TLR 1 – Addison Slick

The progress with CSS has begun to spark my wanting to learn more in order to be able to create something.  Not that the end result of my learning it will be some masterpiece, but rather that the ideas are starting to bubble up when I learn about something new in the language.  The most exciting development for me so far has been the similarities of CSS to object oriented programming, where most of my prior coding experience has been.

The associates degree I have in computer science came with some experience in Unix and with C++ — the latter of which uses object oriented programming as its driving theory.  The general idea is that one file calls other files and systems of files to execute its functions: in CSS, HTML pages are called to provide information to a digital lens that organizes the information contained by the read page as its own inscribed information instructs.  For example: the Videogame “The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim” uses an object oriented language, so it’s core file is 17.1 MB while the entire game takes up 21.9 GB in total with its extended file system.  CSS in its “external style sheet” format is very similar to the idea, where it reads information from a separate file in its system, though CSS also works within individual HTML pages in its “Internal Style Sheet” and “Inline styles” formats.

Besides reading the w3schools tutorials, I’ve been looking at consistencies in the formatting of certain websites and looking at code to understand how websites work according to the programming principles with which I’m most familiar.  The site SMBC-comics.com has been helpful with its neat, well-commented source code in showing my how certain functions are executed and how different elements of a site come together.  Much of SMBC uses javascript for simple functions which help the navigation of the site as well as integrate more complex features such as displaying video.  What interested me most, however, was the random function built into the site’s navigation; clicking the “random” button will cause the site to jump to a random comic in its library of over 3,000 comics with the page automatically positioned to have the comic at reading level.  With a file system of that size, the object oriented style of CSS seems vital.

My next step needs to be development.  I need to procure freeware or open source tools to begin experimenting with different features.  The more I play with the tools outside my head, the more familiar with them I’ll become.  I’ll also need to check out development tools for Linux, since my laptop can run that and different virtual work environments could be available through it.  Lastly, I need to figure out a core “play” project I can do to focus my goals and create obstacles for myself to overcome.  I’ll probably try some game development ideas out through it.

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