CS373 Summer 2018: Travis Llado, Week 04

I don't know who owns this image, but it's great.

For me, this week was the week where I spent a lot of time learning how to use jQuery.ajax(). And also the rest of Javascript. My team completed part one of our web development project, putting together the framework for a website that provides information about medical treatments. My job was to set up the hosting services, build the initial placeholder website, and then build the About page that contained a long list of specific information, some of it dynamic, for which I used jQuery to pull data from Gitlab via their API.

I still look like this.

What did I do this week?

    I put quite a bit of time into my group project, more than expected. Learning how to query APIs, and then how to format and display the data using Javascript took longer than I expected. I feel like I should go back and learn JS from scratch, instead of starting out looking at everything through the lense of jQuery, but I doubt I'll ever do that. I looked at example websites from previous semesters, and no one built their About page the way I did, with one big .js script. I'm a bit worried about that, but this will probably be the last web development work I ever do, so I'm not sure I should spend time digging deeper.

What is in my way?

    Nothing much. I need to spend some time studying for the exam over the weekend. We spent two lectures talking about data types and operators in Python, and currently I don't understand why. What does that lead to? Is it just a demonstration of being more precise and efficient with your coding, understanding small changes that make big differences? I'm not sure. I'll need to ask.

What will I do next week?

    Start on part two of the project, which I haven't even looked at yet. There's also a homework assignment I did a few months ago that I didn't understand at the time that I want to re-do. I might get around to that.

What was my experience with the Collatz assignment?

    I thought it was good overall. The time requirement seemed to be well tuned to require a reasonable amount of code optimization, though of course the main purpose was to familiarize everyone with the tools we'll use for future projects. I ended the project without gaining a thorough understanding of Continuous Integration implementation, as that was provided for us. I could read the makefile and it all made sense, but when I made small changes everything broke so clearly I missed something. For future projects I mean to implement CI from scratch.

What is my recommendation of the week?

    Check out this video about a quadcopter company called Skydio. They've put together a consumer drone that uses 12 cameras to build a 360ยบ environmental map for realtime omnidirectional obstacle avoidance while autonomously following people or vehicles through cluttered environments at high speeds. Each one of those features only existed separately in academia a few months ago, so seeing it all implemented simultaneously at production quality in a small device is incredibly impressive. I'm wondering what kind of computational power they have onboard.

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