Fresh projects keep my mind engaged

Recently, I’ve been working on a fantasy sports application which has allowed me to utilize new tools and ideas.  Although the core application is still in a beta/development phase, the process of which I’ve been apart has been unique.  Being the sole developer, I’m able to push new tools and techniques into the design and application,including MV* javascript frameworks such as Backbone.js.

Javascript applications have always enticed me, although once upon a time, I was rather anti-javascript.  This thought or notion, although a distant memory, resonated deep within me and I was adamant in keeping javascript use to an absolute minimum.  The first time I ever used anybit of javascript was around 1996, in the form of pop-ups.  When a user would happen upon my website, I would prompt them to enter in their name and in so doing, I was able to carry their name throughout my website (in the form of cheezy greetings).  Other common uses of javascript included simulated ‘weather’ (falling snow), form-validation, annoying graphics that followed the pointer, and more clunky uses.  Around this time, Flash was gaining momentum.  Everyone wanted the animations, the embedded sound effects, and the ‘flashy’ness flash presented.  I do was intrigued and taught myself the basics of flash in 1999.  I created a 3 minute website intro, surprisingly similar to a lot of videos you see today actually… The text would fly into and out of view, lens flares would highlight the words, and objects would move around the screen, telling a story.  Flash seemed to take over and soon, a lot of websites were converting their entire site over to flash and this practice carried for years it felt.

The greatest drawback, to me at the time, in basing the entirety of your website around flash or javascript, was the assumption the user had flash installed or javascript enabled.  I know my parents didn’t do either as they were under the assumption to install something like flash just to view a site was shady and likely malicious intent would ensue.  Because javascript contained the word ‘script’ this too created hesitation in terms of keeping javascript disabled.  As a developer, I saw this a lot actually which caused me to steer clear from Flash and Javascript almost entirely.  When I would use javascript, it was for minor UX.

Fast forward to last year – single-page javascript applications had taken over and javascript MV* frameworks where commonplace.  I’ve enjoyed being able to “revisit” javascript and am excited in continually learning new javascript methods and techniques.  This project will allow me to keep my sleeves rolled up and get crazy with my ideas and capabilities.