Life and Code

Blog Post created by csergent08 Champion on Apr 10, 2015

For me a blog is sometimes a good way to think out loud or share knowledge. Right now I'm thinking out loud. I am a runner, a mild weight lifter, a developer and a diabetic. Last year I was dealing with plantar fasciitis after recovering from inflammation of my IT band. My plantar fasciitis became so severe that it limited my running and eventually I fractured my cuboid. Don't know what that is? Neither did I, but it's a larger bone on the outside of your foot behind the little toe. I also now know there are 26 bones in your foot. After this healed I find out I still have plantar fasciitis, but not in one foot, but both feet and a possible torn rotator cuff and my IT band seemed to be flaring up, and some weight gain. So, I am dealing with four injuries and added weight, which does not help injuries at all. There is only one thing to do, stop working out or modify what I do. I chose to modify what I do. I work on strengthening my rotator cuff, go to physical therapy for my plantar fasciitis, as well as do other stretching and exercises that help with it, warm up on a stationary bike, do dynamic stretching before I run and use a foam roller to painfully massage my IT band and other muscles. Sometimes you just have to change your thinking to get things done. Everything seems to be working, but very slowly,


As with life, coding is sometimes quite similar. You need to understand, I did not come from a geography background, and if I went into more detail, all the following was still development. My first GIS actually was Windows Paint. Yep, I manually created my color scheme one click at a time with only one undo available. Over time I went from ArcView 3.x, to ArcView 8.1 and then got briefly into ArcGIS Engine. Finally, I ended up in Web Development using the Web ADF, which I did not like. Next, it was the option of Silverlight, Flex and the JavaScript API. If you were at the DevSummit in 2012, you might have thought that everything was going to go Flex. But after checking out the three API's I felt JavaScript would be the way to go. But even that has changed on me a couple of times. The way we use Dojo is not the way it was used when Dojo came out and soon there will be a JavaScript API 4.0, another way of writing code for the JavaScript API. I hope it's simpler and less code and samples with more comments. That is usually where samples lose me, when you have to figure out what someone else was thinking.


At least with the current Esri JS API I got a template working for editing, address searching, a custom print task and other features, but when tested in the field, the editor was deemed to be too small for touch, so I am now working on another new area that I am unfamiliar with, responsive web design. I have a sample of mostly what I want to do, but I am having difficulty with it. I will be posting it today after I take another look at it. But as I said earlier, sometimes you have to modify what you do. So far, what I have learned from responsive web design is, that's the way all apps should be, not sometimes. I am on a learning path that will help me better understand this concept and I am building my own personal responsive website as well, very clunky right now. But it has a cool name; gisdev.net  I thought with the editor widget I could just inspect all of the elements and make the editor widget larger, but I also thought that it probably has a lot of elements and may not be a good idea. The alternative for me to attempt to modify an Esri example to get my work done while learning the new concept of responsive web design so that I can later make a custom application the way that I want with minimal code and ample documentation.


The sample is good. But it's a responsive app which is new to me, and has left me a little frustrated a few times trying to figure out how to convert it. In the end at least I will have more knowledge. I do like that, but sometimes you just have to vent your frustrations of incomprehension while you're in the learning process until you get to that a-ha! moment.