cascading StyleSheet (CSS). This decides what components look like and coming up with a clean CSS is pretty hard
  3. Functionalities: That’s JavaScript or any sort of server-side scripting like PHP, Ruby on Rails, JSP, .NET and all that. Those determine what the components will do

Now it’s 1 of those basic principles in SE to not mix those up. We have a lot of bad examples, like Volkswagen website below:

Volkswagen on the outside

Volkswagen on the outside

Now the outside looks very simple and elegant. But if u pop the hood, it’s a pretty bad mixture of inline CSS, HTML and JavaScript, which makes things really really hard to read and maintain:

Volkswagen under the hood

Volkswagen under the hood

Now it’s easy to criticize and everything but I don’t really blame the IT Dept. This sort of syntax and technology was probably pretty outdated and there’s a lot of steps to take if you wanna change a big corporate’s main page. I’ve had similar experience with bureaucracy here at Lafayette. Things here move pretty slowly and get forgotten sometimes.

One of those very important things I learned when working in MetaDB is to negotiate with my boss. There’s always tradeoffs!! ALWAYS!! The main tradeoff in web development is pretty much beauty and efficiency. Beauty can mean complicated HTML/CSS and various image div tags. Those are certainly not cheap.

One of those techniques that got used back in like Nintendo 64 is called “Image Sprite”. That is, if you have a bunch of icons, don’t save them separately cause the overhead is just too costly. Instead, you dump them all together in 1 big image file then offset within to get a certain piece, it’ll be more efficient since it’ll be loaded so many times the browser caches it automatically!!

Yup that’s 1 piece of my open-source experience that I really wanna share. Have fun and keep on rolling guys

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One thought on “Uhhh… exams? Nah I’ve over it!!!! Let’s do some web stuff

  1. Great stuff as usual…

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