Over the last week I’ve been doing some serious hacking/coding in a variety of languages. Some of it is necessary for a work project I’m doing, a couple of customized WordPress installs for a company in Seattle that’s required a bit more PHP hacking to get working properly. Other parts of it are reading books in my (not available) spare time, and still trying to focus on ObjC and CS193P.
I continually amaze myself with the PHP stuff. I never officially studied the language but I can understand the bulk of it and maybe most important: I can articulate what I need to do in a good Google query. For me to become really proficient at it I think I’ll need to start using the shell accounts on some of my boxes to make sure this stuff happens the right way. While flipping through an old C# book at Fry’s a few days ago I stumbled across the realization that I can grok the syntax of just about any modern language! Most of these languages are all derivatives of C so it’s not a huge surprise, but I could definitely start to implement code that isn’t language specific which is a huge step for me. Being able to write platform or (lightly) language independent code is what separates a programmer from a Computer Science major I think. Each language obviously has its own subtleties and nuances and some will always be a mystery to me (like Perl) but I’m feeling more confident in my skills again.
I spent a few hours this weekend futzing around with Canvas, an HTML5 element that allows you to implement drawing and other animation routines in a div in HTML. My goal was to finally come up with a logo for REV-DEV my other side-biz that definitely needs to start getting a leg off the ground. Having checked out some cool HTML5 samples I thought this would’ve been easier, but it wasn’t to be. I found some greatly bouncy balls, starfields, even a text particle generator. What I was looking for was a text swell/shrink effect similar to what I’d seen in….well, Flash to be honest. But I’m trying to be proactive and future-proof, and platform independent and all this….and the thing I want is in Flash.
Adobe has seen a bit of the writing on the wall lately, releasing a free preview of Edge ,their Flash exporter to HTML5 app. It’s not quite available for real-world use yet, but if I could get the download link to complete I’d probably check it out. I digress, I’m rambling here.