Website / Recent Update

WordPress released 3.8 which appeared to have a slew of new features including a redesigned, responsive administrative dashboard. Along with upgrading to 3.8 (primarily for security reasons) I decided to upgrade my theme to one that’s responsive and more mobile-friendly. I settled on the Parabola theme because it demoed nicely in a mobile format, allowed for personalization exports/imports and offered a decent reach of built-in customization without having to make child themes; I only had to add 1 line of custom CSS to get the navigation dropdown to render properly on my phone.


I haven’t had as much time as I’ve wanted to work on my Magic: The Gathering Web App due to the holiday season. I’ve been reading more about “appropriate” MVC design using backbone.js and underscore.js and what I’ve mainly been seeing can be summed up as: if you can use backbone.js to accurately represent the model and associated actions with an appropriate view then do so, but don’t assume you have to do EVERYTHING with backbone.js; if it’s easier and more maintainable, use regular JavaScript.


As with any software development project, getting the design right is crucial and probably the hardest aspect (a good, well-thought-out design is easy to implement). I’m pulling mainly from my Java background here with getters/setters on JavaBeans, but since JavaScript is a lot looser in terms of declarations, I’m currently looking at having the models / collections be their own controllers (collections to add/remove models, models to modify their own information). No idea if this is the right course of action, but hey, that’s what this project was for (to learn: CSS3, HTML5, JavaScript, jQuery[Mobile], backbone.js and underscore.js).


I’ve stickied the Change Log for the Magic: The Gathering Web App to the home page for quick access. I may do the same for the planned features. During the development downtime of the holiday season I’ve tested the web app and found a few more features I’d like to add, notably an import/export feature since the webapp uses the device’s localstorage for persistence (also helpful for when developing on multiple computers/devices).


If you have any suggestions for web apps to create, let me know and I’ll look into them. I could always use more examples for my resume!