JavaScript continued

This week continued my previous study of JavaScript. I’m finding more resources for this as I go along, and as such have decided to restructure my schedule for the next few weeks.

This week I looked at:

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Theme 1: Design Plan

As discussed in my Needs analyses for my WordPress themes, the first theme I’m working on is intended to be useful for a small to medium-sized public library that is looking for the following things in a website:

  • an online space for community updates (more than likely through a blog format)
  • emphasis on a calendar of current events
  • a place for other current events/announcements
  • easy-to-find hours
  • incorporation of images into blog posts
  • clean and minimal (while still fun) design

Using the work I did last summer on the group project redesign of the Sutton Free Library’s website as a base for my mockup, I created some starting points for the design of my first WordPress theme.

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JavaScript foundations

This week I focused on JavaScript. The two main resources I’m using currently are:

I’ve been pleased with these two resources so far. I started with the Lynda.com video. It wasn’t exactly what I expected, since the instructor didn’t really begin by explaining any of the basics or syntax of JavaScript. Instead, he just sort of jumped in with different examples of things that can be done with JavaScript, without walking through step-by-step what each line of code meant. Luckily, I’ve had some experience with JavaScript in the past, so I found myself able to follow along (with some occasional trips to Google). Overall I felt like it offered a lot of useful tips and ideas for how JavaScript can be incorporated into a website.

Codecademy was a nice counterpoint, providing the more detailed explanations of the language and its particular syntax and rules. I’m not done with the Codecademy tutorial yet, and plan on continuing it into next week.

I’m not sure yet if or how I’m going to be incorporating JavaScript into my WordPress themes, but I definitely know that as I go forward in pursuing front-end web development projects that it will be an invaluable skill to have and cultivate further. This week I was able to combine what I was learning about JavaScript with a separate project I’ve been working on — studying German. Though it’s currently very basic in capabilities, I put together a site using PHP and JavaScript that allows me to quiz myself on German vocabulary. Each list of vocab words is stored in a PHP array, which is brought into the page, shuffled, and the English word is output in an ordered list. The German equivalent is placed in the corresponding ID tag of the li element it belongs with. The JavaScript then compares the user input to see if it exactly matches the German string in the list id. If it does, upon submitting the form, the German word appears in green. If not, the German word appears in red.

Next week I will continue studying JavaScript, as well as working on my mockup of the design of my first theme. The instructor also listed several other Lynda.com tutorials related to JavaScript that I am interested in looking into further, either this upcoming week or when time allows.

Needs analyses for my WordPress themes

The goal at the end of this independent study is to have created two distinct, custom WordPress themes that were developed with libraries in mind.

Theme 1 Analysis

Intended Library: Small and public

For this theme, I want to create something with a small, public library in mind. I am somewhat basing my idea of the expected needs of such an institution on my project from last summer, where I worked on the re-design for a small public library’s website with two other grad students. We conducted a needs and analysis report based off of our interview with the client, and eventually created a mockup of a site for our client. My hope is to create something similar to this, but with the features of a WordPress theme that will make it all the more manageable (and suitable) for a small organization like this library.

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WordPress and libraries

1. WordPress foundations continued

This week I finished up watching WordPress: Building Themes from Scratch Using Underscores on Lynda.com. I feel much more confident about my approach to creating a WordPress theme after going through this video course, and am looking forward to beginning work on my own themes in the upcoming weeks.

I also took a look at Pro WordPress Theme Development, which covers a lot of similar topics as the Lynda.com video course. I appreciated the tips on theme testing and some further info on the review process once a theme has been submitted to the WordPress theme directory. I think this will be another source that may be useful to return to in the next few weeks if I have specific areas with questions/concerns.

2. Libraries using WordPress

Switching gears a bit, I’ve been looking at some case studies and examples of libraries currently using WordPress as a CMS.

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